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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Back: An Extra Hour

Don’t you just wish they (whoever they are) would leave the time alone? Since I get up so early, I prefer standard time. Psychologically speaking the lighter the sky when I leave for work, the more awake I feel.

The best thing about the time change is the extra hour we have between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Have you ever thought about how much difference an hour can make? For some reason I can’t stop thinking about it. An hour can be the difference between life and death.

If I had not been in the exact place at the exact time I would not have met Jim on that summer Saturday in 1968. An hour would have changed my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren.

It’s easy to fritter away an hour here and an hour there. Most of the time an hour is insignificant but at other times it can come at a high price. When you miss a deadline by one measly hour, you can lose your job. If you don’t spend an hour studying for a test, you could fail a class. If a flight is delayed one hour, you can miss a connecting flight, which can cause you to miss an important meeting. An hour can be the difference between owning a home and seeing it reduced to smoldering ashes.

An hour can seem like an eternity if a loved one is missing, When Jim wandered off, minutes seemed like hours while we searched for him. The locale was different, but the heart-stopping fear was the same whether he was on our own road, lost in an airport, wandering around the mall, or lost in a crowd at Silver Dollar City. An hour can be the difference between a safe return and a tragic outcome.

Some surgeries only take an hour. I had an obstinate gallbladder removed in an hour. That hour meant living my life without painful attacks.

An hour can be for good or for evil. It can make a life changing difference or be of no consequence at all. When you think back over the last week, can you recall one single hour in detail? Can you think of an hour you would take back and erase if you could?

Those of us with fulltime jobs work 2080 hours per year. Our work day sometimes seems to be made up of slow moving hours. Of course we need to deduct vacation and holidays. When we are involved in a hobby or favorite activity, an hour speeds past on amazingly fleet feet.

Our lives are made up of hours. Those hours meld into weeks, months, years and become a lifetime. In the final hour, we learn the true meaninglessness of time.

We gain our hour tonight while most of us are in bed asleep. An extra hour can be the difference between being well rested or suffering sleep deprivation. It can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare.

But tonight, the time changes and we gain an hour. Have you thought about how to spend that precious extra hour? I don’t know what you plan to do with that bonus hour, but I plan to be sleeping. Soundly. Dreaming sweet dreams. Banking the hour for next spring when they (whoever they are) take it away and we lose an hour.
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