GratiTuesday: Daylight Savings Time

This past Sunday, I preformed one of my favorite rites of spring; I adjusted all of our clocks forward one hour. As I made the change, I didn’t mind in the least that I instantly lost one hour of my day. For me, it was a very small price to pay for the extra hour of light I’ll enjoy each evening until November 6, when I have to turn the clocks back.

Daylight savings sunrise
Daylight savings sunrise

When I was working, I remember that at first it was a little hard to adjust to getting up in the dark. But, slowly, the summer sun would work its way toward the equator and, in a few weeks, my 6:30 am wake-up time would again be bathed in light. What made those dark mornings well worth it was knowing that it would be light out when I left the office and that I’d still have a few hours of daylight when I got home.

Now that I am retired you might think the time change wouldn’t be as exciting for me as it was before. After all, I can get up whenever I desire, spend whatever time I want to outdoors, and then go to bed when the spirit moves me. While that is true for the most part, I still live in a world of appointments and schedules, and sunset at 7:00 or 8:00 pm feels very different from sunset at 5:00 or 6:00 pm.

I realize that not everyone is enamored with daylight savings time. Some people don’t like the hassle of changing their clocks twice a year. Others have schedules that benefit more from having the extra daylight in the morning. Those people might be happier living in one of the several states or territories that have opted out of observing daylight savings time, including Hawaii, most of Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

I was horrified recently to learn that one of our state senators has introduced a bill that would affectively end daylight savings time in California. Noooooooooooooooooooo! I’m not sure whether there is any threat of having the bill pass, but I would be happy to buy the senator a oneway ticket to Arizona so he can enjoy standard time year-round and leave the rest of us alone.

Switching to daylight savings time makes me happy. It signals that spring is just around the corner, and summer is not too far off. It means baseball and barbecues and drinks out on the deck. I am so very grateful for the extra sunshine at the end of my day, where it belongs.

35 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Daylight Savings Time”

  1. As a retiree I feel the same way you do. I like my light towards the end of the day. The only difference I find is that this first week is a little more of an adjustment than it used to be. It’s worth the extra time at the end to watch the day end from the patio.

    1. I did get up rather late this morning since my body hasn’t adjusted yet. Being retired certainly has its benefits… at least I didn’t have to drag myself into work today. I will be doing a happy dance this evening though, when it’s still light out at 7:00!

  2. I miss having 1 more hour of daylight period- when we lived in Florida. Glad spring is coming. I hate winter and we did not want to move back to MA. Oh well-we will follow the weather soon:)

  3. I like it for all the reasons you mention, plus that morning in November always seems a real treat when you wake up and it’s not as late as your body feels it is. Whether psychological or not, I always seem to sleep really well on that day. My only problem is hitting all the clocks that need changing. I will do the microwave, for instance, but forget the one on the stove.

  4. We still have a bit to go – our clocks don’t change tell Easter weekend. The very first time I visited the US was at this time of year. We didn’t know until the middle of Sunday afternoon what had happened! Neither the airline nor the hotel informed us and this was well before self-changing technology. Only time we felt dafter was when we went to France once and turned our watches back instead of forwards. Doh!

    1. Oh my, that would have been confusing! I can’t believe no one warned you. It would make more sense if the countries that participated in the time change would coordinate with each other. I don’t think I’d be very happy to lose an hour while on vacation.

  5. I’m with you, Janis. I love having daylight long into the evening. Pitch black before 5 pm? Ugh!
    As for that senator ~ ship him off to Arizona!

    1. I’m sure there are many more important things to legislate about than the time change! I know people who like the idea of not changing twice a year, but what they want to keep is daylight savings time – not standard time. Hopefully he’ll see the error in his ways… or move to Arizona.

      1. If I had to guess it would be that some people just really don’t handle change very well …any change. Without DLS in this part of the world, we would have dawn at around 4:30 in morning. I’m with you …give me the light at the end of the day instead.

