There is an event that takes place twice each year, and I always dread it. I don’t like having to turn my clocks ahead one hour in the spring or back one hour in the fall. I wish we could just leave our clocks alone.
Like many people, I grow accustomed to a certain routine. When something messes with that, it totally throws me off.
I have a built in internal alarm clock. While I do set an actual alarm each night, I always wake up a couple minutes before it goes off. I only set that alarm to cover me during those very rare occasions when I might actually oversleep.
My built-in clock comes in pretty handy. It is not dependent on electrical power, so even if the power should fail during the night, I still wake up on time. I am sure my wife appreciates my built-in clock as well. Since I usually wake up before the real alarm goes off, I can deactivate it and get up without disturbing her slumber.
But my internal clock also has disadvantages. I don’t have to get up early on Saturday or Sunday, so I never set the alarm on the clock beside my bed. But I can’t seem to find a way to disarm my internal alarm. No matter what I do, it always goes off and wakes me up. Once I am awake, I find it almost impossible to go back to sleep. There must be an internal coffee pot in there too.
That same infernal internal clock also wakes me up on holidays and vacation days.
Whenever the time change takes place, my internal clock becomes totally confused. On one of the changes, it wakes me up an hour early. During the other, it wakes me up an hour late. It takes me at least a week to get everything back in sync again.
But the most recent time change not only threw my internal clock out of kilter, it also misadjusted my internal calendar. I went to bed Saturday night knowing that the time was going to move forward an hour, and I knew that the next day was Sunday. The clock beside my bed made that change automatically during the night. Somehow, the calendar inside my head also changed, leaving me in total confusion.
I awoke Sunday morning and the clock told me that I was running late. I had slept past the time that I normally get up to prepare for work. That shook me a little, because I always wake up before the alarm goes off.
I am not sure why, but for some reason, my internal calendar told me it was Monday morning. I grabbed my clothes and hurried upstairs to the shower.
As I was showering, I thought about how quickly the weekend had passed, and found myself longing for just one more day. I began to play back the events of the weekend in my mind, starting with the previous day. I remembered attending special community event to take a photo for this newspaper.
Then it hit me, that was on Saturday.
Now I was really confused, what did I do Sunday? I could not remember a single thing about Sunday. Not only had I lost an hour with this time change, I lost an entire day.
Then a wire connected inside of my brain. Perhaps it was actually Sunday and not Monday. But it didn’t feel like Sunday. It felt like Monday. I had to find out for sure.
I got dressed and ran back down the stairs to my trusty computer. I knew it would display the correct time, the correct date, and the day of the week. My heart glimmered with hope. If it actually were Sunday instead of Monday, I would soon be back in my nice comfortable bed.
When I pulled the up the date up on my computer, It felt like Christmas arrived early. Even though it still felt like Monday to me, I confirmed that it was, in fact, Sunday.
But I was so excited about having one more day, I could not get back to sleep.
My internal calendar now seems back on track. My internal clock is still in need of adjustment. It will correct itself before the end of the week.
Around my house there are at least 10 clocks that have to be adjusted each time we spring forward or fall back. Most of them are pretty easy to change, except for the ones in my vehicles. I always have to drag out the owner’s manual to find out how to change the time.
I have been told that the main purpose for implementing daylight saving time is to make better use of daylight during the summer months by moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.
What that actually means is that I no longer have a valid excuse to get out of working in the yard or doing other outdoor tasks when I get home from my job. I have no excuse to avoid taking the dog for a walk or washing the car.
But we’ll all get used to the time change eventually, and it will be business as usual. At least until fall, when we have to turn our clocks back an hour and go through this annoying ritual all over again.
CourierTraveler reporter John Shelman can be contacted at (620) 442-4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.