So here we are again, groping around in the dark at a time marked on our clocks when the sun was peeking through our windows only a couple of days ago. We’ll walk around feeling like we are jet lagged even though we haven’t been on a trip. About the time that we begin to adjust to the clock, we will start all over again by falling backwards. We are rather divided in our political thinking these days, but surely we are mostly united in our desire to pick one method of marking time and stick with it. At this point in my life, I don’t really care which way we decide to forever set our clocks. I just want the insanity of going back and forth to stop.
We tend to believe that springing forward and falling back is simply an established way of life, but the reality is that this nonsense first occurred because of World War I. What should have been a reaction to war that changed back to normal once the conflict was over, has droned on for over a hundred years. All the while people have complained about the flipping and flopping of our routines without doing something about it.
Doctors have challenged the changing of times, insisting that it is bad for humans to deviate from routines biannually. Statistics confirm that there are always increased numbers of visits to emergency rooms in the days after the change takes place. Often the health issues revolve around heart attacks and serious accidents. For workers and school children it means changing the feel of the morning and evening commutes. It’s an irritating way of attempting to tame the rising and falling of sunlight that makes little sense when all is said and done since electricity now brings light to us twenty four hours a day.
I tend to be a standard time fan rather than daylight savings time. I’m not much for arising in the dark as I must do when Daylight Saving Time comes around. I worry about the school children who will be waiting for their buses to arrive before the sun has come into view. I don’t need daylight until nine at night. My system never feels quite right until we return to
Standard time. Nonetheless, I’m willing for forgo my preference for the sake of picking a plan and then sticking with it. If the majority prefers to arise in the dark and come home to many hours of sunlight before going to bed, I’m okay with that. I know that I will adjust in a few months and all will be well going forward.
I just don’t get the reluctance to set one way of keeping time and staying with it. The whole silliness reminds me of our human tendency to try something new, dislike it, and then keep it just because its been the norm for a time. I’ve seen that happen in education more often than it should. We all have a sense that the constant testing of young children is bad for everyone, but we keep those exams going anyway. Time and again we have seen that the SAT and ACT are not as accurate in determining success in college and life as we would like them to be, but we continue to harass our young with such hurdles. We humans have a tendency to stick with whatever we have legislated even when common sense tells us that our laws and routines are not working.
We could use a win for everyone and I suspect that ridding ourselves of the biannual changing of the clocks would be a great place to start. Imagine the joy of seeing Democrats and Republicans high-fiving each other in celebration of working together. Think of the joy of setting our clocks and never having to perform that onerous task again. Imagine becoming accustomed to a set routine with regard to our daily rotation around the sun. It would be a glorious common sense approach to life that might even begin to unite us in a teeny tiny way.
I’m feel off kilter this morning as I attempt to conform to the idea that last Monday my body awakened on its own at six. This week I have to set an alarm if I want to arise by that hour because my brain tells me it is really only five. The children are on mercifully on Spring Break this week but when school resumes they will be at the bus stop huddling in the dark without their usual energy and laughter. The mothers will stand watch over them in silence. Nobody will have the urge to chatter like they usually do until they have once again adjusted to the artificially inflicted time keeping.
Studies show that productivity will drop on jobs. More workers will arrive late than is usual. Some will have bouts of insomnia as they attempt to fall asleep. Their bodies are not fooled by the clocks. It will take time to find a natural routine again. Just as we finally adjust we will repeat the change in the fall. The complaining will begin anew. Talk of ridding ourselves of this plague will ensue. Nothing will happen once again.
Best of luck to all of you today. Only the folks in Arizona and Hawaii know what it is like to maintain a steady routine all year long. The rest of us will grumble and mumble and swear that the insanity needs to stop, but do little to make it happen. We will drone on until someone in Congress finally has the courage and good sense to propose a bill. Even that may fail because we seem to have decided to be contrary rather than finding ways to work together. It’s all rather tiring, isn’t it?