The Death of a Thousand Cuts

The annual springtime daylight savings time (DST) adjustment kills me. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t make such a big difference in my day, as it’s merely one hour, but that’s the thing. It’s juuuust enough to screw with my head and put me off at senstive intervals and the effect compounds itself (particularly since I have to get up around 5 AM more than once a week).

For me, DST is worse than travelling to another country with a dramatically different time zone. The travel difference is usually great enough that I can make a dramatic change to my rhythm by staying up and just re-orienting. Plus, for me it’s often associated with vacation, rather than day-to-day, so there’s some wiggle room in my schedule. DST, on the other hand, is like waking up one morning to find that all of your furniture’s been moved over one foot. Instead of thinking “OK, it’s all different now, I need to reorient completely,” your mind is lulled by the lack of contrast from the expected and you end up banging your shins and stubbing your toes until you can’t walk. Your point of reference is just different enough at those corners and table legs that the repeated subtle jarring of your cycle adds up and you end up hobbling. For me, those corners and table legs are meals, bedtime, and waking up.

Damn you, Benjamin Franklin!