– Age has nothing to do with it
– State of mind has everything to do with it
You might think, from the feature image and my hometown demographics, that this is all about drivers. In that, you would be partially correct.
But the question goes beyond that simple example and, indeed, beyond the confines of my geographic location.
Here’s what I’m grappling with: Why are some people so annoyingly much in a hurry and some so aggravatingly in no hurry at all.
Let’s take the driving example first. Contrary to popular and comedic belief, old people don’t all drive slow. Would that they did, considering the inevitable slowing of reaction times with age. In actuality, many of them drive uncomfortably fast (this means you, Dad).
Similarly, not every young person tears around town at the highest speed they can get away with. Plenty of them plod along as well.
Shopping areas are another source of confounding. I’ve multiple times bumped into, rolled over or otherwise nudged by some impatient mature person, while at other times simmering behind some millennial apparently unconcerned with the passing of centuries.
Applying time-honored theories doesn’t help.
Do older people go slow because they are not pressed for time or do they go fast because they have so little time left?
Do young people go fast because of the impatience and recklessness of youth or do they go slow because they are distracted by the many shiny things that distract young people.
Since neither theory covers all occurrences, my personal theory, derived from my personal experience, is that “fast or slow” is a mindset.
Back when life was full of “complications”, everything from work to relationships, there just wasn’t enough time to do what (I thought) needed to be done. Every second was precious and I couldn’t afford to sit around waiting.
Unencumbered by work or family pressures, I can take in the world around me, plan my appointments and activities with ample front and back time and basically meander through the world in an uncomplicated and untroubled fashion. Every second is precious and I don’t want to rush by it.
This theory has not been tested, of course. I still need to find out what is so compelling to those speeding senior citizens. It could be that, for some, once the mindset is developed, they get “locked in” and can’t ever change.
That would explain lifelong “slowpokes” and likewise those people who perpetually seem to be in a hurry.
As for me, the world may be as fast as ever, but I’m happy to say I’ve adapted well to taking it slow.