Apparently, dogs are good at catching things whizzing past them – like Frisbees and flies – because they “see in slow motion” (a claim made by the adorable Martin Clunes in his ITV programme The Secret Life Of Dogs) . Does that imply they might live their lives in slow motion? The idea appeals to me.
The elasticity of time has long been self-evident to me, when seconds seem like hours or days fly by in minutes, and I have vividly experienced time slowing down when the car I was travelling in suddenly slewed round on an icy road and ended up in the ditch. Everything slowed down except my mind.
If you could emulate a dog living life in slow motion, and if, as they say, a year in a dog’s life is equivalent to seven human years, couldn’t you cram a great deal of extra living into the average life span of threescore years and ten? Seven times seventy is 490 – that’s an awful lot of scope for living life to the full! Although you would have to sleep rather less than the average dog does to take full advantage of the potential “stretched” time.
Does sleep waste time? Some people think so. I know one woman who never sleeps more than 5 hours a night because she wants to make the most of the time she has. I, on the other hand, like to sleep at least nine hours and preferably ten. I have been known frequently to “sleep the clock round” especially if I am in a darkened room. That could, of course, be due to an under-active thyroid (oh yes, that is my latest ailment – but not serious enough to warrant treatment yet). Out of the more than 25,000 days I have been alive, I must have slept away at least 12,000. And if you want to calculate how many days you have been around, go here.
Time certainly speeds up as we get older. As a child, I got far more done in a day than I do now, and that includes mental activity as well as physical. Nowadays, it’s more like time-lapse than slo-mo. Ideally then, to turn all our lifetime into quality time, we need to discover a way of remaining like wakeful children – or dogs.