Falling Back

I sort of get the whole Daylight Savings gig, what with the kids and the bus stop and all that. Yet, when the time change rolled around this year, I found myself jealous of all the New Englanders petitioning to put an end to this switching of clocks altogether.

Of course, if these states meet with success, I have no idea how they will remember to change their smoke alarm batteries. But, I digress.

Truth be told, Daylight Savings is hell on wheels. For parents of infants and small children, it is like a tsunami and tornado with a side of hurricane. You can prepare and take cover, but there is bound to be collateral damage. Making it worse is the genius idea to move the date back to accommodate trick-or-treating. I mean, we should definitely sugar up the kids for a couple of days before totally rewiring their body clocks.

Maybe we could help everyone out and ease into it gradually, like a 15-minute slide a day for four days — more akin to a 12-step program for time change. I know the teachers could get behind this approach. They deserve hazard pay and a free massage for their selfless dedication on Daylight Savings Monday.

For me, the extra hour never pans out. Once my kids became teens who can sleep no matter what hour the clock chimes, my own body clock became the issue. Because, much like small children, women in their 50s get completely whacked with sleep issues.

No matter how much I relish my extra hour of slumber, I wake up at the same time I normally would. This year was no different and after all the subtracting and rechecking, it was 4:30 a.m. Regardless of how you adjust the clocks, it is still really dark at 4:30 a.m.

I cursed my body. I cursed my snoring husband and I cursed the dog whose people radar had excitedly registered the fact that I was awake. He licked my hand hopefully as I gave sleep one last shot. No go.

The only thing worse than being up at that hour is walking the dog and realizing you are the only one up at that hour. Not even the paper man had arrived yet.

What followed was the longest day of my life. I had jet lag without benefit of actually traveling anywhere. I spent the evening wondering at what hour it would be socially acceptable to just go to bed. Even if I went to bed at 9 p.m. new time, it was 10 p.m. old time, which is when I normally went to bed anyway. So, was I gaining anything at all?

My brain hurt from sleep deprivation and an entire day spent doing math. The folks in Arizona and Hawaii have the right idea. They never signed on for this hour change craziness in the first place.

Monday morning was as horrific as I anticipated with groggy, grumpy teens getting out of bed in super slo-mo. I was still feeling foggy myself, but I wasn’t telling them that. So, I sucked it up until all the carpools had been driven and then I collapsed in a chair with my coffee.

Because until I move to a state that is a conscientious Daylight Savings objector, the only math I really need is calculating how many cups of coffee it takes to erase the effects of springing forward and falling back.

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