Daylight savings, nighttime losses …

Sleeping Baby

Sleeping Baby (Photo credit: Lisa Rosario Photography)

Sleep is important.

Personally, it’s more important to me than most anything I can think of. I would gladly give up my favorite meal, a thick wad of cash or even the spare fifty IQ points I tell people that I have if it means I could rid myself of the wretched sluggishness that comes after I’ve overdrawn on my sleep bank account.

In fact, I’d happily give my left lung to simply have back the one hour stolen from me every year in March.

I hate Daylight Savings Time.

Ohio Clock in the U.S. Capitol being turned fo...

Ohio Clock in the U.S. Capitol being turned forward for the country’s first daylight saving time in 1918 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Except when it works in my favor.

The present moment does not fall into that category.

We are a society so tightly wound, so minutely organized, that we refuse to acknowledge our animalism. Our train tables, our baseball games and our prime time television shows fight for an adaptable clock, while our bodily clocks question the strategy.

My bodily clock does not just ask, “Are you sure about this?”—it rebels.

For six months until it gets its way.

My body wants a solar clock. Rise when the sun smacks you in the eye, and start shutting things down right after dinner, dishes and a Downton Abbey.

I am so attuned to the tiny shifts in the astronomical hours that it no longer surprises me to crack open an eyelid ten seconds before a tiny pinprick of pink light nudges above the horizon, announcing an aurora worthy of watching. Of course, the precursor to that event might have something to do with the fact that fifteen seconds prior to sunrise, a weight of around eight pounds, evenly distributed across four tiny paws and wrapped in fur, has perched on my chest and willed my eyes to open, which they remarkably do. It’s uncanny. Or uncatty.

Still, miraculous, right?

Retailers generally favor DST. United Cigar St...

Retailers generally favor DST. United Cigar Stores hailed a 1918 DST bill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And to be wholly pedantic with semantics, the official phrase is Daylight Saving Time, not Savings. And to be wholly persnickety with the phrase, there is no saving. It’s shifting, adjusting or simply sliding the assignment of a named hour to a slot that we like better than where it resided previously.

We’re control freaks.

We’re like tiny gods waving sticks up at the air and shouting, “Take that!”

And if Mother Nature happens to catch a glimpse of us, she’s probably shaking her head and she might even throw out one of our people’s best vernacular comebacks: Whatever.

 Yeah, that about sums up our collective human maturity when it comes to thinking we’ve got it all under control. We’re teenagers.

I understand the rationale behind the thinking, to make better use of daylight, but it seems absurd that we’re attempting to make the Earth bend to our will—our preferred and ‘set in stone’ tablets of behavior and time.

Thou shalt not golf in the dark.

I believe this absurdity (failure to coerce the Earth, not golf blindly) to be true only from past blundered experiments where my scientist daughter has repeatedly attempted to explain to me that no matter how hard I wish it to be so, no amount of positive thinking will change the laws of physics and discoveries of science. Mathematical equations will remain true to form no matter how many times you may cheer on the concept that 2 + 2 = 5. A four is a four is a four. Period.

Except when it isn’t.

Example? Some infinities are bigger than others. Thank you, 19th century mathematician Georg Cantor. Trying to wrap your head around that concept is likely to trigger a small brain hemorrhage. And since I covet every cell remaining in that gray amorphous matter residing between my ears, I can’t risk the possibility of injury. But if you’ve got extra, click here or here for more on Georg and his brain dissolving theory. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.Buzz (586x800)

But there’s more to this than math. There’s biology, which happens to be my main beef. Try to convince a dairy cow that, because the milk truck will arrive an hour earlier tomorrow morning, she’d better pump up the volume tout de suite, or worse, tell her to hold that bursting udder for another sixty minutes because you’re planning to hit the snooze bar for the next six months, and you will likely form a new theory all your own. Cranky cows like to kick.

I follow the sage advice of my yoga teacher who for countless years has been reminding me, and a throng of other zen-for-a-moment seekers, to “Listen to the wisdom of your body.” This mantra has been sewn into the very fabric of me. Every molecule. It’s found in the strain of my downward facing dog DNA.DogDNA (800x573)

I know there are countless reasons to support DST, but there exist just as many for why it interferes or doesn’t make sense. My favorite?

Allegedly, in order to keep to their published timetables, Amtrak trains must not leave a station before the time printed. Therefore, when the clocks fall back in October, all Amtrak trains in the U.S. that are running on time stop at 2:00 a.m. and wait.

For one hour before putting it into drive again.

Sleepy, confused passengers are surely scratching their noggins over the clever corporate decisions made in that boardroom.

There is so much more to say on this subject. Seriously, I could … yawn … go on and on with my argument.

Instead, I’m going to go take a nap. See you in an hour.

~Shelley

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery (here) and what we all talked about down in the pub (here). And to see more of Robin Gott’s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone–click here.

8 thoughts on “Daylight savings, nighttime losses …

  1. Shelley,

    You can thank George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist of New Zealand (1895). You like visiting there, right. Next time you do so, pass on your thoughts to his kin.

    In 1912, Germany was the First Nation to adapt the idea and implemented it. Since it is known to throw of the natural human circadian rhythm, it is fact that it often causes more stress on the human brain, heart and other. Hmm… any chance this had something to do with them starting the First World War? Lack of sleep, foolishness.

    “Wer zum Teufel stellen Sie die Uhr nach vorne? Ah, es muss die Österreicher! Holen Sie sie!”

    Best we leave the past in the past, eh?

    Did ANYONE ever take in to account the affect on CHILDREN!N!#$!? Nope. However, I’m not sure just how my three chitlens are able to stray around this as they still rise out of bed on weekends two freak’n hours before anyone, (even roosters offer their morning call).

    Enough babble, I trust the job search for little C was fruitful. I have to go melt a two foot thick ice dam off my roof ledge as it rained all night and more snow (yes Doc… it snows here EVERY God bless’n day!) is on the way. We (by-the-way) have stopped plowing our driveway as we had to choose our priorities… pay the plowman or pay the house mortgage. It’ s snowed that much. I’m considering detaching the holding tank as well.

    Grüßen Sie Ihre Familie,

    Jr. 🙂

    • I’m thinking you might have had an excess of dairy products today, buddy. I can feel the phlegm right through the screen. But I feel for you as far as die Kinder und das Dach. Hang in there. Spring is a’comin’. 🙂

    • It could that we’re both cats that can read–or that we both need to have our thyroid checked. Still, it’s good to have someone out there who mirrors my musings. Safety in numbers, right, Susan? 😉 Many thanks for reading!

    • It’s good to know sanity is protected somewhere in the world. I shall put South Africa on my list of possible places to move to in case I fail with my repeated petitioning of the government to repeal DST. And many thanks for reading, Susan!

    • The cartoons are the musings belonging to Robin Gott, a truly clever Englishman living in Malmo, Sweden. He’s schooled in fine arts, and works within the film and TV animation industry. I’m fairly sure he’s working on a web site for folks to see more of his works, but in the meantime, I’m snatching up whatever he’s willing to share with me. I, too, thinks his drawings are wonderful and I shall pass on your compliment. I’m sure he’ll be chuffed. Thanks so much for reading, Jo!

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