What a long week and two days it has been.
No, I’m not talking about the election. I’m talking about the return to standard time, which took place at 2 a.m. Nov. 1.
While that first Sunday was simply lovely, the days since have dragged on and on. Not even the excitement of a super-close presidential election was enough to keep me up past 10 p.m.
Who am I kidding? I’ve been lucky to make it to 8:30 without nodding off.
It’s nice to wake up to sunlight, and it almost feels like I’m enjoying leisurely mornings with my coffee and my Mini New York Times Crossword in the morning. The first few hours of work sail by. But time seems to just stop once the clock hits 3 p.m. That stretch from 3 to 4:30 in the afternoon lasts at least several hours.
And, it gets dark at 5 p.m. now.
But it’s my poor dog who has suffered the most under this time change. You see, he doesn’t understand why 7 a.m. is now 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. is now 4 p.m. All he knows is the lousy humans who control his food aren’t feeding him when his stomach says it’s time.
This is the first year this has really been a problem. In years past, he was allowed to graze as he wished all day long. When we added a second dog to the mix, meal times were standardized. Otherwise, Bogey would have starved after Copper ate all his food.
Spring forward wasn’t a problem. He got fed early. He thought it was great! And soon, his stomach adjusted and he could tell with surprising accuracy when it was time to go to the dog food container.
Now, he bangs his bowl on the floor, demanding he be fed. I’m trying to stick to my guns, knowing he will eventually adjust, just like we all do, but he’s really insistent. And he knows I find it difficult to tell him no. Did I mention he’s spoiled?
The twice-a-year changing of the clocks again ignited the debate about Daylight Savings Time. