Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Some Months Pass By Faster Than Others

I write this post on January 19. It feels like we've been in January for ever and a day. It feels like ten years ago we were celebrating the December Retail Season. And February is still two weeks away!

Why is it that some months seem to fly by and others seem to move at the rate of 0.25 days per day? I have a theory that tries to answer that question.

I developed this theory either when I was in school (a Monday to Friday week) or working for the Ontario Government (a Monday to Friday week), not when I was working a job with an irregular school. If you work a job with an irregular schedule you may think my theory is really crazy nuts. But if you have a Monday to Friday week then you may just think its plain nuts.

How fast the month passes depends, not on how many days are in the month, but on what day of the week the first day falls on. If the first day falls on a Monday or Tuesday it will be slow. If it falls on a Thursday or Friday the month will fly by faster than Superman looking for a toilet when he has diarrhea. If the first day falls on a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday then the month will go by at a moderate pace. (Sunday slower than Saturday, and Saturday slower than Wednesday.)

The reason for this is that you never really pay attention to the day of the month on the weekends.

Take the scenario where the first day of the month is a Thursday. By Thursday you're more concerned that the weekend is fast approaching. Same thing with Friday. Then you ignore the dates on Saturday and Sunday. When you return on Monday you look at the calendar and see that it's already the fifth! You've only spent two days in the month and it's already the fifth! Furthermore, it's already the second week of the month.

But the month is still so new you haven't grown impatient with it yet. Then, the following Monday it's the 12th and you're already well into the double-digit dates, and the month is almost half over and you've only been in it for seven days!

Now, on the other hand, take a month that starts on Monday. On the first day of work it's also the first day of the month. After five days in the month you still haven't had a weekend. Then you have a weekend and on Monday it's the 8th. You're not even in the double-digit dates yet. You have to wait for Wednesday for that pleasure. You don't reach the middle of the month until the next (3rd) Monday, and what's worse is that (unless it's February of a non-leap year) you have 2 more whole Mondays in that month left! A total of five Mondays! Nobody wants five Mondays in a month!

If you don't believe me, think about how long this month has been and that it started on a Monday. Then pay attention to the next month (February) which starts on a Thursday. It will be fast. Just in case you think that it went by fast because it only has 28 days, pay attention to March which has 31. (February also presents the problem of it being a bitter, cold winter month which will create the illusion of greater length. March may turn out to be a nastier month, weather-wise, but at least March contains hope.)

UPDATE: Here it is, one month after I originally wrote this and look how fast February is going by. Today is February 19. It was February 1 just yesterday. The day before that was January 31. The day before that was January 31. And the day before that was also January 31. In fact, it was January 31 for four and a half days in total this year. And lets not talk about how many days January 30 took up.

1 comment:

C.F.B said...

Oh my....I have to say that I all depends on how busy you are during the week and months....with my work schedule my weeks never really start anywhere. They kind of flow into each other...I have also heard that the older you get the faster time goes by...what happened to the 24hour days, 7 days a week...maybe we are just too busy to take the time to realize how slow time really goes by. Who knows????