The Chocolate Lady

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's time for that schizophrenia we call, "Daylight Savings"

It's hard to believe that making a one hour adjustment to our clocks could cause such discombobulation, but somehow it does.

When I was in high school, my English teacher mentioned a tribe of people that had no concept of time, they only thought in the present. Well, I couldnt quite get that, and perseverated on it for quite some time, like, it's been 27 years and hear I am talking about it.

The group was Indian, and I dont remember if they were, "Native American" or from India, but they had little resources or technology. I remember my teacher talking about them walking miles to get water to boil for dinner, and pretty much that is where my incessant need to understand this concept set in, and my ears turned off.

"If they never thought of the future, they wouldnt go get water? right? I mean, it took hours, and a long walk to get the water, but if they werent thinking ahead to dinner (and boiling the water) they wouldnt have ever gone to get it in the first place? right?"

Im sure I drove her crazy, as I just couldnt wrap my head around people that never considered time, ever, at all. It just didnt seem possible.

Then we have our tightly wound culture, which is a bit nit picky in the time department.

For example, when I was in high school, we had 7 minutes to get from class to class. Not 6 or 8 minutes, but 7. As you can imagine, this caused the start time for all classes to be things like; 10:42 and 1:34...nothing rounded to the nearest 5, nope, everything was down to the nearest 60 seconds. Detentions awaited those that didnt have their watches synchronized.

When I worked for the county orphanage, it was like a black comedy on the insaneness of time. We had to check in at a desk to get our keys, and up above the desk was a giant digital clock which counted down to the SECOND!

Getting to work was no easy task. Forget about the horrendous freeways we deal with in Southern California, getting to the "control desk" was a feat in itself.

Once you found a parking spot, which was not easy, as there was always construction from the neighboring jail and courts which seemed to have continual remodeling, you then had to get into the building. You would buzz a bell at the door, wait for someone to let you in, buzz at another door, then go to your mailbox and get a tag, which you would bring up to the control desk under the gigantor clock.

It was ridiculous. It was like a maze or scavenger hunt, and God help you if the people that should open the doors (when buzzed) were busy, and took an extra few seconds.

The county was very strict, and if you were 1 second late, you were late. And it didnt matter when you actually entered the building, the time was counted when you were at the desk with your tag. AND, if you had 3 tardies (throughout your employment, it didnt start over each year) you would be SUSPENDED.

I was suspended once. I had worked there for 5 years, and had never been more than 2.5 minutes late, and was suspended.

I see I've gotten off on a tangent about the ridiculousness of time, but can you imagine the folks in that Indian tribe, getting all bent out of shape if they got to the water hole 3 seconds too late?

So now, we have gone and changed our clocks an hour. We have shifted in space, a whole 60 minutes, and for some, it's hard to function under the new order.

When I was single, I liked daylight savings, because it would stay dark longer in the morning...which allowed me to sleep in without the sun waking me.

Now that Im older, Im not such a fan of this feature. I havent been able to "sleep in" in over 8 years, so there is no benefit to the sun rising later. No, now that I wake up early, it helps me to have the sun there to prod at my eyeballs and get me moving, and with daylight savings I dont get that assistance. Im forced to stumble around, in the dark, and turn on lights, and grumble that if God wanted us to be up that early he would have given us an earlier sunrise. And bemoan the ridiculousness of schools starting so early, how are we supposed to feed and dress our kids and get them to school at such an unreasonable hour?

Im of the mindset that you should wake up naturally, when your body is ready, like you see them doing in those mattress commercials, silky jammies, soft curls in their hair, smiles on their dewey faces as they greet the morning sunshine, which filters in through their window sheers.

But now, with daylight savings, we dont get that opportunity. It's gonna be dark in the mornings, DARK. Im not looking forward to our first Monday (ie. school day) under the new time, Ill let you know how it goes.

As for the second half of daylight savings, the savings part, where it gets to stay dark longer. Well, that has some benefits, of course.

In our house, the biggest benefit is that when Pooper gets out of the pool at 5:15pm each day, it will still be sunny and warm. This winter, it was often getting dark, and very cold, and that made practice dreary. I know he is happier about the time change, so that he doesnt feel as if he, "swam so long, until nighttime."

I know the late night sun is great for those whose parents let them run around like helions until it gets dark, but my kids arent in that group, their mom is not that nice.

The downer, is that my kids go to bed at 8pm. Actually, they go pick out their bedtime story at 7:35, and are in bed with their books by 7:45, so that lights are out and bedtime is over by 8pm.

Thanks to daylight savings time, that would be the same 8pm when it's still sunny outside.

It's gonna be hard enough to convince my kids to get in bed when the sun is saying, "hey, Im still here, it's too early for bed!", and even harder when they hear the screams and laughter of the neighbor children, frolicking outside beneath their windows, singing high school musical songs and riding their bikes.

It's just a darned hour. Why do things change so drastically over 60 little minutes?

I meant it when I said I still obsess about that Indian tribe. Im pretty sure they are a relaxed bunch. No bedtimes, no alarm clocks, and no daylight savings time.


Cortney said...

I feel your pain! I start work at 7and it was VERY rough this morning to get moving.

We could all move to Arizona where there is no daylight savings time!

The Running Girl said...

This morning was tough for me as well. The kids are on spring break and my husband took today off, so it was just me that had to get up. Usually my husband gets up first and turns the lights on and that helps wake me up. Not this morning. And it didn't help that it is raining and dreary here today. But I do have to admit that I like it staying light later so that I have more time to workout.

Grandma J said...

Couldn't those indians move closer to the water supply? I mean seriously...they could then turn those gourds into drums instead of water buckets...

I used to work for that same County...but I wasn't as important and no one cared if we were late. Actually, the first year I was there I remember my boss getting a bit ticked when I would say, "Hey boss, sorry I'm late."

The worse is living in places like Bullhead City, AZ and working across the river in Laughlin NV. I have actually seen people wearing two watches.

Maria said...

Your post made me laugh...I get what you're saying but I have eschewed time and schedules and all that. Eschewed, baby! but that is easy to do when you don't have a little pooper waking you up, too!! The day will come, my friend, when you'll be able to sleep in, I promise! Meanwhile, may I suggest sleeping masks for the kids who have to go to bed at 8:00 in the summer??

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

...and teachers extra hate the time change- at either end of the change- it just sucks! The kids are cranky and so am I.

And yes, those are real deer across the street from my house...adn they are counting the days until my tulips bloom!

Anonymous said...

Oh, we do feel your pain too.
You see, zero period in High school starts at 6.40 am. That means that now, with daylight savings, school starts at 5.40 am, and we have to get up at 4.15. What about a good nights sleep? Sofar no one could tell me how to send a teenager to bed at 8 or 9 pm.