As a child, I never understood why we changed our clocks twice a year. Worse still were my father’s attempts to explain how we lost an hour, or gained an hour. You see, Daylight Saving Time (Right, it’s not “Savings”!) or better still, DST, simply doesn’t make sense. And if it’s not “so simple a child could understand it”, then it isn’t simple at all!!!
In the Spring, we move the clocks ahead one hour so that we have an extra hour of waking-daylight in the evening. The only problem is that we do it so early in the year that we lose that daylight in the morning. For the Green-conscious among us, this must be a bit frustrating because one argument “for” DST is that it will save energy and hence, our carbon production. Anyway, while we enjoy the longer period of daylight late in the day, it’s dark once again as the children go out to meet the bus. (I know this because two of mine just missed the bus this morning and woke me up at 7:03 to drive them in!)
So let’s jump to the Fall: Time to undo our damage by turning the clocks back an hour. How easy it is to time travel. I went to bed at 11:00 but because I set the clock back first (I hate getting up at 2:00 in the morning. Besides, I could never figure out whether I should get up at 2:00 or 3:00!!!), it’s really only 10:00. I can relive the entire hour again.
I happen to live in Indianapolis, capital city to one of the last states to jump on board and a state that had one of the more confusing non-DST scenarios one could imagine. Part of the state changed with Chicago, part changed with Cincinatti, and most of the state did not change at all—which meant at times (pun intended), we were in synch with Chicago, and the rest of the year, in synch with New York. We had an identity crisis and there was great confusion for travelers to and from our airports. Even worse was trying to explain to non-Hoosiers how our clock worked differently than theirs.
So how did we fix the problem? We elected a former businessman to be Governor and let him fix it. That’s how we got DST. But here’s where Mitch Daniels failed his constituency. No, there were no high-priced services in Washington DC hotel rooms—his folly was in not getting the other 47 states to join us in not observing DST! (Hawaii and Arizona have seen the wisdom and freedom of not observing DST.) If you think about it, is the Governor’s role to bring his/her state into compliance with others, or is it to distinguish the state from those around it? We could have been a leader in this country rather than a follower and the butt of jokes.
For now, we’ll have to resign ourselves to jokes about corn, the Pacers, and Hoosiers. Maybe the next Governor can find something that distinguishes us. In the meantime, I need about another hour’s worth of sleep so that I can better collect my thoughts for the next blog! Rest well.