The Myth About Saving Time

Is falling back or forward ever a good idea?

Photo by Tony Detroit via  Unsplash

Photo by Tony Detroit via Unsplash

Is there anything more disorienting than traveling 8 hours to arrive at our destination and find that the time is 14 hours later? 

Yes. Doing exactly that sandwiched in between two Daylight Savings Time weekends.

I left NYC with a 5-hour time difference between me and my destination, traveled across time zones, spent a week, and then returned with a six-hour time difference. Why? Because the USA and most of the rest of the world do not change the clocks on the same day. Confusing? You bet. Not just for my conscious brain: my body wasn’t sure if it was coming or going, either.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of gaining an hour. Who doesn’t love bonus time? Autumn would roll around and I think, "Yay, I've got an extra hour to sleep." But I knew that it would be time to pay the piper in the spring.

Years ago, we were told that the practice helped farmers, who would otherwise be working in the dark, or let school kids walk to school in daylight. I'm not sure that's actually true. There are parts of the world, like Reykjavik, Iceland, that only have 4-5 hours of daylight per day during the darkest part of the winter. Those kids make it to school just fine. The farmers I've met get up before sunrise on any day, regardless of the official time on the clock.

I don't know if it's a matter of growing up and finding out the world is different or that our lifestyles have really changed, but it seems like today, there's a bigger price to pay for messing with time.

Time doesn’t need us to save it. And daylight is not being saved; merely shifted. So what is it we think we are accomplishing?

The more I hear and read from others around the world, one of the things we seem to agree on is that daylight savings time may not be saving anybody much of anything. Funny how, at our core, we are the same in so many ways. First and foremost perhaps, we need our sleep. Most of us would rather go to work or school in the dark if it meant coming home when it was still light.

From my recent surge in travel, I've only become more convinced of how nice it is to not fool Mother Nature. Which also means not messing with Father Time, apparently. 

Now is the time of year when we start to slow down and come together. World peace certainly seems like a daunting task at the moment, but maybe if we can agree on a few smaller items, it will make it easier to find common ground on the tougher ones. 

Maybe it's time to join hands in letting go of Daylight Savings and, in doing so, save ourselves some grief.

I for one would be thankful for that. I bet Mother Nature and Father Time would agree.