My wife and I recently went on a lunch date. We both skipped out of work early, left the kids at Grandma’s house for a few hours and went out to eat. We went to The Wild Chef, a Japanese Steakhouse with hibachi grills in front of the tables.
For all the times I had seen this sort of thing featured on television shows, I had never personally experienced it. Being there at lunchtime meant that we had the restaurant pretty much to ourselves, which was nice. Our cook put on a wonderful show of flipping his spatula and fork, playing with fire, breaking eggs, and flipping rice into our mouths (both DeAnne and I caught the rice like pros!). And the food was delicious. I’ve already decided that we’ll be coming back for the next meal-type celebration.
We chose The Wild Chef for lunch because my wife had been to the one in Holland with her workmates and she really enjoyed herself. She was pretty sure that I would like it too. She was right. I did.
While we ate, I remembered an episode of Radiolab where they talked about a gentleman who was trying to slow down his perception of time by trying to do something new everyday. The theory goes that we remember time moving slower as children because we are constantly doing things we had never done before. For a while, everything is a first (the first time you rode a bike, the first time you went camping, the first time you read Lord of the Rings). But as grown-ups most of our schedules look the same. We get up, go to work, eat, drive, and sleep, pretty much everyday. Time seems to move more quickly because there isn’t anything in our schedule that stands out in our memories as noteworthy.
The gentlemen who underwent the experiment to slow down time was Matt Danzico and his adventures can be found at The Time Hack. Everyday, he did something he had never done before. He brought someone along who ran a stopwatch to record the actual time Matt spent doing the activity, while Matt estimated the time he spent without having access to the stopwatch. So if something he did felt like it took ten minutes, but it actually only took eight, he gained two minutes of experiential time. And his year would have felt like it passed more slowly since he wasn’t doing the same thing everyday.
Although I am mostly a creature of habit, I really like the idea of trying to slow down my perception of time by trying new things. This is why I am glad that we went to a Japanese Steakhouse. Not only did it stand out against the humdrum of normal life, it was delicious. My wife and I could easily have gone to a restaurant that we had both been to before and knew that we both enjoyed. Instead, she shared with me a new experience.
Next time an opportunity arises to try something new, I think I will try it. I will slow time. And I might just find something new that I really enjoy.