Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Forward

Tonight, or should I say early tomorrow morning, is the time to set our clocks for daylight saving time. We know which direction to change the clock by reminding each other to “spring forward.”

So, I don’t have a problem with springing forward, but changing time, doesn’t work for me. But then, I don’t have any choice in the matter. I can’t continue using standard time when the rest of the country sets their clocks forward. Heck, it’s hard enough for me to be on time under the best of circumstances.

When the time changes, it takes weeks before my biological clock gets back in sinc with the clock on the wall. Anytime I travel to a different time zone, I go through this big mental adjustment. Whether I travel east or west doesn’t seem to make much difference. Either one will throw me for a loop, either while I’m there or when I get home.

One year, I carefully entered a schedule into my cell phone for the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum in Washington DC. I’m probably the only person who ever went to that much trouble, just to realize that I somehow managed to have the schedule set to Central time and every event I had painstakingly entered did not switch to the new time zone. Sure, the phone changed, but the entries did not change with it.

It seems that as I get older, I’ve reverted to questioning things—like daylight saving time. The first thing I found when I Googled the time change was that it is not “daylight savings time,” it is “daylight saving time.” In all honesty, we have the exact same number of daylight hours no matter what time the clock says. The whole idea is to rearrange time to suit our lifestyle, not to save any time whatsoever. Rearranging time is, of course, the biggest advantage.

The downside is that it messes up some of us for days, if not weeks. On the Monday following the time change, more auto accidents occur. Work productivity suffers.

I remember many years ago when I worked at a different job, we noticed one employee did not show up to work the day after the time change. One of my co-workers called him.

“What cha doin’?” he asked.

“Drinking coffee,” the missing employee replied, “like I always do this time of day.”

Boy, was he ever surprised to find out he was sitting there drinking coffee when he was expected to be at work.

Regardless of the extra daylight hours at the end of the workday, I always feel like an hour of my life has gone missing. It usually means an hour less of sleep for me since I can’t seem to go to bed early enough to get a full night’s sleep under the best circumstances.

It so happens that the older I get, the harder it is to make any fast moves and springing sounds like it could be beyond my speed. So, if springing is too hard, we could simply move forward. Each year we can move forward just a little slower.

Technically, it is not yet spring although the rain last night and the sound of dripping snow were hopeful signs of impending spring weather. All I know is that this is one year that proved that silly groundhog was wrong in his prediction—really, really wrong.

Before long, it will be officially springtime. Maybe by then, I’ll forgive Puxsutawney Phil for his faux pas. By summer, I’ll have adjusted to the time change and can enjoy the extra hour of evening daylight, which is after all the advantage of daylight saving time.

Copyright © March 2013 by L.S. Fisher
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