Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Return of Day Light Savings Time!

This Saturday marked the return of Daylight Savings Time to the United States.  The movement of our clocks one hour forward is both cheered and jeered.  More daylight hours in which we are awake is happily greeted by those of us who are more nocturnal in nature as it makes more of our waking hours full of light.  For those who are early risers, Daylight Savings Time is often seen as a bane, causing them to wake in hours still filled with darkness.

 (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

For me the onset of Daylight Savings Time is almost as joyful as Christmas!  I love what seem to be the endless hours of late afternoon and evening that are filled with light.  My productivity and general satisfaction with life increase dramatically when Daylight Savings Time (DST) begin.  The first few days are rough as that missed hour of sleep and the early bed times are hard to stomach.  Three days after the start of DST however, I am usually adjusted and ready to enjoy the perceived longer hours of sunlight.

Daylight Savings Time is just a trick to convince our heads and bodies that we have longer days.  In fact, all that does DST is to acclimate our bodies to waking an hour earlier every morning.  If we awake at the same time on Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March, we are getting up one hour earlier on Sunday.  My belief is that most people slept in an hour later on Sunday and the impact of the shift to DST will really only impact them on Monday morning.  I know that is exactly what happened for me, as I didn't get out of bed until almost 11:00AM this morning.  That seems really late, but in fact it was before 10:00AM according to Standard Time.

The other factor that makes DST seem so gratifying is that the weather tends to start improving around the time that DST takes affect.  For Colorado, we had experienced a major snow storm on Saturday, but by this afternoon the sky had cleared and much of the snow had begun to melt.  The remainder of this week will be sunny and warm with temperatures reaching almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  That certainly will improve anyone's spirits and make them feel better.

I tend to turn the long evenings into time to be outdoors reveling in the beautiful weather.  Already for the week ahead I have plans to spend some evenings outdoors walking with Zack and Lisa.  Zack will certainly love the longer evenings as he will now have more time to do things outside after he is done with his homework.  I am sure my neighbors will hear the springs of our trampoline bouncing until the last light fades from the sky around 7:40PM as Zack will squeeze every last second from the day to be outside on the trampoline.

Despite the arrival of DST, we did experience a significant winter storm this weekend.  It started on late Friday evening with rain and snow flurries and progressed to a pounding, white-out snow storm on Saturday.  Because of the recent warm weather much of the snow melted when it hit the ground.  When night fell on Saturday, the wet, slush covered highways turned to sheets of ice and there were many wrecks.  Most of the highways heading east from Denver to the Kansas state border were closed due to the conditions.  Even when the highways reopened Sunday morning there were still lots of accidents.

Sunday night has once again rolled around heralding the beginning of another busy work week.  It will be a short week for us however as we are headed to Moab, Utah on Thursday evening.  We'll spend the weekend there as I am once again running in the Canyonlands Half-Marathon.  On Friday we will take a ranger led hike in Arches National Park into the Fiery Furnace area.  It should be an interesting hike that will provide us with lots of amazing views!

Thanks and peace to all!~ J.

A few facts about Daylight Savings Time:
- Approximately 82 countries around the world utilize Daylight Savings Time
- DST was first proposed in 1895 by a man named George Vernon Hudson - British by birth but a citizen of New Zealand.
- DST was first widely implemented during WWI because of the potential to save energy for the war effort.  It was first used by Germany and it's allies and came into effect for the first time on April 30, 1916.
- The United States first put DST into place in 1918.