Fall Back

Although we aren’t really having a traditional Fall, since it already snowed 4 inches, I welcome this season with open arms. I love the cool morning air, the crisp apples, and the crunchy leaves.

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However, I do have one issue with this season. The sun has been rising after 7 am for awhile now.

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And when I say awhile, I mean 2.5 weeks. The last couple of days it was around 7:20am and I don’t like it one bit.

As you may have gathered I’m not a “hardcore” runner. I don’t run in the dark. I never return home as the sun is rising, if the sky isn’t somewhat light when I’m ready to go, I wait it out or change my plans. I’m actually a little afraid of the dark – who knows what’s lurking out there when you can’t see your surroundings?

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Everything is going to be ok though, Daylight Saving time ends at 2am on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to setting my clocks back and returning to Standard Time for awhile. Since I’m a self claimed dork, I looked ahead at the sunrise times for the next few months and was happy to see that the latest sunrise is going to be on January 10th at 7:13am. I can handle that.

I know I hate when we lose an hour in the spring, but I get over that pretty quickly. Especially since it makes nice evening walks in the Spring possible. I had no idea that changing the clocks ahead (and back like we’re doing now) is pretty controversial. I can’t count how many people I’ve heard comment this week that it’s an archaic practice. So why do we still do it?

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According to an article in National Geographic, the U.S. government doesn’t require states and territories to follow Daylight Saving Time. Arizona and Hawaii, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands don’t follow it at all. I can imagine that makes life interesting for those who live in Arizona and work in California or Nevada. When I opened the coffee shop I worked at in college I had to be there at 4am. Whenever it was time to change the clocks, I would witness many people starting their day at the wrong time – they’d simply forgotten about the time change. I don’t blame them, starting your day before 6am is hard enough as it is! It’s no surprise to me that 27% admit that they’ve been early or late due to a forgotten time change.

The article goes on to explain that Ben Franklin, credited with saying “early to bed, early to rise” was first to suggest making use of the daylight by moving the clocks ahead. It seems Mr. Franklin was quite a busy man! At the time, it made sense – it allowed us to save energy and resources by getting things done during the daylight hours, but with the technology we have today, are we really saving money? One interesting example the article mentions is that, sure, we might use our electric lamps on for an hour or so less in the spring, but instead we’re using our air conditioners more since we’re arriving home from work before the temperatures drop.

I was surprised to read that there are also some health implications that involve our circadian body clocks and how they handle the change – one study even showed that heart attacks rise in the period right after the clocks are set ahead, likely because of a disturbed sleep cycle. I would think a disturbed sleep cycle would apply to both time changes, but perhaps our bodies don’t mind an extra hour of sleep quite as much.

I hope you’ve stuck around and enjoyed, or at least survived, my tangent. This is just another one of the strange things I find interesting.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back Saturday night when you go to bed and while you’re at it, change the batteries in your smoke detectors as well.

My apologies if I sound like a PSA today 🙂

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One Response to Fall Back

  1. Hi Lauren, I admire your gratitude! There is absolutely no perfection anywhere, and we have to make the most of what we have – change of season, late sunrise, forward/backward time movements – everything.

    I love that fall image you have there, it is just a wonder to look at all those magnificent shades.

    Life is a mystery, this world is a mystery; we just have to find a way to fit in and enjoy every minute of it.

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