Friday, November 5, 2010

Spring forward, Fall back; rinse and repeat

This weekend is the end of Daylight Saving Time. 

Please note, it's "saving," not "savings" with an "s" on the end. You can't put daylight or time in a bank to be withdrawn and spent in the future. That would be very cool but it doesn't work that way. Time doesn't care who you are, what you do, what you think or how you use the finite number of breaths and heartbeats given to you on this earth. When you're finished, that's it. Doesn't matter what the clock is reading.

Time just marches on, as they say.

Still, it's amazing how many intelligent and otherwise reasonable people seem to think that when we turn the clocks back one hour late Saturday night or early Sunday morning that they will actually, magically GAIN an honest-to-God hour in their lives.

"Yay!" they say, "I get to sleep an extra hour!"

Patiently, I try to explain, "Uh, no. Not really. You'll sleep the same number of hours but the time will be different, that's all."

For some reason the fact that they turned the clock back one hour when they went to bed has totally slipped or befuddled their minds.

"No, when I wake up at ten tomorrow morning it will really be eleven!"

And that's where logic has somehow jumped the rails and turned over in a ditch.

"It will really be eleven."

My late, beloved Grandma Webster used to put us through our paces on this when we were just kids. For days, maybe weeks after a time change she would say, "It's really nine o'clock. Time for you kids to get in bed!"

"No, Grandma, it really is EIGHT o'clock!" we'd explain,  "Look, it says so right on the clock!"

She was undaunted because we were just dumb kids and she was in charge. And, so, we'd have to go to bed an hour early because the world had recently switched to Standard Time. Nevertheless, six months later we'd go through the same routine with her in the opposite direction.

"Why are you kids up so early? It's really only six in the morning."

"Grandma, no. It's SEVEN! See? The clock says so!"

After awhile she'd get her circadian clock in tune with the one on the stove. But it was a struggle to get her there.

And six months later, we'd do it all over again.

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