That dubious gift of an hour…

Photo by fdecomite:
Photo by fdecomite:

I’m still getting over the blessing of that extra hour I got on Sunday. Daylight Saving for 2015 ended Nov. 1, and I am still adjusting my sleep patterns. “Fall back” seemed like such a gift — an extra hour and on the weekend, no less. But come Monday morning, I was wide awake at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday, 3:45. This morning I managed sleep until 4 a.m.

When I was younger, I found “fall back” a tedious event — for it meant manually changing all the clocks in my house and car and wristwatch to reflect the new time. (“Spring ahead,” which begins Daylight Saving Time, was a little easier: Just move the clock hand or digital hour one place ahead. But, of course, losing an hour seems negative, despite the euphemistic “spring ahead” saying.) Today, my computer, phone, and cable box self-regulate time; I am left with few clocks to manually manage and more time, apparently, to whine (and change the battery in the smoke detector, as recommended by the fire department, of course).

Driving, for instance, can be precarious. Just weeks ago I was longing for Daylight Saving Time to end because the angle of the morning sun, combined with the condensation from humidity on my windshield, was blinding. I prayed for overcast mornings. The past few weeks, however, I was content, because the sun was barely up as I drove, safely, to work.

This week, with the time shift, the sun again is piercing my sight as I drive to work — and then again as I drive home. By the time I arrive home from work in a few weeks, it will be dark.

This practice of saving energy by extending evening daylight in the summer occurs over most of the United States and has occurred and does occur in numerous other countries around the world. The idea for Daylight Saving is to extend daylight into the evening hours during the summer. I personally like that aspect of it. In part, I like it because when I work out in the morning, it is still dark when I finish and I feel I’ve accomplished so much before sunrise. And the sudden extension of the evening when Daylight Saving Time begins makes me feel that summer is fast approaching, which makes me think I am about to be free from school, even though I am no longer a student or a teacher. That joy lingers still.

Likewise, the dark sky so early in the evening makes me anticipate winter — not that the Florida weather is cooperating — and, of course, Christmas, which brings me joy despite the hustle and bustle it promises. And having my body awaken long before my alarm clock isn’t so bad. It does give me more time to blog.

In general, the changing or shifting of the time is exciting. I like mixing things up — again, in general. In reality, I’m realizing that the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has truth in it. The older I get, the slower I adapt to the change in time.

I’ll probably adapt just in time to switch it up again on March 13, when Daylight Saving Time begins again. 🙂


If you’re interested in learning some interesting incidents and anecdotes connected with the twice-yearly shift in time, you should check out this web exhibit on Daylight Saving Time.


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