Sunday, November 7, 2010

Timing is everything

Because I'm always on time, the first few days after they switch off Daylight Savings, I tend to feel a little anxious. In the mornings I feel certain I'm running late, no matter what the clock says, and in the evenings I get almost panicky when the sun sets so early. I know it's ridiculous, but there it is. I think scans of my brain stem, (the "primitive" part of the brain) would show signs of distress in locations where the survival instinct gets activated.

There are many layers of ridiculousness here: first my chronic need to always be on time, also the silliness of Daylight Savings. I still don't get what that even means. The amount of daylight does not change simply because we mess around with our clocks. When it's dark, lights must go on. So weird. And, too, there's the ridiculousness of anxiety resulting from a one-hour change in my schedule. For heaven's sake.

I hear people say all the time that they aren't going to get worked up about something because it "isn't worth it." I marvel at that statement and always wonder - are they truly able to stifle their emotions (that are, by their very nature, not rational and so can not be logically dismissed), or are those statements a reflection of incredible denial on their part?

I don't try to stifle or slow my emotions. I believe my emotions are meant to move around; eMOTION, yes? I say yes. Emotions arise (according to those books about consciousness I read last year) as physiological/chemical changes in the body some seconds/minutes/hours before we become cognizant of them. What the neurologists believe is that we can partially mask the facial expressions that accompany emotion, but we can't control emotion.

Ah but we can tell ourselves that we're controlling our emotions, we can even come to believe these stories of superhuman control. The power of the mind is incredible. As for myself, today on the first day of what they call "standard" time, I'm going to try very hard to keep breathing, I'm going to drink a lot of water (these being my two tried and true methods for dealing with stress). I have a serious workday ahead; my clients will need me to be fully present. I'll try, people, I will really try.

But for the record, may I say here that I dislike the time change? I really do. Onwards & upwards.


ellen abbott said...

I dislike the actual change, having to adjust to the clock/daylight ratio. But I must say I like daylight savings time better. (It 'saves' that morning hour of light when everyone is heading to work for the the evening when it can be enjoyed.) I really don't like it when it gets dark at 5 PM. I'd be happy if it stayed in DST all year round. Since I'm not an early riser, I won't miss that hour in the morning.

Pauline said...

As you say, time doesn't change - we do. I like keeping "cow time." The farmer next door doesn't change the clock in his milk house because, as he says, "The cows don't go by Daylight Savings."

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen I almost get it when you explain it. It's the change I hate, spring and fall. Just leave the damn clock alone.

I have a very bovine attitude about it all. Apparently!

Nancy said...

I don't like the change, either. And lets face it - do the farmers still need that extra hour of daylight to bring in the harvest with all the new machinery to help them? Isn't that how it started?

Kerry said...

This time change marks the turn into that part of the year that is dark and cold and inward. Time for a warm sweater and a cup of tea.

Cyndy said...

Changing the time twice each year is annoying! It seems like a rather archaic practice at this point in our history. I'd prefer to ease into each new season with gradually changing light rather than a sudden jolt which seems so fake.

Vagabonde said...

I do not like the time change either – it’s hard enough when we fly to California or France. I do like your pictures though – the road with the lovely golden trees.

Jo said...

What lovely photos! You've captured the mood of the time perfectly!

Count me among those who are 1) bewildered about the purpose of playing with the clock, and 2)against it.

Being a morning person myself, I'd much rather keep the clock on standard time, but I'd be more than willing to keep the clock on DST if it were ALL the time!

The Bug said...

Ellen & I are in perfect agreement. As a person who leaves work at 5:00 it would be FABULOUS to not have to drive home in the dark. I'm asleep during that extra hour of light in the morning so it does nothing for me :)

steven said...

i came home from buying food for my family tonight - heading into the west - and the sun had already chosen to drop below the horizon leaving salmon pink splashes across the sky. a good thing.
then i thought into my biking home from teaching bike rides and remembered the darkness and my little light carving a path for me through the dark and the snow and i thought about how much i love the sun when it's around for so much longer.
i don't wear a watch even though time from six a.m. to ten p.m. is so prescribed during the school year. i go by an intuitive feel most of the time anyway! we're people of light aren't we. absorbing it and giving it. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes Steven we are. At least YOU are.

I don't care whether it's standard or daylight, I just hate being jerked around twice a year.

Thanks Vagabonde!

Karen said...

I feel a little distressed when it gets dark so early... We ate dinner at 7 tonight (I got home a little late from work) and it felt like I was making my family eat at midnight. Bad mommy! :)