WITH APOLOGIES TO Bob Dylan… yes, the times are changing, but not how he meant in his song of the same name. No, this time the change is more scholarly than spiritual. It’s our annual move, every fall, from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. It complements our annual conversion, every spring, from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time.
It happens every year, yet people still struggle getting used to it. First we spring forward, then we fall back… and in each instance, as sure as the sun will set before the 6 o’clock news, complaints will follow.
Undoubtedly, most of us like the long summer days where our sunlight sticks around to almost 10 pm. Conversely, folks don’t like coming home from work during the cold winter months at 5 o’clock… in darkness.
But most of the fuss about the change has to do with schedules… work, school, and sleep. It seems a fair number of us are so regimented in our daily and nightly routines that any disruption, even one hour twice a year, is enough to send us into clock-shock.
Really? You’re so rooted in your hour-to-hour comings and goings and how they align with the sun and the moon that you want this traditional adjustment discontinued?
In addition to themselves, some contend their school-age children have trouble dealing with the change as well. And not to be outdone, pet owners swear their fur babies also suffer from time-change discombobulation. Oh my.
With the change being put in place on Saturdays at midnight, most of the problems come about with people being an hour late, or early, for church. For that, I’m sure you’ll be forgiven. Otherwise, what’s the problem? In the case of fall-back, we get another hour in which to not do the things we planned on doing. It’s a win-win!
The spring-ahead thing is a little different, in that we actually lose an hour. Since that usually means an hour of sleep, just change your alarm at the same time you change your clock. On that one morning of the year, get up an hour later. Problem solved.
The history of Daylight Savings Time in the United States goes back to 1918 when the practice was adopted nationwide. Every state participates, with the exception of Hawaii and Arizona, for reasons unknown to me.
There has always been the thought that the farming community was behind the idea, but apparently that’s not the case. The reason is more related to energy savings… having daylight better aligned with activities, both work and play. It was actually introduced many years ago to save candles. I’m not sure why that matters today, particularly when we have something called electricity, but as with many things, the status quo prevails.
The term itself… Daylight Savings Time, is misleading. There are exactly 24 hours in the day, and depending on the time of year, a number of those are going to occur in daylight. If you actually know how to find us another hour in the sun, your talents are being wasted here.
In case you haven’t picked up on it, the time change occurs this weekend, Sunday morning at 2am. That’s when you’re supposed to turn your clocks back one hour.
For my money, which isn’t much, I wouldn’t mind year ‘round Daylight Savings Time. And although I know a lot of people hate it, I’m also okay with the twice-a-year time change. So change… don’t change… I don’t care, but whatever you do, don’t mess with our long summer days. Enjoying a late sunset helps make up for five months of dinner in the dark.
As much as we may value stability, and whether you like it or not, the times… they are a-changin’.
Hello darkness, my old friend.