  6. Janis, I love the extra daylight as well. My greatest dilemma is turning back the hands on our grandfather clock, without messing up the day/ night mix. It always is harder on spring forward. Keith

  7. Thanks for this post, Janis. I have not experienced daylight saving time for the last 14 years (as I was living in China), so I have loved changing the clocks back last October, and forward this past weekend. Your reasoning for loving daylight saving time totally resonates with me! Those who think they are against it, should try living without it (somewhere else) for awhile.
    Donna
    http://www.retirementreflections.com

    1. I remember way back during the energy crisis we had daylight savings year-round for a year or two. It really was great. I’m not completely clear which nations follow the time changes and which don’t. It sort of makes sense that China wouldn’t, given its huge, rural population.

  8. (belly-laugh in progress) I confess I am one of those who doesn’t get DST. I know that we say there is an hour more of sunlight, but we’re really not changing the day, just the clocks. For us early-morning risers, we simply have to wait for the inevitable longer day and we can once again wake up with the sun. Retirement does make that easier!

    1. I can see that if you are a morning person, you might be less than thrilled. I think what people mean when they talk about having an hour more of sunshine, they mean “usable” sunshine. I hope no one actually believes that they have been given an extra hour. 🙂

  9. It is 6:30 am right now. I have been up for an hour. I will NOT have an extra hour of daylight no matter how I set my clock. And it doesn’t matter if I am working or retired.

    1. I know you don’t like daylight savings and I understand since you are a morning person. I love having it stay light later because I feel that I can enjoy my evenings more. Daylight savings just shifts the usuable light to later. I sure hope no one above the age of 6 actually thinks that an hour has magically been added to our day, but I guess anything is possible. I imagine that you’ll be doing your happy dance in November!

  10. Your comment about the extra “usable” sunshine and it being a harbinger of spring really resonated with me. Amazingly we have had 3 days of warmth & sun following the time change, so the days and evenings have been just wonderful. Of course, I was totally late to a dinner date last night because the sun hadn’t even begun to set and I lost track of time…what, it’s 6 o’clock already – the sun is still brightly shining! I am also not a morning person, so have not even noticed the morning darkness again, especially as I don’t have to get up and go to work! So I guess I’m in the DSL like it camp.

    1. The time change does take some time to get used to. It usually takes a few days before I get all the clocks changed and my system back on track. But, given the payoff – longer light in the evenings – it is well worth it to me. For some reason this year’s time change seems especially controversial. People are definitely in one camp or the other… maybe it’s a reflection of our current political climate… yikes!

  11. I used to love DST, and have fond memories of my childhood in San Diego staying outside late. BUT, as I have aged, I loathe it!! I hate the darkness in the mornings. Then with it being light so late, we end up eating dinner late. DST used to be fewer weeks and that was a little more tolerable. Our pets are confused too. Yes, I get used to it and all, but there is no real function for the time change any more.

    1. I’m surprised, I would have put you in the LOVE IT camp.It does take some time getting used to but, all-in-all, I think it’s well worth it. Maybe they should make DST year-round instead… that way no one has to change their clocks twice a year but we get the light in the evening.

  12. I absolutely love DST. To me, it signals that spring is upon us! Nothing like getting out of work and having it still be sunny for another 2-3 hours. Definitely helps the work week go by quicker.

  13. Now that I’m retired, I’m trying to appreciate the “every day” more. This post helped to remind me of how special it is to have the longer day. A nice thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing…

  14. Me too! I think dusk is a favorite part of my day, when we go for a walk in the neighborhood. I hate walking in the dark AND cold in the winter. So I am glad to have the extra light at the end of the day.

    1. I have shifted most of my (almost) daily walks to the evening too now that it stays lighter later. Apparently, I haven’t gotten used to the dark mornings, though. Without work to get up for, I am sleeping in more than I’d like. Oh well, I’m retired!

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