This is when, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson observed that after-hours daylight afforded him more leisure time to collect insects. He naturally assumed that the rest of the world shared his affinity for afternoon bug collecting and would applaud his ingenuity. There were a few like-minded others who were also given partial credit for the idea, including an English outdoorsmen in 1905 who became properly upset when forced to end his golf games at dusk. You know you’re being monumentally messed with when a bug collector and a brassed-off (angry in Brit-speak) golfer have the power to instigate entire shifts in the threads of time.
Accordingly, many countries in the world today choose to opt out of daylight savings time. We can opt out of spam, telemarketing calls, voting, watching “American Idol” and other ridiculous ideas, so why not this lunacy too? In America, only Hawaii and Arizona have had the sheer audacity to buck the clock-changing trend and individually declare, “This is stupid and we’re not doing it. Bite me.”
I propose that all the other brainwashed states, starting with Nevada, follow the lead of Hawaii and Arizona and just say no to this madness. Mainly because this year’s “spring forward” nearly sprung me right out of the highly sought after, utopian state called “work/life balance” that I had come very close to achieving.
It all began on the Wednesday evening before the big clock change con. My wonderful husband surprised me with an early birthday mini-vacation to the scenic beach town of Monterey, Calif. Once we arrived and I inhaled that first, intoxicating salty sea breeze, my typical seven-day a week work schedule suddenly seemed crazier than random clock changes. And, somewhere between Cannery Row, a waterfront collection of shops, restaurants and attractions that pays homage to author John Steinbeck and his book of the same name, and the mind-melting relaxation of the crashing ocean surf, I started to feel it – balance. Yes, I will admit that a smartphone and a laptop are essential to avoiding completely compromising the work part of work/life balance. But it didn’t take long to establish a rhythm – check email, play, work, play, repeat. I finally understood the popular adage “work hard, play hard.”
I was careful to bottle this sense of balance for the trip home, determined to make it my new best friend, or therapist (depending on the situation). My newfound nirvana lasted exactly until the next morning, Sunday. I still woke up at the same time, but the clock on my computer disagreed. Blasted! The bug collector and the brassed-off British golfer and their crazy notions about having a life in the evenings had betrayed me as I slept! How dare they mess with the mystical balance that took me so long to achieve?
Life hasn’t been the same since. I’ve been looking for my balance everywhere. Every morning when I wake up, the clock mocks me and leaves me in a partial stupor for most of the day. Even the dog has noticed that something seems wrong. On Monday night, one day into the time change folly, she woke me up every two hours to go outside and relieve herself. I think she wanted to make sure that her designated morning potty time didn’t mysteriously vanish into some sort of Bermuda triangle.
It’s not just my dog and me either. Science geniuses everywhere have been preaching the health risks of “springing forward” for the past few weeks. One article on politifact.com warned that suddenly setting our clocks forward by just one hour increases the chances of a car accident (from the stupor) and even a heart attack.
Consider an already neurotic individual, their twitching mental state occupied by a laundry list of life’s trivialities, suddenly confronted with this preposterous idea of “springing forward.” They are rudely awoken on Sunday morning and wonder why, since in their mind it is only 7 a.m. but their clock is lying to them, insisting that it’s 8 a.m. The magnitude of this riddle of the missing hour could easily lead to cardiac arrest.
After all, who’s to say if additional hours won’t start mysteriously disappearing throughout the day? This is a slippery slope people. If dead bug collectors, British golfers and the world government can mess with time like this, where will it end? I stand with Hawaii and Arizona. Stop the madness.
Christine Whitmarsh is the owner of local writing firm Christine, Ink. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.