Daylight Saving Time has begun. Or ended, I can never keep track of which. All I know is that when I’m supposed to being enjoying another hour abed my mind wakes up at the usual time on a weekend only to find it’s even earlier than I’m accustomed to. I ceased being able to sleep in when the commuting life began. From where we lived in New Jersey I had to catch a bus well before 6 a.m. daily to get to New York. Doing this for seven years set a pattern that I still find impossible to break and so I keep apologizing to my associates that no, I can’t attend evening meetings. The morning after I can’t sleep in. And then we change the clocks.
Many of us are creatures of habit. Twice a year we needlessly disrupt our routines so we can “save daylight.” What difference does it make when you’re staring at a screen all the time anyway? Now it gets dark even earlier in the evening. Well, that part I don’t mind so much. I feel less abnormal when it’s dark as I get ready for bed. An hour isn’t enough, however, to make it light when I awake. The daylight will now last about as long as work does. We’ve entered the darker half of the year. Of course, yesterday was Halloween and we’re now facing All Saints and All Souls and el Día de los Muertos. These are not all the same thing, for religion is very good at parsing things. Still, who can help but suppress a yawn?
We’re supposed to be well rested but in reality we’re disoriented. I’ve read that congress has been trying for years to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. This has bipartisan support, but politicians, being what they are, keep on inserting riders that the other side doesn’t like so we continue the pointless ritual. I know writers who stay up late to dedicate time to their craft. Since I’m awake early I guess I’m simply picking up where they’re leaving off. There are few interruptions at 2:00 a.m. Soon, I know, I’ll get back into the swing of things and I’ll eventually be able to sleep in to three. Then when March rolls around the gatekeeper will demand toll. We’ll lose that hour we were so freely given last night. But some of us will be tired all the time anyway.