It’s Monday morning and I sit bleary-eyed in front of my computer, forcing myself to stay in the chair long enough to at least get a start on this column. I didn’t get enough sleep last night. At 10:00, the time I usually head to bed, I started reading a book—“Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta” by Richard Grant. It’s entertaining, but few books–including this one–are worth missing out on a good night’s sleep.
When will the madness of switching back and forth between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time end?
Research has shown and volumes have been written on the physiological and psychological stress caused by manipulating an hour of daylight. If I can pause here to rant, I’ll say this to those who go on and on about how much they love the longer days we get once we change to Daylight Saving Time: We don’t get any additional daylight. (If I weren’t so opposed to the use of exclamation points, I’d insert a dozen of them here. But I am, so I won’t.) We simply move an hour of daylight from the morning to the afternoon. Yes, the days are getting longer as the northern hemisphere tilts toward the sun. It has nothing to do with Daylight Saving Time.
As the years have passed and I’ve reluctantly come to accept that, in March and November, I’ll have to reset every clock I own, I’ve become more efficient at it. My trick? Use analog clocks everywhere possible. The alarm clock beside my bed. The wall clock in the bathroom. The little clock on the end table in the living room. Ditto for the two watches I own but seldom wear. Pull out the stem, give it a quick twist and voila—the time is right. I’m grateful that my car, a Toyota, has a simple digital clock. H stands for hour, M stands for minute. Easy peasy. Not true of the Fords I used to drive. I had to pull the owner’s manual out of the glove box every time I need to adjust the clock. As for the digital clock on my stove, forget it. It hasn’t shown the correct time since I moved in three years ago.
I adore clocks that know what time it really is without me doing a thing. I’m talking about you, laptop computer and cell phone.
Assuming the powers-that-be ever agree to quit changing the time, I don’t know whether I’d prefer light in the mornings or in the afternoons. As my granddaddy, a man of few words, might have said, “It don’t really make me no never mind.” Let’s just pick one or the other and stick with it.
As I put the finishing touches on this column, it’s 10:00 in the morning. And I feel a nap calling my name.
(March 18, 2018)