I come to you from the future. Or I come to you from the past. Or I come to you from some alternate universe via the space-time continuum. I’m not too sure, actually.
Is your head spinning yet? Welcome to my world. It’s a pretty mind-boggling world. But then again, I can’t fault myself for my lack of space-time knowledge. You see, I tried being friends with a physics class in high school. We learned about the speed of sound, the speed of light and something about velocity (or maybe that was volume). Either way, we didn’t get along and broke up (read: I dropped that course like a hot plate coming out of the oven).
But this weekend, I had to put to work what little physics knowledge I had buried in the recesses of my brain. After all, it was time for man to do the impossible: use his mighty hands to actually alter time. Literally. We went to bed last night, and woke up this morning in the future. Well, not exactly the future, just an hour later as a result of Daylight Savings Time. It’s called springing ahead for us lay people (we do spring ahead an hour, right?).
And if you’re like me, you might even curse the term Daylight Savings Time too. All the questions rattle in my brain, and I need answers: Why are we so affected by a little thing called time? And, is the FDA ever going to approve some sort of pill that can at least help ease the symptoms during that horrible “I-want-to-take-to-my-bed” transition?
MORE JUICE AFTER THE JUMP…
I’ve always been one of those people whose inner clock is overactive. It’s practically on highest alert every second of every day. I live by the ticking hand of the clock. I rise precisely at 7 a.m. I eat lunch exactly at 11 a.m. And I can usually be found snuggled in bed by 8:30 p.m. – at the very latest. You see, I need time to be the one constant in my life, sort of like a gentle, invisible hand that keeps me going in the right direction and never lets me get lost. My own GPS system.
And don’t even get me going about traveling through time zones. I went to California a few years ago (remember that hot desert?), and for an entire week, if anyone asked me “What time is it?” my honest reply remained the same: “I have no idea.” It was the truth. All I knew for sure was that sunlight meant it was day and a dark, starry-lit sky meant it was probably night time. My mind and body even take a beating when I’m in the Eastern Time Zone; I think if I ever venture across the pond to Europe, I’ll need a heavy sedative or at least something to soothe my stomach, which will undoubtedly be twisted in knots for the duration of said travels.
But maybe I’m outraged merely out of frustration. Perhaps if we knew the history and reasons behind the time change, our lives would run more smoothly, sort of like we were suffering in the short-term for the greater good of humanity.
According to the U.S. Government, “One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity.” OK. Fair enough. I’m not opposed to saving energy. In fact, I’m pro-energy.
And then I discovered the true history of DST. Apparently, clock-fiddling began in 1883 to “standardize their schedules.” Who are they referring to? Our lovely railroads. So I’m suffering twice a year because some ancient train conductors more than a century ago wanted to make things a little easier for themselves? I’m not so sure I can accept this reason.
I apologize that outburst. You see, the time change is fully beginning to affect me now – apparently mentally as well as physically. But don’t you ever wonder where that missing hour goes? Think of all the things you could do with that extra hour. Sleep. Shop. Start your taxes. Sleep. Read the newspaper. Sleep. Couldn’t history make an exception for us 21st Century folks?? Or, at the very least, me?
Maybe I should have finished out that physics class after all. With my luck, the professor probably went over the space-time continuum during the second semester.