Monday, March 10, 2014

#152 - Where Did My Hour Go?

“It’s just another manic Monday.” – The Bangles

At this moment, I truly do wish it were Sunday (as the song continues). Not because Monday marks the start of another work week, although there is also that. No, it’s much worse than that. It is nothing less than what I am sure must be an insidious plot to make all of us automatons for several days while who knows what takes place. The plot of which I speak is Daylight Savings Time.

This weekend marked the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, that artificial extension of daylight hours originally intended to help conserve energy. Benjamin Franklin is said to have first proposed such a system so as to make more economical use of candles. The energy saving aspect is what caused Daylight Savings to be used during World War I and to be more permanently implemented during World War II. In the 1970s, the time frame for Daylight Savings Time was extended for additional energy savings during the oil embargo.

The period was later extended and codified at eight months in length, again presumably for energy savings. I’m sure it is mere coincidence that the eight month period of Daylight Savings just happens to coincide with prime growing and tourism seasons as opposed to those times of the year when we might truly benefit from an extra hour of daylight, the winter. I fully expect in the next few years that Daylight Savings Time will be extended once more, allowing it to run through Black Friday so that the mob of shoppers seeking out Christmas bargains can trample each other with an extra hour of daylight to run amok in. That’s only a few weeks past the current end date for Daylight Savings Time, so it would not require much of a change and could be made again under the guise of “saving energy.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Daylight Savings Time as much as the next person. During the summer and early autumn, both prime camping periods, I can enjoy extra hours of daylight out in the RV. I like having plenty of daylight whenever I can take the RV out of town for the weekend.

What I don’t like as much is that first day of Daylight Savings Time, when we lose an hour due to the adjustment of the clocks. Yes, it’s in the middle of the night, when we are presumably sleeping. And yes, we get that hour back sometime in the fall. However, that first day after “springing forward,” I don’t like doing anything close to “springing.” Instead, I feel like a walking billboard for Night of the Living Dead, as my body knows there is something amiss, even if it can’t quite put its finger on it.

At the start of Daylight Savings Time, I feel sluggish and continue to feel that way for several days, until my body finally adjusts to the change. For those first few days, Daylight Savings Time (DST) becomes more like Sleep Deprivation Time (SDT). While later I will enjoy and appreciate the additional hour of daylight, right now, I just want my hour back so I can catch up on that lost sleep.

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