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Monday, December 22, 2014

Summer 2013 slips by: a conundrum of physics

Consider Albert Einstein’s singular equation: e = mc2. Or don’t consider it; it will surely make your head hurt. We’ve all heard the mind-numbing interpretations of energy and time and mass and how you have to be a physics genius to parse the equation. But I think the great physicist was revealing an eternal truth of life: The older one gets, the faster time passes.

No one understands Einstein anyway, so who can say I’m wrong?

Even Stephen Hawking would probably tell you that waiting for your 10th birthday when you were 9 took way longer than waiting for your 50th when you were 49. Remember how fast the day of your tonsillectomy arrived, when it seemed to take years for Christmas and Hanukkah to come around?

All of which brings me to June, July and August, which seem to have slipped right by while I was still looking at my April calendar and planning my summer vacation.

Really, what happened to the past three months? And why is school starting, not to mention the celebration of Rosh Hashana? The phenomenon of accelerated time seems counterintuitive. When I was younger and working all the time and raising little kids and running the house, time did not pass as swiftly as it does now. Thus, the real theory of relativity.

Suddenly, it isn’t summer. Technically, it will be until Sept. 22, but it doesn’t feel like summer when school buses cruise the neighborhood instead of ice cream trucks. Labor Day is done. The Jewish holidays are upon us, and, as usual, they arrived at the wrong time — too early. We barely digested our Labor Day hot dogs when we had to face the Rosh Hashana brisket, accompanied by noodle puddings and potato kugels and honey cakes and enough candy to last to Purim.

Next week, Jews around the world will observe Yom Kippur. My grandkids already have Halloween costumes. Believe me, in a minute it will be Thanksgiving, which coincides with Hanukkah this year, and trust me, it isn’t too early to decorate your tree.

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