Daylight erasing time

On getting through one of the weeks in which my internal clock gets thrown out of whack

Once a year, on the morning of the first Sunday of November, when the clock rolls back an hour, I go through a couple of phases.

This year, per usual, I awoke to see that it was super early. After realizing my cellphone had automatically synced with the end of daylight saving time, my initial thought was that I could snuggle back under the covers. But then I heard my young son’s bedroom door open.

He was either going to jump into bed with me—most likely to play a game of what I’ll call “stick my feet in mommy’s face.” Or he was going to head elsewhere in the house by himself—and that can lead to trouble. Like other kids his age, my beloved Henry, who recently turned 6, has a knack for waking up early on the weekends.

In other words, my sleep-in fantasy quickly dissipated.

Still, it was nice to get up leisurely this past Sunday. You know, lounge around in pajamas, drink coffee without haste and have a late breakfast. That extra hour makes a big difference when you find yourself with a list of things to accomplish. I wasn’t even annoyed at having to reset the clocks on the microwave, stove and in the car.

But alas, like every year, it’s a fleeting feeling. The next morning, most of us here at the corner of Second and Flume streets were feeling a little off-kilter, but mostly just tired. In the afternoon, we really started dragging. And by the time I drove home from work, in the dark, I began to loathe the practice of moving the clock an hour forward in the spring and then pushing it back in the fall.

I know I’m not alone. There have been movements to do away with daylight saving time (yes, it’s “saving,” not savings), including a state legislator’s recent attempt to repeal the law. But that didn’t go over very well with constituents, because people like longer days. Count me in that group, along with a lot of outdoorsy folks, especially Little Leaguers.

No, it seems the more popular movement is to make daylight saving time year-round. In that scenario, we’d set our clocks forward in the spring and keep them there. Sounds good to me. The rub: doing so would require federal approval. Congress would have to amend the U.S. Uniform Time Act, which was adopted in the 1960s to “promote the adoption and observance of uniform time within the standard time zones.”

Those in favor of permanent daylight saving time cite the safety and health benefits of being afforded extra light in the evenings. Those who oppose it counter that later sunrises are dangerous and note how confusing it would be when crossing California’s border.

There are official efforts at the state capitol—and even at the federal level on California’s behalf—to make daylight saving time everlasting. But knowing how much bureaucratic red tape stands in the way, I’m not holding my breath.

Indeed, like others, I expect this twice-yearly jolt to the system to continue.

And now for some good news: Last week, I wrote in this space that the CN&R’s annual drive to collect toiletries for local homeless service providers is now underway. And as of Tuesday afternoon, readers had already dropped off six shopping bags chock-full of items, including one filled to the brim with new socks. This is a great start to help the folks who help those less fortunate.