Today is the day after our annual time to “spring forward” and as usual, I’m feeling a little grumpy. Not because my sleep patterns are so easily disrupted that I wake up feeling like the living dead. The reality is that I can usually adjust to the time difference, with a few extra caffeinated beverages (yes, I know they tell you NOT to do this). My main issue with this clock adjusting ritual is that it seems so unnecessary.
Daylight Saving Time arose out of a need to conserve energy during wartime, in an era before we had so much technology that allowed us to expend energy well beyond sunset. Our evening lives have changed dramatically from even 20 or 30 years ago — that extra hour of light isn’t necessarily saving us much when you look at the science. In the summer alone, consider our use of air conditioning, which has become common in households across all socioeconomic spheres and has to make a negative dent in that “saving.”
Sometimes, I wish I lived in one of those states or Indiana counties that just ignored the concept and let everyone have their circadian rhythms to themselves. The federal law allows states to enact Daylight Saving Time or ignore it, and many researchers and petitioners are asking to abolish it everywhere, as the data suggest a greater toll on our health and economy.
So here’s a challenge for everyone, for any day, about how to not stress over time. Think of small things you can do with your day to pull in some extra time. Couldn’t you save that infamous Daylight Saving Time hour you lost? Once you get creative, you might start enjoying the challenge. I think what frustrates most of us is that we feel like our time isn’t our own, particularly at work. But wouldn’t it be nice if every worker took a stand and implemented some new strategies?
I can’t change the fact that the Great State of California continues to recognize this silly practice. So, what to do, besides working in some small strategies? Put “time” into a different perspective.
I have been feeling stressed about time since last Friday, when I lapsed in my dedication to write each day about “what not to stress about” and of course, I haven’t written anything. Why? I was feeling like time was getting the better of me — between researching for a potential new job, preparing for interviews, preparing for travel, and suddenly feeling a huge cold coming on. I felt like time was something I needed more of.
So, here are a few time-related topics that got to me over the last few days — and here is my perspective on how to reframe these:
Friday — I was fretting over getting some résumés sent out because “I said I would” and I was getting ready to go to a cocktail party, which had me thinking more about what to wear. Okay, so who exactly was going to read those résumés over the weekend?
Saturday — I woke up with a very bad sore throat, which in my world usually is a precursor to an upper respiratory infection. I threw all my herbal remedies at it, all day, but kept thinking about how much time I was wasting by feeling sick, how much of a slacker I was for sitting around taking care of myself. Well guess what… I felt better the next day so was all that time really wasted? Hadn’t I accomplished something quite marvelous by lessening my symptoms and promoting my own health?!
Sunday — Ah, the first day of the dreaded Daylight Saving Time. I actually did not notice it because I was feeling more tired from the onset of a cold. Since I had gone to bed early and slept a tad later, I didn’t feel it at all. And I didn’t stress about the fact that I knew that waking up tomorrow (today) was probably going to find me grumpy and quite off my rhythm. I just let that go.
Today — Now I am feeling the full effects of losing that hour of sleep. And yes, I am grumpy. But who cares? I can set my own schedule and I know tomorrow will be better. I also saw a beautiful interview with Valerie Harper, of Mary Tyler Moore Show fame, where she bravely talked about her recent diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. I thought to myself, “Time is fleeting, precious, extraordinary, and here with me RIGHT NOW.”
So with that, I am going out into the day with an amazing appreciation of time.