The Physical Shin (Prior)

The John Shinnick Website

Once a Year

(Whether We Need It Or Not)

Oh no, here it comes again. Oddly enough, I got my first notice from my beloved utility (and former employer) PG&E, in a notice telling me how to prepare for it. Yes, it’s coming March 13, Daylight Savings time. Spring forward. This is my least favorite day of the year, as I’m robbed of an hour of sleep. To top it all off, it comes on a Sunday, the one day of the week when I often need to get up via alarm clock.


Normally church starts at 10:30. But I’m in the church band “Joyful Noise” which plays at 10:20 and show up at 9:40 to rehearse / sound check. There’s a Unitarian church five minutes from my house, but no. I’m a member of the Oakland UU church which means it’s generally a 30- minute drive, but I need to allow 40, just in case. I need to get out of bed by 8:30 if I’m to have any sense of easing into my day.


But with DST, it’s gonna feel like 7:30. Ugh. Not the retirement of my dreams. I put this in my “Physical” section because I always feel rotten for a couple of days after the event. As a retiree, there’s no need for it. The one day is over soon enough, and my naps have been improving in quality over the last few years. Then I can simply continue sleeping in as late as I want. So what if the clock says 9:30 when I wake up?


Sadly, it never works that way. There’s something in my psyche that makes me feel as though I’ve been robbed. Yet it sounds so positive. Spring forward! Spring is for many, the favorite season. It symbolizes the emergence from dark unpleasantness into a bright, sunny future. Loving in Michigan, I longed for that first day of the snow melting, breaking out my baseball glove and spring training for my beloved Detroit Tigers.


Forward. Another positive word. The notion of moving forward is synonymous with progress. Moving backward is conjures images of losing previous gains. Put them together, and you’ve got spring forward as how to deal with Daylight Savings Time. I deal with it by feeling sleep deprived for at least a week. It’s not necessarily logical, but it’s just the way it is.


A quick survey of my house tells me that I have six clocks to reset, seven if I count the one in my car. Yeah, I need to set that one too. It’s usually the last one I get to, because I only notice it when I’m driving, and I don’t like to try to remember how to do it while I should be concentrating on the road. I usually wind up making a

Last update: March 7, 2022

Yeah, like I need a visual aid to set my clock ahead an hour. Really. Mark the date, March 13.

separate trip to the car to get that one. My bedroom clock is another adventure, because I like to permanently set it about fifteen minutes fast. That way, if the alarm rings, I’ll look at it and think I’m already late. I’m out of bed like a shot. You’d think I couldn’t fool myself that way, but I have for years. Now, I have to add another hour.


Am I alone in complaining? Hardly. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has for years been calling for us to switch to a standard time because of what they call “ample evidence of the negative, short-term consequences of seasonal time changes. The movement in time creates a type of need for orientation and reacclimating, which puts a person off-center.” This from Dr. Kathy Sexton-Radek, of Elmhurst College. She obviously knows of what she speaks.


In 2018, California voters passed Prop. 7, asking the legislature to set a single, permanent standard time or a permanent, year-round DST (if allowed by the federal government.) But it’s allegedly complicated as to which is preferable.


For now I guess we’re stuck with the change to DST, and on March 13, I’ll begin the process of adjusting, feeling horrible for at least a week. And complaining about it much longer.