What Can I Do For Fun During Daylight Savings Time?

I’m surprised – and frankly very, very disappointed – that conspiracy theorists don’t have more to say about Daylight Savings Time. The world governments collude to move clocks to and fro, willy-nilly, twice a year and the nutsos are just silent about it? Wake up, sheeple. They’re controlling you.

Okay, I don’t actually know who “they” would be, and I don’t know why having a slightly jet-lagged populace would benefit anybody except for Big Caffa (that’s “big caffeine” to the uninitiated, and some would say America runs on them, if you catch my drift). But you have to admit the whole ordeal seems like a lot of hassle for not a lot of payoff. We’ve all heard those stories about farmers and the 1970s oil crisis, but there isn’t much point to it in the modern age. But it’s how things are – and they probably want it like that, so that we get all distracted and sleepy twice a year and they pass some weird legislation or whatever when nobody’s paying attention.

As we did with the Government Shutdown and Ebola, here are all your questions answered about what you can do during your extra hour of afternoon sunshine!

Can I go outside during my new hour of afternoon sunlight?

Yeah, sure! Great idea! From my vantage point on the east coast, it is a full 40 degrees warmer than it was last week! Yes, it is now a balmy 40 degrees outside. But look, I’m just thrilled to be out of work before sunset. It’s a bonus that now we’re existing in temperatures that don’t make your sinuses echo with pain and your hands shrivel into blue claws that look like something you’d have to stick onto a sarcophagus in Legends of The Hidden Temple. Not only can you go outside during your extra hour of sunlight, you SHOULD.

You do know that it isn’t really an extra hour of sunlight, right? We’re just waking up an hour earlier.

Can it, Poindexter.

Also, you’re right. We are waking up an hour earlier. What a cruel trick.

So, are there any special ways to deal with waking up an hour earlier every day?

Of course! First of all, coffee. America runs on it. Ahem.

WebMD also suggests exposing yourself to as much light as possible during the daytime, but also not so much light that you get skin cancer or wrinkles. You really can’t win. Then during the night, use as little light as you can muster. They tell you not to turn on a light when you go to the bathroom at night. Jeez. You’d almost think that WebMD turns a profit off of people’s catastrophic injuries or something.

If you have a time machine, you can go back to a few weeks ago and start waking up a tiny bit earlier every day, so that by the time DST hits you have become acclimated to your earlier wake-up call. This is a lot like what my parents used to do when I was a kid, having us go to bed earlier toward the end of summer vacation to “get ready for school.” That was actually just because by the end of summer vacation, my parents were sick of us. But it works, so grab your time turner and give it a go.

So I can time travel during daylight savings time?

Sweetheart. You skipped an entire hour of time Sunday night. I mean, you’ll get it back in November. Actually… that’s even better. You moved an hour of time from March to November, exactly the kind of crappy month we all want to spend an extra hour in. Kiddo, you’re already a time traveler. We all are.

Mind. Blown. Maybe I’ll use my extra hour every day to catch up on my time travel.

Hold your horses. It’s still not an extra hour of time. You’re still just waking up earlier.

RIGHT. Well maybe since I’m waking up earlier I’ll get in a workout in the morning.

Oh, no no no. You’re still doing it wrong. You’re waking up at the same “clock time” as you were before, but it’s a different “sun time.” Here. Get on your clock rug and start figuring it out:

Why don’t we just get rid of Daylight Savings Time?

There are a lot of good reasons to get rid of it. Farmers? They can just wake up an hour earlier (“clock time,” not “sun time.”). I’m pretty sure farmers are exactly the kind of people who wake up whenever they need to to do their job, even if it’s like 4:30 in the morning.

Electricity? Doesn’t save any. In fact, during the first week after DST I usually leave my bedroom light on all day at least once because I’m not used to having it on in the morning.

Vehicular safety? Nope. First of all, you are now driving while tired. Second, now the people who were driving in the dark in the evening are driving in the dark in the morning. Besides, cars have headlights. They just do.

But personally, I still get a kick out of seeing the sun after work. It makes me feel like a human instead of some weird editor-lawyer-mole. I don’t want to get rid of Daylight Savings Time at all – but I would like to get rid of Standard Time. Sunset at 4:30 in the afternoon is just depressing. Or, you know, I guess I could just wake up an hour earlier every day and leave work an hour earlier. But modern civilization will do anything to avoid getting up earlier: up to and including changing the time on everybody’s clocks to fool ourselves into thinking we aren’t getting up earlier.

