the passage of time


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Here's a story. Ficticious Interviewer: So, what was your worst Christmas ever? Fictitious Normal Human Being: I dunno, hmmm, there was the one where I was 7 and my brother broke my favorite new toy right after I opened it, or the first one we had without Grandma…it's tough, they all have some good and bad […]

Here's a story.

Ficticious Interviewer: So, what was your worst Christmas ever?
Fictitious Normal Human Being: I dunno, hmmm, there was the one where I was 7 and my brother broke my favorite new toy right after I opened it, or the first one we had without Grandma…it's tough, they all have some good and bad I guess. Oh, there was the one where I was in charge of the stuffing and I ended up burning half of it, but we ended up calling it my “special recipe” and we still joke about it every time there's a big family dinner being planned. There was the one where I introduced Alex to my whole family for the first time, but that could have gone worse too, and I'd practically forgotten it 'til now.

Ficticious Interviewer: So, what was your worst Christmas ever?
Me: 2004.

I recently had a discussion about how I have a love/hate thing with New Years celebrations – rationally I know it is celebrating an arbitrary demarcation of time, and not even the demarcation of time that all humans have always recognized. One could argue it is even a silly one, as there are other logical points to split the astronomical and agricultural milestones that fall in the same patterns. The Chinese know what I'm talking about. Nonetheless, this makes it a somewhat hollow holiday, and holidays in general are not something I get particularly excited about, unless they mark personal occasions.

Still, it is a dividing line I find very useful; in my endless self-analysis and organization of the events of my life, years serve a valuable purpose. They are the folders that keep the video files and scanned notes and half-exposed images of my memory organized for easy retrieval and contextual background. There's a sense of the old chapter versus the new, and  an opportunity to start fresh, however contrived and arbitrary that opportunity may be. I'm also a sucker for things that involve manageable-length countdowns, and ball-drops are a fun shared experience for me. It's like a sporting even where the only way to lose is for everyone to die before midnight. No disappointments, the sun will come up tomorrow, and you get what you expect. The only way to go home disappointed is if something calamitous happens, and we have a pretty long track record of that not happening at this point, even if you have a really short and unscientific view of the lifespan of planet Earth to date.

This way of categorizing and chopping up the passage of time seems to be a pretty universal human trait, but of course the extreme I tend to take it to is uniquely me. In my own crazy way I like what this gives me; a clean, defragged hard drive that allows quick recall of trivial things and the ability to replay moments that have special meaning to me much like one bookmarks their favorite website.

Of course, there are times when this compulsive archivist categorization of the passage of time has unwanted negative effects. It also creates some odd moments like the fictional exchange above. There's also the assumption that other people have this level of recall and organization, or even value it above being able to, say, reliably locate the nail clippers they used 2 days ago.

We all experience time the same way, but remember it differently. Some focus on the people they were with, some on the events that transpired, others take all that as simply scenery to how they themselves felt during an event. There are endless combinations there, each unique to the person and the scenarios that make up their life.

I suppose a Normal Human Being would say that this has been a shitty week, and move on, and forget about it by next month. It hasn't even been all shitty, there's some real gems in there. I will remember those gems, and categorize them, and refer to them from time to time when I need a pick me up, but they will forever be entombed in a folder emblazoned with the danger verbiage and iconography that says Shitty Week. Now I can also add creating a rather overwrought philosophical projectile vomit session to the stack of files in there.

It would appear I do not have a joke to go out on. online casino bonuser

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