Daylight savingsÖ not the biggest change

 

As I sit to write this, it has been less than twelve hours since the clocks officially switched.

Like most people, I used my extra hour of sleep from the ďfall backĒ change productively. Thatís sarcasm. I woke up around the time I usually do, which essentially meant an hour earlier than I wanted to be awake. Just the way we all want to start off any morning.

The thing is, losing or gaining an hour really doesnít change the world much for me. I need to switch the times on a few of our clocks, but the rest is over fairly quickly. It might take me a few mornings, but eventually Iíll adjust and things will return to normal. Tigg and I donít have specific routines as far as a bedtime or such, but the basic patterns of reading or watching television transitions to settling in for the night. Standard stuffÖ and all becomes the usual without much effort.

The more striking part of the Daylight Savings on and off switches for me is usually sunset. Here in November, itís suddenly darker an hour earlier. Headlights on when they hadnít been needed on a regular basis for more than half the year. But again, I donít know if that changing of the clocks and swing of an hour is the biggest change for me.

Around here, it isnít uncommon to be able to do things outside without lights until 9pm or later in the summer. I recall being on the highway once in early July a few years back, driving to meet up with Terry, and it was well after 8:30pm before I first saw any lit headlights on cars driving in the other direction. And although I had switched mine on, I was a bit stunned at how long the surroundings remained bathed in daylight.

The summer months seem made for after dinner events. You can eat a late meal and still have time to mow the lawn. No worries about being able to see everything as you water the garden. Still, I tend to notice when the sunset just before 9pm becomes 8:30Ö 8:30 becomes 8Ö 8 creeps toward 7. The fact remains, summer has drawn to a close, regardless of any days in the fall of unexpected warmth, when sunlight determines what you can or cannot get completed outdoors on any day.

The outdoor seasons end long before daylight savings ends. The day was already significantly shorter before clocks needed tending and things jumped by an hour.

Iíve never given much thought to the adjustments of the clock in my daily life. About the only thing it made any significant contributions toward involved the school calendar. Kids are the ones moving around 7am as far as our household schedules, going all the way back to my youth. Standing at the bus stops before sunriseÖ yeahÖ the movement of an hour matters. But for most other things, at least the indoor things, not so much. Iíve never been an early to bed, early to rise, the sunrise and sunset determines my ability to get everything done so make the most of every moment of daylight person. (AgainÖ garden excluded.)

It doesnít really change the ideas of how much fuel we burn heating the house, or when we turn lights off or on to see inside. In fact, even though I mentioned things like summer activities and noticing the position of the sun, the reality is Iím not looking to mow the lawn in January or February. The beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time really isnít the dynamic change to my schedule that it might appear it should be.

I have family in Australia though. For those of you that might not know, out there they spring back and fall forward. (Actually, they donít. Their seasons are essentially opposite to those of us in America. That means they also spring forward and fall back. But since itís me reading the clock, and I need to adjust my thoughts about making calls or expecting to see texts from them, the joke works.) They also donít adjust their clocks on the same dates. The end result are these staged two-hour swings that take roughly a month to complete.

If you want to know my opinion on whether or not we need to continue with Daylight Savings or bring it to an end, Iím completely without a care. Heck, thanks to the location abilities of my phone and even the GPS unit, I donít need to make an adjustment when I move in and out of certain time zones. (Technology is such a wonderful thing.)

Unless Iím up for a major move twice a year, Iím not going to be able to secure those early sunrises and late sunsets for the entire calendar run. I donít see that happening (at least not any time soon).

 

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com