The Daylight Saving Dilemna

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Falling back face down.

Seems like just when I get my groove going, something changes that stops me cold.  This time of year, it’s this falling back situation with the time.  Yes, I know it’s coming, but it still feels like a freight train has run smack dab into my mojo.  Granted springing forward is worse – I do not spring, at all – but this dark at 5ish is getting on my last nerve.

Now I get the concept of daylight saving – trying to take advantage of natural daylight and save fuel costs and such.  But in Southeast Texas, we are still running our air conditioners full blast 24/7 most times through December 25th.  So, I’m not certain that this logic really works for us since the majority of our fuel costs are related to climate control.

And just by the way, it’s daylight saving – not the plural savings.  Apparently, that’s an issue.

There’s just always somebody trying to poke the bear:  The poker being the time change, and the bear being me.  That’s not okay.  Seems like this situation is poking lots of folks as Congress has not only gotten involved, they’ve been involved for years – as if they have nothing more important to consider.

In March 2022, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act.  I am not making this up.  I am more creative than that particular label I assure you.  The intent behind the bill was to make daylight saving time permanent starting in spring of 2023.  Wait, was it not permanent before?

Apparently, it’s a hotly contested issue.  For decades presidents and members of congress have gone back and forth over this paramount yet perplexing problem.  Proponents of daylight saving proclaim that the added evening daylight leads to a reduction in crime, a potential reduction in energy usage and diminished health risks associated with the time change.  I’m guessing the health risk is that I’m sleepy at 6 pm and extremely cranky.

Critics say year-round daylight saving time will play havoc with people’s circadian rhythms.  Now I just said that my groove is groggy.  Apparently, that’s akin to a circadian rhythm.  Specifically (because y’all know I looked it up) a circadian rhythm is the “physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.”  And guess what?  There’s four classifications with chronotypes or the specific rhythms that define levels of alertness and activity.  The four chronotype classifications?  The lion, dolphin, wolf and the bar.  Honest to God – I could not possibly make this up.

Without even delving deeper, I’m thinking I’m the bar, because this girl loves a good bar.  The only problem is I can’t stay awake through Happy Hour.

Seems like everybody is weighing in on this vital issue – the scientists, the politicians – even the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is pushing for year-round time, but not daylight saving time.  Geez.

As a country, we do have some hold outs on the daylight drama.  Hawaii and Arizona have said, “Enough!”  They’re not drinking the Kool Aid and don’t observe daylight saving time. The U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands don’t play either.

So, there is hope; I can always move to one of the aforementioned places and not have to deal with the daylight dilemma.  But that’s a discussion for another day, because right now, I have to go take a nap.  The disappearing dusk tells my circadian rhythm it’s late, very late. See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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