Random Thoughts: It’s time to stop messing with time


By Travis Mounts, managing editor

I am dragging this week.
The move to daylight saving time combined with two trips to Manhattan to cover the Garden Plain Owls girls basketball team has left me exhausted this week. If my butt was dragging any more, it would get carpet burn.
I’m not opposed to daylight saving time. As a kid, I loved it. The extra daylight meant more time outside.
Even more, it was a sign that summer was nearly here, and that meant summer break from school was nearly here.
To this day, I enjoy the extra daylight at night. Already this week, I feel less sluggish in the evening hours. My mood is better. It feels like the change from winter to spring is official, and the weather has certainly done its part to reinforce that feeling.
Getting started in the morning, however, has become even more difficult. I’m not a morning person. I’m one of the last ones into the office each morning, but that is offset by all the nights and weekend hours I put in.
There also are benefits to going back to standard time in the winter. If we were on daylight saving time all year, it would be mid- to late-morning before the sun came up. In the dead of winter, sunrise would not happen in our area until about 8:45 a.m. It would be after 9 before daylight was truly upon us.
That’s far too late to see the sunshine. We would have kids walking to school and getting on buses in lighting conditions more fitting for 4:30 or 5 a.m. We would have the majority of commuters doing their entire drive at night.
There are benefits to being on standard time in the winter months. One of my favorite parts of moving to standard time was when my boys were young, because it made it much easier to get them into bed for the night. The flip side was how difficult it was to get them in bed each spring when we moved to daylight saving time but they still had to be up for school in the morning.
Honestly, it’s not standard time or daylight saving time that is the problem. Both have their benefits.
It is the change each March and November that is the problem. We get into rhythms, and then twice a year we mess those up terribly.
Researchers say the spring change is the worst, because in essence we give up an hour of sleep. Of course, we really don’t gain or lose any time at all. The earth has not suddenly jumped forward or back in its orbit around the sun.
All we’re doing is making a change in the artificial measurements humans have created. But in today’s world, our entire routines are tied to clocks and that artificial time-keeping construct we have created. Our days are not built around the position of the sun, although that is still how our DNA works.
So let’s stop fighting it. Let’s make one more change and call it good for the rest of our lives.
We should cut the difference – move the clocks 30 minutes and then never adjust them again. We’ll lean a little bit into the extra daylight of summer evenings when the weather is warm and the days are long. And in the winter when we see much less of the sun, we’ll lean into a little bit more daylight early in the day.
“You can’t move the clocks 30 minutes!” I hear somebody say.
Why not? How we measure time is pretend. Millenia ago we randomly decided that the midpoint of the day was when the sun was at its highest. We could have chosen sunrise at zero-hundred hours. The day would begin at sunrise, not at midnight in a random part of the day. We could have had 12 hours in a day instead of 24. Or 10.
It’s all made up, just like our monetary system. These things do not have inherent values. They do only because we as a society agree they do.
Daylight saving time as a concept can trace its roots back to the late 1700s, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that it started to be adopted. Much of the world that had adopted daylight saving time has now dropped it. And there are places that already are 30 minutes off from where we are.
It’s time to change time – 30 minutes, just one more time.