Nov 262014
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I’ve written about daylight savings time before. In general I like it. Most of the time I’d rather have the extra sunshine at night than in the morning. But the transition is really a trial. Twice a year I have to set the clock and in these times when everything is electronic and programmable the number of clocks to set keeps growing. At least those electronic clocks are set and forget. It may take a half-hour to reset the oven, the microwave, the thermostat for the HVAC, the clock in the car, the sprinkler system, etc. but at least once you are done you can forget it. The bigger problem is resetting the clock in your head because that clock runs on automatic pilot. There is no convenient dial to change the settings or automatic adjustments that you can program. It’s got a mind of it’s own that resists.

daylightsavingstimeEach six months when the time changes it takes at least a week for my internal clock to reset. During that week my body is pissed at the disruption and it lets me know. I either wake up early (Spring) or oversleep (Fall) and both times I get jumpy and irritable for no reason. I have trouble going to sleep, trouble waking up and a tremendous need to nap.

I have found no easy way to deal with the impacts of that one hour time change. It’s like jet lag in the way it messes up your life but without any of the mitigation. I’m fine with a bit of inconvenience to make a 4 hour time shift and wake up in Buenos Aires or a 9 hour time shift to be in Venice. I’m not fine when a measly one hour shift causes just as many problems and I’m still at home.

Pretending that it’s like jet lag doesn’t help wither. Our usual jet lag prevention technique is staying up until 11 on the day we arrive at our destination. When traveling, this seems to help. I’ve tried this for the daylight savings time shifts without noticing any benefit whatsoever.

So once more I’m adjusting to daylight savings time. I’m sitting here groggy and confused. I set the clocks ahead last night, was in bed at midnight (daylight time) and fell asleep promptly. So far, so good. I got up at 7:30 ready to write but now at a little past 9 all I can think about is that it’s really only 8 and how much I miss that lost hour. I know that come noon, I’ll be ready for a nice nap and when I wake up from that, I’ll still be dull and confused.

I guess I should just relax and go with the flow. I should just accept that today- and perhaps the entire week- is a waste. But I just have to resist. I’ve got work to do. So I’ll sit here today pretending that I’m 100% and pump out words that will embarrass me when I recover. Somehow putting in the effort seems better than giving in to the time change. I have to remember that the time change doesn’t only affect me. Millions of people will be suffering the same impacts. They won’t be handling it any better than me so it probably won’t matter. I can’t help but wonder if daylight savings time is worth it.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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