Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Time ... and why it sucks

Growing up, I thought Daylight Savings Time (DST) was a natural occurrence and was something we had to cope with as mere mortals against nature by setting our clocks back in the Fall and setting them ahead in the Spring. When I learned it was an invention by a mere mortal it started to lose its luster.

Benjamin Franklin first conceived of the idea and his rationale was that it gives people an extra hour in the evening in the summer of daylight. Living in the Pacific Northwest, this is hardly a boon considering that without DST it stays light until 9pm and with DST it stays light until 10pm in June. Somehow, having extra light from 9pm-10pm for a month or so just seems kind of ... useless. And it actually makes it worse in winter because we fall back, so instead of getting dark at 5pm in December it gets dark at 4pm. If it was going to do any good for those of us up north, then we would fall back in Spring to make up for lost daylight hours in winter.

But it continues on and will always continue on (except in Arizona ... which is so weirdly off in their old Wild West fantasy that these days they are talking about succession ... which I think many of us in the other states would fully support).

This is the first day I've forgotten about DST. I was supposed to be telling the children's story at church this morning and I had one all ready: explaining how Mardi Gras is the big party-of-excess before Lent and that Lent is the time to give up something that separates you from God. So, every year I try to give up being overly hard/critical of myself. And maybe the kids could think of something to give up - like whining or complaining or refusing to do chores or homework. I got up on time, I was making good time getting ready. Church starts at 11am and at 9:50am I was just finishing breakfast and planning on hitting the road at 10:15am just in case there's traffic so I could get there early AND ... I am reminded that it is DST and that it isn't actually 9:50am, it is 10:50am and there is no way I can do that 35 minute drive in 10 minutes. Bah! So annoying.

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