March 13 is approaching fast, and in less than a week we’ll advance our clocks by one hour to dive once more into the madness of daylight saving time (DST).
New Zealander George Hudson proposed the idea in 1895, which got implemented first in Germany, Austria and Hungary in 1916. The effort became especially popular in the 70’s, when many countries experienced an energy crisis. But is daylight still a good idea nowadays — the days of LED lights and fluorescent bulbs?
Some DST enthusiasts say that, because people are out later, they tend to spend more money, which is good for the economy. But did you know that the health woes and workplace injuries as a result of DST sleepiness are costing America $434 million annually?
I can relate to that, as I feel the impact of DST all over my body, wreaking havoc on my insides, forcing me to reset my biological clock and disrupting my sleep.
Did you know several studies have found that traffic accidents tend to spike after we make the one-hour switch because of groggy drivers? Also, a recent study found our productivity at work falls after DST, as we spend more time surfing the web aimlessly, checking Facebook and watching Youtube videos. And those can be really bad when they don’t feature kittens.
DST actually gets on my nerves especially because of two things. One, we have a clock hanging on the wall on top of a built-in closet in the office. To adjust it I need to bring our big ladder from the garage, climb it, adjust it, place it back on the wall, check if it’s leveled, climb down, then bring the ladder back into the garage. Simple, huh? But every time I see the clock and remember to get the ladder, I get caught up with some other pressing chore half way into the kitchen, and I forget all about it. So, for half a year, I’m reminded many, many times a day as I pass by the office that I’m getting forgetful and ultimately very, very old.
Second reason and the worst aspect of daylight saving is how it robs me of a precious hour of my life. In spring I start to feel the trembling anxiety in my soul as I sense a precious hour is about to be stolen from me. When it happens, I wake up and it’s already late. I go to sleep and I can’t catch up with my schedule. Even worse, what if I die during summer?? I’ll die an hour earlier than I should, a whole hour lost, an hour I could have spent reading a marvelous book.
Every fall, as our clocks are changed one hour backwards, I rejoice in being reunited with my precious hour. I feel protective of it, kidnapped for months, and we celebrate its return. I sleep it, I browse books in it, I eat over it, I walk it around with my dogs. And eventually my hour and I settle back into our life routine… until March starts to approach… and we anticipate our impending goodbyes.
Can we please stop this insanity and leave my hour alone??
~ Daniela Caride