This weekend, we, like the majority of America1, set our clocks back one hour. Full disclosure: We actually didn't set our clocks back this weekend. We have one clock in our house, the bedroom alarm clock, that is smart enough to set itself back automatically. It also sets itself when you plug it in. I don't know how it does it and I don't care, but every spring and fall, it's right on.
We have computers and cell phones that set themselves to the correct time. All the other clocks in the house stayed an hour off all day. With the exception of the microwave and oven clocks, those clocks are still wrong. But, for the sake of simplicity, let's pretend like we actually did set our clocks back. You know what I mean.
If daylight savings was enacted to conserve resources and was extended a couple years ago because it works so well, why don't they just stay on it? At this point, by the time Rhiannon and I get home from work on a typically weekday, it will be close to dark and it's only going to get worse for the next six weeks or so. And, instead of driving to work in the dark, we now get to fight the sun just coming up over the eastern horizon. I'd much prefer headlights.
Nothing about this is a win for anyone in our family. Brooklynn loves to go outside in the evenings, which will be harder to do now, even if the weather wasn't calling for cold and snow to finally reach Denver later this week. The only thing we stand to gain is if we can actually use the time change to start getting up earlier in the mornings to get some workouts or housework done. And possibly to get Brooklynn on a better night time sleep schedule in which she isn't cranky and irritable when waking up every morning. Ok, that's a little bit of win, but still...
Can we just pick a time and stick with it?
When I was in high school, my parents would go around setting clocks back the night before the switch, and you can still hear newscasters - assuming you watch the news - telling people to set their clocks back. With the prevalence of electronic gadgets that are connected via satellite and internet, the concept of physically setting a clock back is a little outdated. I even look scornfully at the old-timey analog face and hand clocks that we have in the house: sure they look nice, but they really need to get with the 21st century always-connected society.
Like I mentioned, our bedroom alarm clock automatically sets itself. Between that clock, cell phones and computers, I'm not worried about being an hour off. If it wouldn't be more annoying to see a clock wrong, I would have very little reason to go through the hassle of setting any of the other clocks in the house. That, and it might be fun to confuse house guests in the morning. I don't use them for anything more than checking the minutes as I typically have a good idea of what hour it is. There have been years in the past when I have never changed my car clock. I figure if I'm just going to change it again in five months, why bother.
The hardest part about this time change business is working with Brooklynn. She doesn't know what time really means. She just knows when she is tired, and trust me, when she is tired, we also know it. We are trying to move up her bedtime anyway, so it works out to put her to bed at the about the same time and actually have it be an hour earlier according to the clocks. For the next week, we get to play the "this time used to be that time so I guess it might be the right time to start bath time for the next time we go to bed time" game and try to guess how she'll react.
I know. Confusing.
Do I have a point? Was I supposed to? I'm not a huge fan of change. And changing the clocks twice a year seems a little silly. Like I said, if the savings from Daylight Savings Time are really so great, why not just make it official and stick with it for the rest of the year, right? We're already up to seven out of twelve months and some studies have shown that traffic accidents increase in the week following each time change.
It's actually a dirty little secret; the battery industry wants everyone to change the batteries in all their smoke detectors and giving out those reminders that say "Remember, it's the vernal equinox - check your batteries " just doesn't have the same ring to it.
- Our hometown is making the switch from the Mountain Time Zone to the Central Time Zone, so at 2 am or whatever time the clocks officially changed, instead of going from Mountain Daylight Time to Mountain Standard Time, they instead moved to Central Standard Time, which just so happens to be the same as MDT. So, no change. We are now the lone outcasts of Rhiannon's family still living in the Mountain Time Zone (you know, the one that most of the country doesn't care about, also known as God's Time). And of course, Arizona and Hawaii. ↩