Time goes quickly when we’re busy or doing something we enjoy, and it drags when we’ve managed to choose the wrong check-out line. But when Daylight Savings Time springs forward to steal an hour from my day, it feels like an affront. How dare “they” take my hour?! I was going to …. what was I going to do with it? Read more of my book, make progress on that to do list, or something equally important and valuable, I’m sure.
We want to consider time a tangible asset that can be saved or spent wisely, but it can also be wasted. If I’m fiddling around without a particular plan, I look up and say, geez, how did it get to be late? A small errand stretches into more of the afternoon than planned because of traffic, a crowd, or getting distracted in a big box store. Going around the TV dial, looking through the overwhelming number of choices available on cable or Netflix sucks up at least 30 minutes and we haven’t even picked a show to watch yet. I regularly get caught up in social media – cute videos of children or animals are the culprits – and poof, there goes the evening.
Before I bemoan losing one hour, I should think back to the fall when we gained an hour. What a gift! More time to do…something. I used it to sleep in and it was delicious. Somehow, the darkening, chilly fall days did not motivate me to be spectacularly productive with those extra 60 minutes.
I remember the time changes being harder when our kids were young. A one hour shift either way wreaked havoc with standard bedtimes, and it didn’t help if it was still light outside. Just because the clock says 8pm doesn’t mean your toddler is tired.
In truth, we absorb these time changes pretty easily. Unless you completely forget and show up somewhere an hour late or an hour early, it’s pretty seamless. That hour shifts in the middle of night while we’re sleeping, and the most noticeable sign is the position of the sun when you get up. If nothing else, the time change makes me aware of time, and what I’m doing with my day. If I could make purposeful use of 10 or 12 of the hours, it’s a good day.