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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Spring Forward? by Annette Dashofy

Did you remember to change your clocks? More importantly, did you set them ahead? Do we spring forward and fall back? Or spring back and fall forward? Now that I have you questioning whether your clocks are correctly set, let me assure you, we all lost an hour last night.

With smartphones and computers making the shift for us, we’re less likely to find ourselves arriving late for church or Sunday brunch. However, today is one of two days each year when everyone becomes zombies, wandering around in a daze, wondering what time it is. It’s like jetlag without the benefit of having gone anywhere fun.

While I hate the time change hangover, I confess, I’m the only person I know who doesn’t mind the shift in the clock. Yes, I know the argument. In today’s world, the time change is stupid.

The idea of changing the clocks every spring and fall was first proposed in 1784 by good old Benjamin Franklin, although it wasn’t until 1918 that the U.S. passed Daylight Saving Time into law. As a farm gal, I totally “get” it. Back in my hay baling days, we’d be out in the fields working until after 9:00 to get that last wagonload in.

Don’t yell. I also totally “get” that the vast majority of people no longer need that evening daylight anymore. But I grew up celebrating the extra hour of light after supper. It’s one of those signs of spring. Like the groundhog seeing (or not seeing) his shadow, or the first robin, or the appearance of daffodil sprouts. It’s the beginning of the end of my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Instead of eating dinner, washing dishes, and then longing for bedtime, with the later sunset, I’m more inclined to go outside and take a stroll or start cleaning out my flower beds.

I can hear you argue, okay, let’s keep the clocks at DST and not change back to standard time. We’d have more light in the evening all year round.

But just think about those long dark mornings. Do we really want sunrise to be pushed to nearly 9:00 a.m. in December and January? I don’t.

So I stand before you as the lone supporter of springing forward and falling back—even though I too am a zombie. And have a cat whose internal clock has NOT changed.

Dear readers and writer friends, what are your thoughts on the dreaded time change? What are your proposals for fixing it? Or are you like me? Confused but happy to have the extra hour of daylight.



Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I'm a zombie this morning, though I will enjoy long spring and summer evenings.

Annette said...

Margaret, you're in good company. DST Zombies are definitely roaming the earth today!

Kait said...

Very timely! There was a time, I think during the Nixon administration, when DST was discontinued due to the energy crisis. For a few years it was wonderful to not change the clocks. Concerns about students waiting at bus stops and walking to school in the dark resulted in a change back to DST.

I'm good either way, although I will be a zombie for the balance of this week, too. At my Maine home we have 16 hours of daylight in the summer and only 8 in winter. Despite the extremes, the day/night balance feels natural.

Annette said...

I'd forgotten about that, Kait.

KM Rockwood said...

I was always uncomfortable with my kids waiting for the bus in the dark (no sidewalks, and maniacal drivers late for work tearing down the roads.) But that happened part of the year no matter what, since the first bus pickups were before 6 am.

Once I read a letter to the editor in a small city surrounded by farms where the fellow who wrote in said he really appreciated the time change, since he thought his crop did much better with the extra hour of sunlight.

Susan said...

I’m one of the “wish we could leave the time alone” people. Sorry.

Kaye George said...

I'm totally with Susan. One time, all year long. We should get to at least vote on this.

Annette said...

KM, I'm shaking my head over that one!

Susan and Kaye, I totally understand and acknowledge that I'm in the minority.

Storyteller Mary said...

Mom said my dad hated that just as sunrise was early enough for him to see the sun before starting his shift at McDonnell Aircraft (no windows), DST would put him back in the dark. I wish the time would stay the same and people would adjust their schedules to suit their needs. I never change the answering machine, and haven't figured out the new-er Prius's clock either.