I’m pretty sure that’s stupid, but I haven’t had enough caffeine yet to be sure.



There Goes The Sun: 7 Reasons The End Of Daylight Savings Isn’t (so) Bad

As soon as the summer solstice was over, our days started getting shorter and shorter. I know, I don’t like to think about it either. But still, the darkness crept a little more every day, and as soon as Daylight Savings Time ended, there was no denying it: it’s dark. Really, really dark. Most of the time, even. If you live below the 40th parallel it isn’t so-so bad, but it’s pretty damn dusky where I live, in New York  (way, way in New York though. It’s like Baby Canada up here).

I know the end of Daylight Savings doesn’t actually make an hour go away from my day. However, an hour of precious daylight moved from the afternoon – when I could maybe do something with it –  to the morning, when the only benefit is that I can now do my makeup in natural light. Still, there is a sunny side (even if it only lasts about 5 hours day):

Days aren’t shorter – nights are longer. If you’re into that.

If your glass is half full (of crazy), then you probably don’t look at this as losing daylight, but gaining night. Maybe you like the horrible mysterious blackness closing all around you. Maybe you just think it’s cozy to spend your dark winter hours indoors, with fires or candles – because you’re probably a bit of a pyro, too. I’m guessing you’re also really confident walking through darkened parking lots and waiting for your bus on an unlit street corner. So, you’re probably really jazzed to gain even more night! You freak.

 We gained an hour of sleep! One time.

In exchange for that extra hour of sleep, you will be in total darkness before the 5 o’clock news from now until March. So, hope you liked your sleep that one day! You know that psychology experiment where they tell kids they can have one piece of candy right now, or 2 pieces of candy if they wait until the researcher comes back in the room? And they always pick the one piece of candy right now? I’m usually Team Adults, but I don’t think we’re any better. If you asked me, at 6am on a Monday, if I want an extra hour to stay in bed – knowing that I’d never leave work in the daylight again for months – I’d probably be like “yeah, sounds like a fair exchange!” This is why we shouldn’t let sleepy people make major decisions.

 It’s an excuse not to work out.

Let’s just say that some people work out because they like the results, like being able to lift objects, looking like they’re not in frail physical shambles, and whatever those “health benefits” are supposed to be. But, these same people sometimes find the whole process a bit of a hassle. I’m that person.  Enter total darkness during all of my waking hours. That does it! Note: you still have to go to the gym, this only works for outdoor exercise. Sorry.

You Aren’t Getting Sun Damage?

Someday, when we all have horribly eroded skin, we’ll look back at these dark months with fondness as That Time We Weren’t Working On Our UV Exposure. When those fine lines crop up, just remember – that’s the price you had to pay for summer. The November-to-March perma-night had nothing to do with it.

You Can Wear Whatever You Want Because Nobody Can See You

You call it winter, I call it a really low-magic version of the Invisibility Cloak. Those people you run into outside for most of the winter? They can’t even see you! Or, you know, they can’t make out the details, anyway. So, if you’re wearing two shades of black that don’t quite match, or scuffy shoes, or mismatched accessories, nobody will know (except for maybe people you see indoors).

 It’s Pajama Time When You Say It’s Pajama Time

If you get home, don’t really have anything going on that day, and want to change into pajamas as soon as you finish dinner (or before), that’s fine. Because it’s dark out! So, it’s nighttime! I definitely abuse this one sometimes. Think about it: if you pajama up at 7:00 in the summer, you’d have to be sick, pathetic, depressed, or all three. But in winter, when it’s already been dark for three hours, you’re just keeping it comfy!

You Feel Like A Productive Workaholic Even When You’re … Not

Yesterday, I got to work at 8 and left around 5:30. Pretty normal, right? Except by leaving under cover of darkness, I felt like I had put in a serious day at the office. If I’m being honest, I could have stayed ’til 10 and still only been half done with my work. The thing is, downtown seems spookier with the lights off – so you’ll forgive me for emailing some files to myself and finishing my work in my pajamas. Which I changed into at 7 pm. Because it’s not like I was going for a run. Welcome, winter!