They Say Age is Just a Number….

This post may not resonate with all of my followers, especially the younger ones among you. Which begs the question, why are you following a old curmudgeon like me in the first place? I guess that is known only to you and your God, but I truly do thank you.

I was watching a science program the other day that dealt with the phenomenon of time, or more notably, the illusion of time. Basically, it states the idea that there is really no such thing as linear time, i.e. no past, no future. Rather, everything that has ever happened or will ever happen, is right now. I’m not about to try to elucidate that theory because it is so deep and so far above my level of intellect I wouldn’t have time to do it. (See what I did there?)

It did get me to thinking about linear time and how we are stuck with it anyway because the world would be chaos without it. Imagine trying to plan ahead or discuss past events without a reference to linear time? Let me suggest a couple of scenarios:

“Our daughter is getting married, we’d like you to come to the  wedding.”

“When is the ceremony?”

“Right now.”


“I was just thinking about how amazing our Constitution is.”

“Yes, remind me again, when did our founding fathers meet about that?”

“They’re meeting right now.”

See what I mean?

So here’s some questions I have about age being just a number.

When I was in high school, circa 1960, I was required to read the book “1984” by George Orwell. Was I reading about something that could happen in 24 years or about something that might have happened 36 years ago? Or was Big Brother watching me read it in 1984?

I went to see the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick in 1968. Was I witnessing the future in 33 years or seeing 19 years into the past? Or was Hal 9000 just playing with my mind?

The late artist Prince (or is he?) came out with a hit song in 1982 called “Party Like It’s 1999.” Was I looking forward to a party in 17 years or sorry that I am 21 years too late for it? I really hate to miss parties.

Do you understand my problem now? As I see it, there are two possible solutions to this conundrum. One, you explain to me in the comment section how it is that time doesn’t really flow, or two, I stop watching the Science Channel.

Thank you for the illusion of your time.

23 thoughts on “They Say Age is Just a Number….

  1. I spend half my life explaining English grammar to baffled kids with a timeline. A great illusion it is indeed. Right up there with the top inventions – like the dishwasher!

  2. The scary thing to me about time and numbers is that most of my life is now a part of “history”. It used to be when I heard people say “back in the 1800s” I thought about how old-timey that sounded but now people say “back in the 1900s” and I was there for 49 years! aughghg. And I can remember my parents talking about World War II or the Depression and it was history. Now, my 10 year old granddaughter asks me questions about Sept 11th or the Vietnam War and I am explaining it to her just like my parents did…it was and is real to me but it is history to her. All of this is a bit unsettling to me… and as I noted in my January Blog Story…entering a new decade and dealing with color-coding 2020 has also been a bit mind-challenging …. but also a bit inspirational! Anyway… I ramble. Keep watching the Science Channel… it is much better than most of the other current choices! HA…. jfh

    • Yes, it is a bit disconcerting, Janet. In my case, when I first came around, FDR, Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Tojo were making all the headlines. And swing was king. However, I was too busy pooping in my diapers to care.

    • Thanks, you’re a loyal follower, Ronnie. I hope you will be as loyal when I revert to writing in Sanskrit, which has been my primary language over the eons.

  3. Ok, my head is spinning trying to figure this out so I’m just gonna not attempt any sort of coherent answer/ It’s Sunday after all, a day of rest. Or is it? 😉

  4. Is this the Groundhog day type of life? So maybe I don’t have to go to work tomorrow because it is already past or still to far ahead in the future but happening now? Maybe we are living on many levels of existence and we just need to figure out how to bounce between them all? No wonder I am tired all the time and here I thought it was age.
    I am going to have to ponder on this more…or maybe I already have? Maybe it just is the circle of life and the wheels on the bus go round and round……….

  5. I think you need to ruminate on it some more. And when you get it all figured out, explain the movie Back to the Future to me. Should it be Back to the Past or Forward to the Future or Forward to the Past or – maybe – just maybe – it’s all of them. That’s undoubtedly why Dr. Emmett Brown was such a kook. He had no idea when he was (see what I did there?).

    And now I am perplexed because I’d really like to attend your daughter’s wedding but that signing of the Constitution sounds like it’s pretty enthralling. How does one choose between the two? I can’t be in two places at once – right now. Or can I? Am I really just an illusion of myself living in another dimension?

    Time marches on. That’s the only way to look at it. On. As in onward. Time does not march back.

    You obviously have too much time on your hands buddy. And now, I need a drink to clear my head.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • It’s a simple solution, Patricia, just use the DeLorean car from Back to the Future and you can make both the wedding and the signing simultaneously. You know I’m always here for you.

      P.S. That’s dirt on my hands, time doesn’t exist.

  6. I remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey when if first came out. I didn’t understand it then any more than I understand what you are talking about now. I suppose this confirms that what ever happened to me or will ever happen to me, is consistent – that is, there is a lot I don’t understand!
    Kudos to you if you do understand!

  7. Turn off the TV and party like it’s… never mind just party. Oh but first can you tell what happens if I don’t take my cookies out of the oven in 10 minutes? Should I take them out now?

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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