Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Joyce Minor

Springing Forward Brings Us All Down


Published:   |   Updated: May 6, 2013 at 09:27 AM

Though it's sometimes hard to tell, because our winters are so mild, spring has sprung in Florida.

Beautiful blooming trees line the road I travel to work. Several smallish trees with delicate lavender blossoms have been in full bloom for almost two weeks now and show no signs of leafing out yet. Delightful!

There are also several very large trees with neon yellow flowers. I have no idea what they are, but the color is so bright it almost glows in the dark. Duly noted now that we have sprung forward to Daylight Saving Time and I find myself driving to work before the sun is up.

Unfortunately, that in itself is one sure sign of spring. Why we need this semi-annual time-change torture no one has ever sufficiently explained. It takes me a good two weeks to get past feeling totally exhausted from it.

It isn't just that I'm getting up in the dark. It's that I'm losing, not one, but several hours of sleep each night. First, I have trouble falling asleep because I'm going to bed an hour before my body is ready. Then, I'm getting up an hour before my bio-clock is programmed to wake. So, in reality, I'm losing at least two hours of sleep every night, and that leaves me totally wiped out.

Is it just me, or have you, too, been hearing a litany of woe from co-workers, neighbors, waiters in restaurants, and clerks in stores? In the last week I've heard "I'm tired," and, "I'm exhausted" more often than hello. And I've seen more yawns this week than in the last six months.

Why do we put up with this whole time-change thing? It's not just a nuisance; it's downright dangerous and unhealthy. Yawning drivers cause accidents. Tired bodies are more susceptible to disease. And flagging spirits cause short tempers which make everyone unhappy. How did we get roped into this?

I think it all began when a few jocks who wanted to play ball longer on summer evenings dreamed up a way to make it happen by convincing the rest of the world it would somehow save money. That has been proved untrue over and over; in fact, it actually costs us millions every year. Still we persist with this semi-annual lunacy.

So, if everyone's complaining, and no one really likes springing forward and falling back, why doesn't someone do something about it? If President Obama really wants to bring change and stimulate the economy, why not start with eliminating Daylight Saving Time?

And while he's signing all this pork into law, how about funding research to come up with a hybrid oak tree that doesn't fill the air with noxious pollen and drop sticky junk all over my car.

Oh well, (yawn) I still love this time of year. When I see the flowers and feel the sunshine warm on my neck, something in me just breathes a huge sigh. Ah-h-h SPRING!

Ah, ah, ah . . . choo!

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