Why I like “falling back”


I’ve heard a bunch of complaints from friends this week about our clocks “falling back” on the weekend. Mostly, people are grumpy about the earlier darkness setting in. Sam blogged about that last week.  I understand that people get seasonal depression (sometimes called SAD) and that the end of daylight savings time brings it on more intensely.

But the alternative is not to have DST at all. It’s DST that’s the aberration, creating those wonderful long summer evenings. Don’t get me wrong. I love the long summer evenings. But if we didn’t bother with DST, we wouldn’t have to “fall back” and the long summer evenings would have been an hour shorter all along.

Once the weather changes I’m not as inclined to go out for an evening stroll. I lean more to cocooning at home on cold winter nights. An earlier nightfall somehow seems to give permission for earlier to bed. And that bodes well for me on the nights before my 6 a.m. swim.

What I’ve found almost unbearable lately, until the weekend that just passed, is the dark in the early mornings. Last week was the worst, when the sun didn’t come up until almost 8 a.m. and there was not even a sliver of light until almost 7:30 a.m. It just makes the morning so depressing.

Sam mentioned that we were at the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy conference in Sackville, New Brunswick over the weekend. I have a nicely outlined plan for my Key West Half Marathon training (worked out with Anita a few weeks ago). If I wanted to stick to it on the weekend, I had to get out the door of my hotel room for 14K by 7 or so on Sunday morning.

Well, here’s where my short term “woot woot!” thinking really kicked into high gear.  Because of the end of DST, Sunday morning at 7 a.m. was not dark the way it was on Saturday. I managed to get up before 7, pull on my running gear, and wander out into the morning light. Yes, it was a dreary, drizzly morning. But it wasn’t dark and I had had enough sleep. I can promise you that I would be a week behind my long run schedule if it was not for the end of daylight savings time on Sunday morning. There is just no way I’d have made it out the door to go running.

I have always loved that “extra hour” on a fall weekend when we change the clocks. And I’ve always resented the stolen hour that we lose when we “spring forward.” But other than that, I just kind of settle into whatever “time” we’re in, whether it be DST or not. I’m sure this makes me fortunate. And I’m not trying to be insensitive to my friends who suffer when the dark comes an hour earlier. But I do like the earlier light in the morning once the seasons change.

No, it’s not going to be light yet when I get up for my 6 a.m. swim. But by the time I’m on my way to work by 8 a.m., we’ll be well into the light of day. And I like that.

What about you? Do you like, detest, or feel indifferent to Daylight Savings Time and its end each fall?

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