A week has gone by since we took that leap up an hour into Daylight Savings Time. And it is just now that I feel like I am coming out of my back to the future moments. Twice a year we set our clocks either ahead or back an hour. And each time it never ceases to amaze me how it takes me a good week to get back into a routine that makes me feel rested and not like I have traveled through a foggy time tunnel.
In the Fall, “falling back” an hour is not so much of a problem, except for the early darkness that comes around 4PM. I get an extra hour of life to do as I would like. Maybe it is sleeping an extra hour, or if you’re like me, it might be getting up that hour earlier and going around and resetting the clocks on the microwave and stove and in my office. I do thank God those 2 times a year we set our clocks back or forward that we no longer have a VCR/DVD player to have to reset. That always was such a momentous chore to get the time right in case we wanted to record a show. So grateful for being able to now just hit that little red record button on the remote and take care of business. But even with that I screw it up. Last week I thought I was recording a show only to find out I hit the record button too many times and it went from recording one show to recording the series to not recording anything. So I just leave any recording up to my Best Half. He’s a pro at it and it always works. And that leaves me more time to reset all the clocks in the vehicles. I have to admit here that I usually need to take the owner’s manual for each vehicle out and read how to do it. And if i am being totally honest, there have been times where I just left the clock in a vehicle and couldn’t reset it. So for 6 months the time was correct…the other 6 months let’s just say it was an ongoing discussion with passengers in the vehicle with me.
But back to the time change this past week. While I am always more happy to change the clocks ahead in the Spring compared to in the Fall, it is not without a lot of commotion to my body and mind. I love that Daylight Savings feels like we are coming out of a long dark cold winter. It stays daylight well into the evening now, but I am once again getting up in the dark of mornings. I am an early riser, usually between 5 and 6:30 is my Engström Rooster Gene awakening. But move the time up an hour and have it be complete darkness at that time, and my body and brain will fight getting up. It is dark and feels cold, no birds chirping outside the window in the crabapple tree, and definitely no signs or sounds of the 2 dogs awakening inside. The only sound from either of them is Zoe’s vibrating the floor with her snoring.
For the first few weeks of going to Daylight Savings, it is a definite chore of convincing my brain that it is time to get up. Even though retired, and able to sleep as long as I want, I just can’t justify being in bed past about 7 am. I feel like I am wasting what time I have left here on earth and need to get moving. And with that thought, I usually will crawl out of bed and grumble a bit to myself about it still being dark and cold. And there are a few not so kind thoughts about the fools that started this switching the clocks back and forth.
Once up and done complaining under my breath, my thoughts start to focus on doing my Tai Chi routine before anyone else is awake and the house comes alive with the smell of coffee, the TV or Alexa popping on with news of the day, and Max barging in and trying to do Tai Chi with me. It is just me alone, quietly stretching and breathing and taking in the newness of the day as daylight begins to come through the window. If I let it, it becomes a very spiritual or Zen moment for me, taking it all in. I start to awaken as my body stretches and sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies with all the snap, crackle, and pop I am hearing from my joints and bones. But I remind myself that I was unable to do it just a few months ago. And the steady inhale and exhale brings my brain into focus on all that is OK and good in my life.
This week I reached another milestone and am now 64…a year I used to question often whether I would ever reach it, being that my parents died so young. It was a thought I had up until a few years ago when I reached an age past what they survived. Looking back, maybe it was a crazy thought, but very real at the time for me. But here I am one year older, alive at sunrise and planning Spring planting, fishing, biking and time when all my kids and grandkids can get home from all over the country so we can celebrate retirement, aging, adulting, being a kid…and life together. Happy Daylight Savings everyone!