How Many Days Are Left In You And Can you slow down time?

Living life to the full - can you slow down timeCan you slow down time?

A while ago I came across these words:

Teach me to number my days, so I can have a wise heart.”

It stuck me that a profound personal perspective on my mortality brings with it an important insight into how we use the finite gift we have been given of time. Life is limited, more for some, than others. The geographical location, time in history and the family we are born into, affect the length of this life we have. By the very nature of being a human, even sometimes in its random and unjust brevity, we all experience the fullness of the days of our life. Can you slow down time? How many days are left in you? Perhaps more importantly, how much of “you” is left in your days?


Can you slow down time?I did the calculation for me:

I’ve been alive for 19,247 days.
If I live to the UK National Av (78.2) – I could get 28,561 days. That could give me 9,314 days more! That doesn’t seem many! I also wondered what I might look like at aged 78.2 and it’s not good! I look like a figure in Madame Tussauds or the local undertakers!

Do Days Pass Quicker As You Get Older?

Those 19,247 days seem to have passed so quickly, and more to the point, they seem to be getting quicker! Can you slow down time?  William James, the American psychologist and philosopher, wrote about the question of whether days pass quicker for older people than younger, he said:

“The same space of time seems shorter as we grow older… in youth we may have an absolutely new experience, subjective or objective, every hour of the day. Apprehension is vivid, retentiveness strong, and our recollections of that time, like those of a time spent in rapid and interesting travel, are of something intricate, multitudinous, and long drawn out. But as each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all, the days and the week smooth themselves out in recollection to content less units, and the years grow hollow and collapse.

His suggestion that time feels slower when we are younger is because it is usually packed with more memorable events. Is that true? When we are younger often the circumstances of our lives give more opportunity to experience the magical rather than the mundane, it’s all so “new” and “different.” It’s sad, but more often the case, that as we age, as James perceptively observes, “the days… weeks…, years… grow hollow and collapse.”  I too see that, people who for years have said, “someday I am going to see/do/visit/experience …” but then when the fortune of life gives them time or money or both, the days that are left in them … “grow hollow and collapse.”

If I am fortunate to live the 9,314 days or more, or less, I want to live each one of them however many are left, not growing hollow, but to experience within them a bounteous, brim-full, bursting 24 hours every day crammed, crowded, chock-a-block with new experiences and relationships. I don’t want to see my remaining days collapse, crackup cave-in or conk out!

The key thing is we need to put into action plans that create an inciting incident that forces us to experience the new and the different. I disagree with James, not only for the young to experience is “rapid and interesting travel” (though rapid for him and us would certainly be different) I want the most from my days, how about you? I have just booked a “wobbly weekend” (travelling from Sat – Mon because it’s always cheaper) to Budapest in the winter on a budget airline and used Airbnb for the accommodation. Yes, it will be cold! Yes, it would be nice to stay at a 5* hotel! It’s rapid and cheap! But I know that there are people and experiences that will make my life richer for the trip, I just haven’t met then and done them yet!

How many days are left in you and how much of you is left in your days? Don’t delay in experiencing all of the “YOU” left in your days, take action, book the flight, catch the train, have the road trip it doesn’t slow up the days that much, but it makes the passing so much more enjoyable! I would love to hear how you choose to fill your days with the “YOU” you always dreamed you could be. Please write and let me know what you have planned for the days of your life.


Posted on by Peter Billingham in Blog Posts, Happiness, Travel

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

5 Responses to How Many Days Are Left In You And Can you slow down time?

  1. Peter Billingham

    Just read back over this and reminded as I look forward to 2013 how important it is to value each day and each moment. Thanks to Ryanair, they decided to stop the service to Budapest! Good of them … so it’s Milan instead.

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  3. Rich

    I live in Istanbul and have been thinking of getting a small motorcycle because of the traffic. I am 54 and have never ridden one in my life but your article has inspired me. Thanks! (On the down side, if I get myself killed I am forwarding this post to my wife who will probably come after you with a stick. ;-) ) Hey better to die happy on a bike then be slowly ‘driven’ insane by traffic.

    • Peter Billingham

      opps! Hope you have good life insurance! I don’t think I would ride a motorcycle in Istanbul – it was crazy walking! But my thoughts, go for it! Why not do this one – Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it – go make some intentional memories!

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Reply to Rich