Time Lies

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

It’s only an hour, I thought. How can an hour be so disruptive? I was on a Zoom call with Bobby Kountz this weekend and he was discussing Timelines and said Time “lies”. He was discussing how we often take time for granted. We postpone things until something happens or changes. We tend to kick the can down the road:

  • Someday I will learn to (dance, paint, write, sing, ___).
  • I will work out tomorrow.
  • When the kids grow up, we will get new furniture.
  • When I lose weight, I will go to the beach with my kids.
  • When we have more money, we can take a vacation.
  • I will start eating better on Monday. I don’t want to start on the weekend.
  • After I (know, learn, do) more, I will ______.

You get the idea. What I heard when he said, “time lies” is: Daylight Saving (DST) is coming!

There are usually 24 hours in a day, but today there are only 23. You can argue with me about my perception. My husband enjoys challenging my perspective with facts, science, and logic. I do not care if anyone chooses to challenge my thinking because my truth is I am losing an hour this weekend. It is one less hour to prepare for the week. One less hour before I go back to work and juggle working from home with caring for my family. I know that eventually, we get the hour back, but I live in the now. For now, we lose an hour. I have less time to accomplish the same tasks.

While change is hard for me to process, it is more difficult for Emily. Her developmental and intellectual disabilities make changes in routine more challenging. Tomorrow, 6:30 am will come an hour earlier. The sun will barely be making an appearance, and Emily’s rhythm will be out of sync. We maintain a regulated schedule. This allows Emily to anticipate what is coming next. It is based on consistent repetition, not her thought process, which is limited due to cognitive delays. Emily’s mind does not understand it is time to get up earlier because the clock has changed. Her body is conditioned to her current routine and I anticipate it being a challenging morning. I can put her to bed earlier (when the sun is still up), but she will not adjust in a single night.

It takes Emily time to wake up. Sometimes her brain and body do not communicate with each other. There is a disconnect in the communication and it seems to be more pronounced first thing in the morning. I take time to massage her feet, legs, and hips to “wake them up”. She also has low muscle tone. I do not request that she springs out of bed on any day. Now I am expecting her to engage earlier than her body is used to. It sounds like no big deal. We all do it. The first day is usually not as easy as subsequent days. While that is also true for Emily, it will take her longer to process the new expectations.

I am just dreading the first week of the new normal. If it were up to me, I would keep the time the same year-round. I recently read that DST time started as a federal mandate during WWI. DST ended after the war. It was reinstated during WWII, but this time it was not revoked at the end of that war. Artificially-lighted homes were still a novelty in the 1940s. It was very expensive. It was thought that by giving Americans an extra hour at the end of the day, they would be less reliant on “artificial light” and save money. I don’t suspect the culture at the time was concerned about the impact on those that are disabled and unable to understand or adapt to it. Maybe as we grow and learn more, the benefits of keeping time the same year-round will be adopted again. I know my chickens follow the sunrise and sunset. They are not swayed by the time on a clock, but I digress. Since I am not one to argue with reality, I will end my post here. With fewer hours in my day to prepare and play, I will keep this short and sweet.

Published by bshort1968

I am a self-described caregiver. I love to help and care for others. I have learned the value of caring for myself as well. Now I want to live my life helping others learn to care for others and take care of themselves as well.

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