The Cure For The Winter Blues?

Did y'all know that Daylight Saving Time is being extended this year? Instead of starting on the first Sunday in April and ending on the last Sunday in October, it'll now start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. In other words, DST will start on March 11 this year instead of April 1, and it'll end on November 4 instead of October 28.

I'm trying to decide if this is a good or a bad thing. As someone who tends toward depression in the winter because of the lack of light—and as someone who's looked forward to Daylight Saving Time for her entire adult life the way I looked forward to Christmas as a kid—it seems like it would be a good thing. I'm so tuned to the way things are now, though, that I wonder if it will be a difficult adjustment.

I always know when DST is ending because I was born on the day the clocks changed in 1968. Thus, the weekend of or just after my birthday is the sad day when we fall back (though as a consolation prize, we gain an extra hour of sleep). I'm sure there will be other reminders in early November, but it won't be the same.

When I was in my early teens I used to have to get up for school ridiculously early (partly because I had long, incredibly thick hair, and it took at least 20 minutes to blow dry it), often before the sun was up. I used to look forward to March, when the days were starting to lengthen but DST had not yet arrived because it meant that the sun rose before I did. I loved the early morning light streaming through my windows. It felt peaceful and wonderful and renewing to wake up in that light. Daylight Saving Time's arrival was often a disappointment, plunging me as it did back into morning darkness.

Now I wake late enough that the sun is up before I am even in winter, so I don't think moving DST will make that much difference to my mornings. I also sit by a window all day while I work, so I maximize the light I get even on short winter days. I've been noticeably less chipper in the past couple months than I was in the preceeding fall or summer, but it's really not that bad. I think the fact that Philadelphia can be sunny even when it's bitterly cold outside (as it is now) helps a lot; I remember being more depressed in winter in San Francisco, where I also sat next to a window during the day, possibly because there were more overcast, rainy days. Ditto Boston, where it's more overcast than here.

Speaking of winter and bitter cold, today is a sharecare day, so I walked the Beaner over to his friend M's house in the stroller this morning. OH MY GOD, IT WAS COLD. We seem to have gone from merely freezing to absolutely brutal, and I was caught with no tights under my jeans. What was I thinking? Here's where, if you're a seasoned parent, you'll be saying out loud, "wait, you're worried about not wearing TIGHTS under your pants? What about your KID, freezing his ass off in the stroller?" And you'd be absolutely right.

I called Al after I left M's house to tell him how the Beaner refused the stroller cover halfway through the walk, even though he'd gone silent minutes into the walk (usually he sings until he gets too cold to do so, so he must have gotten cold fast), and how he'd started to whimper as we turned onto M's street. "Only a little farther, buddy!" I'd said. "Yeah," Al said. "As I was riding up the elevator in my building this morning, I remarked to a colleague how cold it was this morning. The colleague replied, 'yeah, it was so cold I had to drive my kids to school!'" We both paused for a second to smack our foreheads. We could have DRIVEN the Beaner to M's house. Duh. "We should pick him up in the car tonight," said Al. Um, yeah. Sometimes we are so STUPID.

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Posted by Lori in parenthood and philadelphia and public policy at 10:27 AM on February 5, 2007

Comments

I think we need to see photos of the long, incredibly thick high-school hair.

Posted by: juliloquy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2007 11:10 AM

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