Sunday, November 13, 2022

If I could Turn Back Time

Another Season has passed by and it has been a week or so since turning back the clocks an hour. While I should be celebrating adding an extra hour to my life I am once again looking at myself in the mirror seeing reddened eyes with bags under them from lack of sleep. It is the end of Daylight Savings Time 2022. We have turned back time officially.

It amazes me that as the day to turn back our clocks approaches, some of us here in Minnesota seem to prep for it. Not in the way we prep for the fishing opener or deer hunting. No not in a large scale way, but more in a subtle hardly noticeable stealth way.

There are of course the usual things like setting the clocks back an hour. But also there are some things it seems we do, maybe unconsciously or with full knowledge, to ease our way into the new time zone. A week or so before we go back in time, I have found myself delaying the supper time for us. Instead of the usual 5-5:30 supper time, I start moving the meal times a little later each day until it is a good hour later or more than the “normal” time we eat. I figure that way, when the clock reset happens, I won’t be starving at 4PM. I try to maintain meals around the same time my body is used to. Does it work…kind of.

A few days before setting the clocks back I have noticed my Best Half staying up later than his usual 10-10:30 and sleeping a little later than normal. I realized that was his way of trying to get his sleep cycle in sync with the time change that lies ahead. Does It work?  For him maybe, for me, I wouldn’t know. I am that person that sleeps 6 hours and then is awake and ready to face the day. So depending on what time I want to wake up will usually depend on what time I go to bed. That has been my alarm clock for many years. To be honest, I don’t even know how to set the alarm clock by the bed.

And now on to setting the clocks throughout the house. We have 7 or so that need resetting twice a year. And that becomes my Best Half’s job. While I will just spin the clock randomly to what I think the time is, he will look at his watch and precisely set each clock to the correct time. And all 7 clocks will show the same time. 

My job is to reset the clocks in all the vehicles, 3 of them to be precise. And I will spend a good 15-20 minutes in each machine resetting the time. I think my Best Half gets off pretty easy just having to do the 7 clocks in the house. Afterall it’s not like we have a VCR anymore that needs resetting. Me on the other hand, I have to dig out the owner’s manual for the radio and figure out how to set the clock for each vehicle. Each one requires a different way to reset the clock. And it usually involves a paper clip. Trying to find a paper clip around here is like trying to find a pack of peanut M&M’s in the candy jar after the grandkids have been around. I usually wind up using a toothpick.

But eventually I find something to use to stick in that tiny hole of the radio in the vehicles. And I will poke something sharp in the hour button with no results…until it will start racing numbers forward like the spinner on Wheel of Fortune. I will go around the 12 hours a few times until I can get it exactly on the right number. Halfway done, I’m thinking. And now on to the setting of the minutes, because somehow they got all jumbled up while I was messing with the hour. 

While it should be the same process setting the minutes, for whatever reason I can never get it to go slow enough to get to the right number. So I will make several attempts and finally stop and chalk it up to “that’s close enough”. Usually I manage to come within about 5 minutes of the correct time. And for me, that’s good enough as it usually is 5 minutes fast so no worries of being late for anything.

Well that process usually will take me a good hour to cycle through the vehicle's clocks. For whatever reason it also usually involves it being a cold, blustery and a rainy day. So who knows how much gas I burn up sitting there running the heater to stay warm while I do it. The only good thing about being in charge of the vehicle clocks is that I am the only one who really uses them and knows the correct time after adding or subtracting the minutes messed up when I was resetting. Everyone else seems to pull out their phone. And that is usually when I get told my clock is off. I always respond that they are free to reset it correctly. So far I have not had one taker on wanting to set my clock straight.

Once we are all prepped and ready to set the clocks back, the change over to Winter seems to happen pretty dramatically. The sun goes down and it is dark by 4:30. By 7 PM it feels like midnight with the surrounding darkness. It is now night for a good 14-16 hours a day it seems. And I have to focus all my energy on trying to remember that it is not hibernation season for us humans. Although, I think the bears have a pretty good take on all the darkness…just sleep it off til Spring. Might make it not seem like forever.

Well, a week or so has passed since we reset our lives an hour earlier. I always feel I have gained an extra hour of my life’s journey the night the clocks go back. As I age, each hour seems to count more and more in the greater scheme of living. I guess I will take all the free extra moments I can get. Another week and I am sure I will be into the time change once again for the season of winter. At least until we spring ahead come March. As for right now, I am staring out the window into the dark Abyss listening to the wind blowing and the faint sound of a coyotes howling out in the back field. And it is all of 5PM. Here's to all of us holding off the cabin fever for a few more months.

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