Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time is an invention

The concept of daylight savings time has always hurt my head.  The fact that only some locales observe it, even within countries, makes it especially ache.  As a child I noted the difference since sometimes Mom and Dad came home from work in the daylight.  I also noted that at times, I would have to go to bed in the daylight (no fair!).  We are told that the spring forward time change leads to an increase in accidents due to people being tired.  We are also told that the extra hour in the fall soon wears off and people go back to their sleep deprived ways, pronto.  These factoids, and the knowledge that most of the world no longer observes daylight savings time, do little to alleviate my head hurting.

I took off my wristwatch in 1996.  I was 29 years old and there were no pocket sized consumer cell phones back then that would allow you to tell the time immediately.  The circumstances under which I made this decision was a total frustration at the lack of time keeping by my Irish family whom I was staying with whilst on a summer vacation.  Time seemed to have no meaning in Ireland back then.  I have not been back to Ireland in awhile so I do not know if the digital age has changed this cultural norm.

Later that same year, when I was back for a second trip to help bury my grandfather, I recall this same uncle pointing to a train pulling into the Cork city train station and saying "That'd be the 10 a.m. train pulling in from Dublin."  My other uncle, long before deviated from his Irish roots by emmigrating to another country, looked at his wrist watch and pointed at it to my mum and I.  It was past 11 a.m..  I knew right then and there that I had made a good decision.  The man was seriously stressed by the lack of respect given to his wrist watch by the Cork train company.  To me, it was a moment that vindicated my decision.

Humans need structure.  But we must balance that with spontaneity in order for our creative bursts to see daylight.  I wonder if by taking off that wrist watch, long ago, I was publicly declaring my allegiance to the creative spontaneity I am continuously drawn to.  

Today, having 25 hours with which to ponder these thoughts, I wonder how I may nurture that creative spark a little more without disturbing the minimal structure I have imposed on my life.  The shortening daylight hours make me want to throw structure to the wind and hibernate till spring equinox.  But perhaps this year I might find the balance that has eluded me for years.


  1. I'm with you on that one, my dear. I've never understood this DST screwing with our heads so find my circadian rhythmn a little thrown by Demz Wot Rulez.

  2. WWW: I added a great image from fb this evening...a nice chuckle on the way thru circadian rhythm adjustments xo


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