Not so fast.
I know there were plenty of you planning fanfare and jubilation this weekend as you went to sleep Saturday night anticipating that, while bleary-eyed, fuzzy-headed,and tired while heading to brunch Sunday morning, it would be the last time you’d worry about setting whatever actual clocks you have left in your life ahead one hour.
On March 12 daylight saving time begins. We spring forward an hour. And that was supposed to be it. Enough Americans had groused loudly enough and for so long that a portion of Congress last year had voted to finally end the practice of “falling back” an hour in the fall.
The Senate had voted to approved the change.
The House of Representatives, however, didn’t get around to closing the deal and now the issue must be re-discussed and refined this year, with a new batch of Congressional representatives discussing the merits and disadvantages of manipulating time.
It’s an issue that elicits strong feelings from people who have time to kill getting worked up about these things. For example, Florida senator Marco Rubio eloquently called the practice of changing clocks back and forth “stupid.”
Proponents of setting clocks ahead so that it stays lighter longer argue it benefits children who don’t have to come home from school in the dark. And it allows more people ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while the sun is still shining. After all, everyone knows texting, taking selfies and scrolling social media on your phone from an outdoor patio at the local brew house is much easier and safer to do when it stays sunny until 8 p.m. and later.
On the other hand, those same students, workers and drivers, are starting their days on the dark side, rumbling along half dazed because they have not yet grown accustomed to getting started an hour early. And those outdoor enthusiasts from the patio? Those poor souls have to rely on those awful gym fluorescent bulbs because the outside lighting is too dark at 6 a.m.
As a nation we’ve grown accustomed to underfunded schools, inadequate healthcare for everyone, extreme poverty and child hunger, rampant homelessness, climate change fueled natural disasters, systemic racism and mass shootings because of lax gun laws, treating them like inconveniences. Maybe it’s time we establish priorities rather than look for ways to run out the clock.