Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Theory of Rela-tim-ity

Einstein's theory of relativity is basically about the relation between time, space, and gravity (or at least that's what the googles tell me).

This past weekend I had a thought I'll call the Theory of Rela-tim-ity (it's a working title). It started at the YMCA pool, where the girls and I were splashing around having a good old time. Both girls were yelling "daddy! daddy!" over and over in order to get my attention. A guy who was probably in his mid 60s was close by, and told me to enjoy my kids trying to get my attention, because before you know it they will be grown up (his kids were in their 20s, and he mumbled something about how they can't even give him a call even though they have cell phones).

Everyone, whether they have kids or not, has heard that "kids grow up soooo fast". Either you know it yourself, your parents told you, a friend has told you, or if you work with me, you've heard me say it. But I think there's a Theory of Rela-tim-ity at play here. It's about time, space, and the gravity of the situation. I don't want to get all technical about the complex mathmatical equations that went into the theory, so I'll simply boil it down to this - time flies when you're having fun.

For example, if I look back at 8 years with Stef - wow that just flew by. But if I look at the last 8 years with the Bush administration - what a long, slow, tortureous time it was (and I literally mean tortureous). The gravity of the two situations is quite different, which affects the whole time/space continuum.

Spending a half hour watching Colbert - feels like ten minutes tops. A half-hour getting my teeth cleaned - I feel like I have more teeth than an alligator. When the Giants have the ball and the lead with 4 minutes left, I swear each second takes at least ten. But if the Giants are down by 7 with four minutes left...you get the point.

So I will no longer bemoan the fact that my children are growing up too fast. I will chalk it up to having way too much fun with them, which is how it should be. There will be other things in life that throw the whole time/space continuum the other way, and will do my best not to get dragged down by the gravity of the situation.

1 comment:

Gerry Schramm said...

Einstein himself explained relativity the same way: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."