posts tagged with 'time change'

so dark!

Day length changes quick this time of year! Just last week were celebrating the equinox, and still feeling pretty summery; now we find it's still pitch dark at six in the morning. That's tough! Unlike most everyone around us, though, we don't mind so much the earlier sunsets. As a family of morning people, we tend to be winding down after dinner—or even before dinner!—anyways, so it's nice when the sky agrees with us.

Unlike a lot of Americans, I don't object to winter to the point of Seasonal Affective Disorder or anything like that. We don't have it that bad here in New England—there's not a lot of talk about SAD in Spain, I don't think, despite their sharing a latitude with us. We just happen to have some darkness and some snow, and I guess that's enough to get folks down. If you ask me, though, we most of us are sleep deprived all the time; maybe the shortening days can be a helpful hint to get to bed a little earlier! I imagine how cozy things must have been before electric lights and capitalism, when at midwinter there was nothing to do but sleep or sit around telling stories. Assuming you weren't starving to death, of course—first-world modernity does have some benefits.

I think the real problem people have with SAD may be because they have to work indoors all day. It's super hard to get up in the dark to go in to work, sit all day under florescent lights, and then come home in the dark. The natural world is telling them to go to bed, but that would mean a day of doing nothing but meaningless alienated labor. Like in this AskMe question. But if you ask me the answer isn't to stay up late and wake up with the help of fancy light alarms, it's to quit your job and become a hobo who sleeps and rises with the natural rhythm of the sun. Though I understand that doesn't work for everyone.

Ahem. All that is to say, I certainly agree that dark mornings make it much harder to wake up. I'm so glad we live on the eastern edge of our time zone! And I'm one of the few people to welcome the arrival of standard time, when it finally rolls around after Halloween. Until they get rid of entirely, which I imagine is only a matter of time. Oh well, by then I'll be a hobo myself so it won't bother me at all.

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ways in which times are changing, other ways they are not

Yeah, we had another storm yesterday. Winter holds us in its grip. And its grip feels particularly strong and fierce this evening, with all the snow that fell yesterday compressed into maybe five inches of icy cement, and giant solid snowballs lining the street. We're kind of over it; the boys declined to go sledding today. In their defense, they did play outside for a fair bit yesterday, despite the driving wind and icy snow-rain mix that fell all afternoon. Zion even helped shovel.

Zion shoveling in deep snow

digging out

But we don't even care about that, because we're enjoying the time change. Yes, you heard correctly; I've complained about losing our morning light before, vociferously in person and a little more mildly in these pages, but actually this year it's gone pretty well. We've managed to adjust bedtime to the new time almost instantly, and mornings are later but still relaxed. Most importantly for me, I'm getting up before the hens again! (long may it last).

This evening saw the boys outside to play after dinner for the first time this year. "Feel like" 15°F, but there was still sunlight so they they were. I think going out late put Zion in summer mode; his friends were wearing snow suits but all he managed was a sweatshirt. (Or maybe he just couldn't find his coat. That happens a lot these days.)

Judging by the forecast winter is going to stick around for a little while yet—that groundhog knew what she was talking about. But we know it can't last for ever, and all that hot sunlight coming through the skylight will be just the thing for starting seeds in a couple days.

So it's too bad that everyone else is finally starting to come around to my formerly grumpy view of time changes. We've had two great ones in a row, so now I'm happy enough to stick with the current system. But we're flexible; if you want to change it, that's cool too.

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falling back

Thanks to serious sleep debts all around in our household, we didn't have as much crazy extra time before church yesterday morning. But it was still enough to give us a nice reset—it was also nice when Zion asked for his bedtime story at ten of six! Of course, I still stayed up too late trying to update my computer's operating system (no luck so far), but besides that this time change thing is a complete success. I don't know whether to root for Standard Time 12 months a year, or to a rolling system in which we get an extra hour every two months or so. That seems like it could be useful. Is there any technology anyone could think up to slow the Earth's rotation just a tad?