I hope, for your sake, you remembered to set your clock ahead one hour before you went to bed on Saturday night. If you didn’t, you might be reading this at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning instead of 10 a.m. Or wait. Maybe it’s 11 a.m.
Daylight Saving Time began Sunday and with it, we begin to get longer days and more sunlight. Don’t know about you, but that confuses me. I can’t, for the life of my, figure out how we’re saving daylight when the sun stays up longer.
But then, stronger minds than mine have been stumped for more trivial matters.
Although I love the longer days, I worry about the price I pay each time the clocks change. I love the old adage - one of the lasting lessons of elementary school - Spring forward, fall back. So we set our clocks forward in March to kick off Daylight Saving TIme.
Of course, that means we lose an hour of sleep because someone, in their infinite wisdom suggested we actually change the clocks in the middle of the night. It makes sense that, with the clock moving forward, we should go to bed an hour earlier the night before. That rarely seems to happen in my household, though, because the trappings of time don’t change until after we’re already in bed.
At bedtime, we must set our clocks back an hour. 12:30 becomes 1:30 really fast, and just like that, we’ve lost our hour of sleep.
“But wait,” you say. “You get the time back in the fall.” Wrong. Somehow in the back of our minds, we manage to tell ourselves it’s OK to stay up a little longer on those Saturday nights when the clocks fall back because we’re getting an extra hour of sleep. But that only happens if we go to bed on time.
Time has plenty of other odd quirks. I traveled with my father once to Dothan, Alabama, a town on the Georgia border. We arrived there at 1 a.m., but when I walked into the office of the factory at which we were delivering some goods, the clock on the wall read only midnight.
Surprised, I ask the guard at the front desk, and he confirmed that Alabama is in a different time zone than Georgia, the state we’d just left. Crossing a river was all it took to turn back the clocks.
That change is a little easier for me to comprehend, because I understand that it can’t be 5 o’clock everywhere, despite the Allen Jackson and Jimmy Buffet song that made us all wish it was quitting time whereever we were.
My scant knowledge of the arbitrary time changes we apply for Daylight Saving Time, tells me there were many reasons for changing the time, from giving farmers more time to work in their fields, to savings on oil consumption for people who wouldn’t drive after dark.
Whatever the reason for changing the clocks twice a year, I guess I would prefer we settle on a time we can all live with and leave the clocks were they are.
But time stands still for no one. Especially people like me who can’t figure out how to really take advantage of the extra hour each fall when it arrives.