Monday, November 5, 2007

Falling Back: the abys of time change

I discovered something interesting this weekend: I don't react well to time falling back anymore.

I have always found it harder to spring forward; you know, move ahead an hour. That one steals an hour of sleep. It is also guaranteed to result in arriving for something an hour too late because there is always at least one clock that gets overlooked. Of course that leads to a discussion on why we have so many clocks in our lives but I'll save that for another day.

Ever since I was a child old enough to figure out, with help, that on the last Saturday night of October there was an extra hour I have relished the freedom it imparted on the evening's activities. This figured mightily in the Halloween party the fire auxiliary hosted every year. In high school the homecoming dance could run longer because family curfews would be relaxed a hour.

The college years took this extra hour to new horizons as the usual 2 a.m. deadline for guys/girls to be off-the-floor, not literally - sheesh, would be essentially 3 a.m. for one night. Of course the average college campus is a scary place to be on Halloween Saturday anyway. Watching all those normally reasonable people under the influence of all that greasepaint and grog was very, uhm, educational to put it delicately.

In later years, as the mother of at least one child, falling back prompted some preplanning with sleep schedule patterns. Children, at least young children, tend to sleep by pattern (at least ours did, of yours didn't or don't my sincerest sympathies) which could result in them waking up at o'dark-thirty. Parents who stayed up the extra hour are not happy when they don't get to sleep until the alarm goes off. So some sleep management would be in order to ensure Sunday morning harmony, more or less.

In more recent years I have been rather neutral on the fall time change. There are no longer children's sleep to manage, or Halloween parties to survive an extra hour, and I haven't lived on campus since forever. Falling back has just sort-of been "out there". It's been something that's immutable, and not ever going to change; until this year.

This year the powers that be decided that time was changing at all the wrong times. So beginning in the spring the time changes have been moved to make Daylight Savings Time longer. The rationale has been completely suspect and if you want to follow the legislative and PR word war about it just Google Daylight Savings Time.

So we arrive at this past weekend, which is a week later than time used to fall back. Things started out off-kilter when time changed after Trick-or-Treat. Parents of small children might appreciate that 6 o'clock is lighter than in the past but older kids do not want to traipse up and down the street in broad daylight.

But the effects time change didn't hit me until Saturday night. For the first time I could not figure out what to do. It was after Halloween so there were no parties to stay up late for. We go to second service at church so it wouldn't matter it we arrived early; we could just go to the first service. Still deciding how to spend the longer evening and what time to go to bed and what time to get up took a serious toll on my stamina.

So here it is Monday and I still can't figure out if I'm tired or awake, or even whether or not I'm hungry and for what meal. How do you deal with the new time changes? Leave a comment and enlighten all; please!


Shelby said...

Thanks for your comment this morning. I'm ok, just can't stand the thot of going to that crazy job. I hate being a quitter.

I think going to the doctor and getting an excuse is an excellent idea. I may do just that.

Sylvia C. said...

I loved the "falling back of time!"

Springing forward is much tougher.

It sorta reminds me of jet lag. You just have to push through until you feel normal again!


Sylvia C.