Sunday, March 19, 2023

That's An Hour I'll Never Get Back

This past week, once again, we have been forced to change the clocks and “Spring Forward”. And I will be the first to say, I am not a fan of the days and the week that follows. I am not a person who likes change to my daily routine and the first week after we set the clocks back or forward, I am a confused mess trying to go through my daily life. 

I am fortunate that my Best Half takes on the responsibility of setting most of the clocks in the house to reflect the springing forward or falling back of time. He has done this for as long as we have been married. Saturday, the night before the time change, he will go and set all the clocks in the house to the correct time. 

This past week, he continued the tradition and right before he went to bed Saturday, he went around the house and set all the clocks an hour ahead of time. He even set the clock on my side of the bed to reflect the new daylight savings time. That was a first, I must admit. I have usually been left to my own devices to set my bedside clock. And I have to say, many times it has sat at the wrong time for several days before I would get around to remembering to change the time. 

Saturday night we went to bed knowing that as we slept we would somehow magically lose an hour of our lives until Fall when we could reclaim it. It always makes me think to myself, “That’s an hour I’ll never get back”. Or in the case of setting the clocks back in the Fall, “What am I going to do with that extra hour I have been given?”. 

Somewhere in the night I woke up to see what time it was, thinking it must be getting close to my rooster gene time of 5:30. When I looked at my clock I couldn’t focus on the numbers, there were too many numbers staring back at me. I reached for my glasses and then could see the numbers a little better. But they still made no sense to me. My clock read 17:23. What the heck? I turned up the backlight to make sure I was seeing the numbers correctly. Yep 17:23 is what I was still seeing. And then it dawned on me.

Remembering back to my years as a nurse…my clock was reading in military time! I closed my eyes and tried to remember military time, which I was never good at in all the years I was a nurse. I calculated and then re-calculated because according to my brain it was 5:23 PM.

I looked across at the clock on the nightstand on the other side of the bed and it said 5:23. Even with a time change my rooster gene had adjusted and awakened me at the usual time. I was mighty impressed with myself. But I then realized it was really only 4:23 pre-time change. That is a little too early even for me to be waking up. So I dropped my head back on the pillow to see if I could fall back asleep for another hour. Nope it wasn’t going to happen.

So I took my phone and earbuds and listened to an audio book, looked at facebook and listened to my Best Half snore as he slept like it was 4:23 in the morning. Eventually we both were up and going before daylight was peeking in the windows. Just a whole other adjustment to deal with now that we have “sprung ahead”. It is dark when we wake up.

While I love the fact that daylight is increasing once again and the time change will give us much more daylight at the end of the day, that trade off of waking up to darkness is kind of a pain. I mean here I am waking up and it is still dark for a few hours and that makes me feel like it's the middle of the night. My circadian rhythm gets so messed up that first week of time changes. I wind up wanting a nap by mid-morning and falling asleep on the couch at 7 pm, then crawling in bed and feeling wide awake. I am a circadian mess that first week of changing up the clocks by just one hour.

Eventually I do adjust like most people the first week when we set the clocks forward or back. It’s just usually a week of being more tired, a little more cranky at those around me, and finding myself in the vehicles in the driveway trying to figure out how to set those clocks. Each vehicle has a different way to set the clocks and I am usually forced to go sit in a cold car thumbing through each vehicle’s owner’s manual trying to figure it all out. Usually this is not my finest hour. 

But to my surprise this year when I went out to the vehicles the times were all set to show daylight savings time. I guess my Best Half being retired has found himself with time on his hands and willing to set the vehicle’s clocks. One less irritation for me, it even makes up for setting my alarm clock to military time. 

The other day I was thinking how they always say we lose an hour when we set the clocks ahead and gain an hour when we set the clocks back in the Fall. It got me to thinking…that’s an hour I will never get back…at least until Fall when I will live to see an extra hour in my life once again. Each Spring I will be forced to give up an hour of something. And come Fall, I will be given an extra hour to do something with my time. It is just one more of those things in life where the ebb and the flow eventually catch up to each other and create a balance. Just maybe not that first week when we make the changes. That is more like a tornado whirling through my days. Here’s to time changes and balanced circadian rhythms. Have a great week everyone!

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