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This Post Started Out as a Rant About Daylight Saving Time and Turned Into Something Else Altogether

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Post Started Out as a Rant About Daylight Saving Time and Turned Into Something Else Altogether

I tried - tried hard - to think of something I could write about that would be interesting and heartfelt tonight.  I am trying to keep up with NaBloPoMo (a post every day for the month of November) and to be honest, I am already kind of over it.  I have lots of things I want to write about.  I just don't necessarily want to write about those things right now.  And then of course I gave myself the added pressure (or maybe, easy way out?) of deciding that not only would I post every day, but I'd post every day about something I am grateful for.

But today?  I am going against the grain.  I am going to rebel against my own rules (watch out!) and write about something I am really not grateful for at all.

Daylight Saving Time.

It may be OK for people that don't have kids.  I don't know.  Those days, although only three years ago, are hard to remember.  A figment of my imagination.  What did I do with all the "extra" daylight?  Rode horses and went for walks late in the day, I guess?  I don't recall.

But you know what I do recall, because it happened just this morning?

KIDS DON'T APPRECIATE THE WHOLE "EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP" THING.  Nope.  They don't.  They wake up at the same time they usually do, only the clock says it's an hour earlier.   And making matters worse...I tricked myself into thinking I had an extra hour to sleep so I stayed up for an extra hour at night (OK, that was dumb, I KNOW BETTER!).  I can't do the math (because I didn't get any sleep), but it's safe to say the end result is a sleep deficit for Mom and Dad.  Which I suppose is normal, but extra annoying when the cause is some guy from the 1800s who decided it would be a good idea to change the clocks twice a year.  

While writing this post, I started wondering about why we have Daylight Saving Time to begin with.  I thought it was to give the farmers (which farmers, specifically, I am not sure) more time in the summer to work their land.  That is what I have been told and blindly believed.  Until now. 

Guess what?

That is WRONG.  And actually, many farmers don't like it (I am guessing that this is because. like kids, plants and animals don't use clocks and therefore are unable to appreciate the extra hour anyway).  

All this time I've been thinking that Daylight Saving Time is for the greater good of humanity (we need agriculture if we want to eat and be clothed) and all this time I was wrong.  Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by George Vernon Hudson in 1895 because he had free time at night and wanted more daylight because he LIKED TO COLLECT BUGS.

Mating bugs.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We have Daylight Saving Time because of a motivated bug collector.  

I have to put on the brakes here.  Part of me is incredulous that one person was able to convince the New Zealand government (which apparently convinced many governments thereafter) to change the way we time  our days because he liked bugs and wanted more time to collect them, and part of me is kind of in awe that one person was able to change the world in this way.  I mean, here I am complaining about what a pain it is to readjust everyone's schedules because of Daylight Saving Time (and when it's time to "spring forward" I'll be complaining about that too, but only until I start to enjoy the extra daylight).  Do you think that when George Vernon Hudson first proposed this idea he would ever have imagined that many countries of the world would adopt this policy and that some chick in Texas would be writing about how she's losing sleep over it more than a hundred years later??  I think not.

I feel my tune starting to change a bit here.  Maybe I should just suck it up and deal with the kids' funky sleep schedules for the next couple of weeks.  What I really need to do is think of a cool idea and proposition ol' Uncle Sam and see what happens.  

And to George Vernon Hudson, who at first I was a little bit angry with, I now salute you.  And I will think of you every time I "spring forward" or "fall back."  And every time I see a bug late on a summer day.  

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