OK, so the time changed nearly two weeks ago, but this week’s installment of my thoughts and musings is about the recent time change and the proverbial “extra hour of daylight” we get to enjoy from now until autumn.
I like Daylight Saving Time and most people I have talked with agree with me. That was my “Sidewalk Survey” question last week and all six responses were from people who said they enjoy that extra hour of light in the evening to enjoy the warmer weather. People can now fish, garden, take walks, play sports and any other outdoor activity from a very long list.
There’s always some kind of negative side, though, and in my case it’s the effect the time change has on me in the mornings. I don’t know exactly when this change came about with me, but it certainly was well before this most recent time change. I used to consider myself more of a “morning person” than a “night person.” It was no big deal to wake up and get out of bed early. In fact, before I was in the journalism business, I had jobs which started at 7 a.m. or earlier, so I was rising (and sometimes even shining) by no later than 6 a.m. How did I even do it? I guess we all just do what we have to when we have to, but looking back on it, I’m baffled.
So, now I’d rather sleep in, which I do just about every chance I get. But when the time changed to Daylight Saving Time, my usual rising time of 7:30 a.m. or so, suddenly seemed like 6:30 a.m. to my mind and body, because basically it was 6:30 a.m.!
The reality is, we don’t really get an extra hour of daylight. The sunlight hours and minutes do increase as summer approaches, peaks in June and then the days start shortening again. But, yes, we do have an extra hour of daylight during the time of the day when we can best use it … which is in the later afternoon and evening.
Right after our most recent time change I heard someone say, “the government is the only thing I know that says you can cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it onto the bottom end and call it a longer blanket.” Simple, but true. But, I’ve always heard several people say they wish the time would just stay this way and not go back to “standard” time in the fall of the year. I think I’ll agree with that. As I already said, winter days are naturally shorter, no matter what our clocks say. But it sure feels much more gloomy when it gets dark at 5 p.m. or earlier.
So, as with most things, there are good and bad points, pros and cons and two sides to the coin. Where do you stand on changing the clocks twice a year? I’d really like to know. Parents with school-aged children argue that when the sunrise is put off by an hour, their kids are waiting for the school bus in the darker and cooler conditions. That’s a valid point. Others, like myself, whose kids are way beyond school age are more interested in the fishing, golfing, gardening and other outdoor pursuits Daylight Saving Time provides. There’s just no perfect answer. Is there ever?