“You can’t turn back the clock . . .”
How many times have you heard that little idiom in part (as above) or in whole with “. . . but you can wind it up again.”?
Of course, taken literally, it is an outright lie: we can turn back the clock, and we do it every year when we switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time.
Many people applaud the move, thinking they are gaining an extra hour on the changeover night. They can party longer! They can get an extra hour of sleep the next morning! (Never mind that their bodies wake them up at the same time, which is actually an hour earlier according to the clock — if they changed the clocks before they went to bed . . . Oy. I digress.)
Or, if they work at night, like me, they can almost fall asleep on the job or while driving home. That’s what happened to me last night — the first of the season on Standard Time. My shift ended at midnight, which was actually 1 a.m. the night before on DST, which I had had off. To make things worse, I had the preceding week off, and had been going to bed at more reasonable hours, like 11 p.m. or 11:30 p.m. — Daylight Saving Time.
So, now my body is being forced to stay up late again — with an extra hour added on for not-so-good measure.
Which all explains my DST hangover on this Monday morning, which is not unlike an alcohol hangover.
Am I more susceptible to a flu bug or a cold virus now? How about a heart attack? How about depression?
Each year, and this one is no exception, you can find media reports decrying the act of turning back the clock because of its negative effects on our health — and its potential for leading to fatal car accidents and other calamities. It’s even being linked to an uptick in crime. (I don’t have a clue why.)
I’m sure the depression has something to do with what we know is coming: snow. And the related seasonal darkness — until the sun starts its return journey after the Winter Solstice (which is the real reason people celebrate at Christmastime, but I digress).
But what I am feeling today is all too physical. And I know I am going to feel like this for most of the week, until my body has adjusted. And then in the spring, my body will have to adjust to the switch back to DST.
It’s all too much.
Which brings me to this: Why can’t we just leave the clocks alone? No switching back and forth. I know why and when the idea became reality: in the early 1900s, to supposedly save fuel and let people experience more sunlight/daylight in the morning during winter and, switching back to DST in the spring, allow them to experience more sunlight/daylight in the evening — when the 9-to-5 crowd would finish work and head to places like golf courses and shopping centres, where they would spend money . . . Yes, money was at the root of all of this. (Good article about this on the Time site.)
But this is the year 2016. Do we still need to be playing with time like this — and some might say time is an illusion, but that also is another story (see It Happened One Night page in this blog).
I’m adding my voice to the ever-growing chorus of those saying “Enough is enough! Leave our clocks alone!”
Perhaps we should start a revolution, and refuse to turn back our clocks and go on living on Daylight Saving Time — showing up an hour later at work than those who choose to conform to the Standard Time madness. If we outnumber them, we win, right? Umm . . . you can see where this is heading (think: unemployment office).
Yes, I think I have proven my case: I am tired this morning, and I have to go now to get ready for work.
But I did want to mention something else about the old idiom mentioned at the beginning of this post: In many cases, you really cannot change the past, but physically, you can do something about turning back the clock on the aging process: think facelifts, Botox, boob lifts and so much more. Smiles . . . That must be what they meant by saying “you can wind it up again.” Yes?