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❄️ Freezethawed: The Newsletter #018 - The Holiday Paradox

Hello everyone!

This is the first time I am writing to you all from home sweet home!

I’ve taken a short break from work and it has been fantastic. Calcutta is currently a nippy 15 degrees and I’m catching up on some long overdue rest, relaxation and family time. However, as you would be reading this, I am probably on my way back to Pondicherry. This makes me think how time flies! Or does it? Can time speed up and slow down?

I did a little digging and this is what I found.

The Holiday Paradox

Our perception of time plays a role in how quickly time travels for us. Humans essentially estimate the length of an event from two very different perspectives: a prospective vantage point, while an event is still occurring, or a retrospective one, after it has ended. In addition, our experience of time varies with whatever we are doing and how we are feeling with respect to that point of time.

Our brain tends to encode new experiences into our memory, but not familiar ones. Our retrospective judgment of time is based on how many new memories we create over a certain period. In other words, the more new memories we build on say, a weekend getaway, the longer that trip will seem in hindsight. This phenomenon is called The Holiday Paradox, which is one of the best clues as to why, in retrospect, time seems to pass more quickly the older we get.

Here’s the kicker. From childhood to early adulthood, we have many fresh experiences and learn countless new skills. As adults, though, our lives become more routine and we experience fewer unfamiliar moments. As a result, our early years tend to be relatively overrepresented in our retrospective recall memory and on reflection, seem to have lasted longer.

Of course, this means we can also slow time down later in life. We can alter our perception of the passage of time by indulging our brain constantly in new skills, activities or ideas. Some food for thought.

The Vaccine Scenario

Vaccinations are underway in full swing for healthcare workers I should be getting mine soon. For those skeptical about the vaccine, it’s safety and efficacy, I would like like to share this anecdotal message my mom forwarded to me. Maybe, reading it would clear up some of your apprehensions regarding getting vaccinated.

“Regarding vaccine, the best simile I could think of is of a seat belt or an airbag in our cars.

  • Does it afford good protection – Yes. Just like the vaccine.
  • Does it protect you hundred percent? – No. Just like the vaccine.
  • Does it prevent you from getting an accident? – No. Just like the vaccine.
  • If at all we get into an accident does it reduce severity? – Yes. Just like the vaccine.
  • Does it mean you can be reckless and fast? – No. Just like the vaccine.
  • Does a seat belt mean you won’t injure others on road? – No. Just like the vaccine.
  • When I wear a seatbelt do I think of the company making money? – No. Just like the vaccine.
  • Am I happy that someone invented seatbelt? – Oh Yes. Just like the vaccine. Does seatbelt itself cause problems? – Yes. Seatbelt injuries are possible.

Just like vaccines can have side effects.

Should we still wear a seatbelt? – Yes, yes, yes. Just like a vaccine.”

See you next week!


Anujeet’s book journey

Currently I am reading:

  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

Aggregate, the weekly quote

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

— Dalai Lama

Harmony, the weekly song

Looking Too Closely – Fink

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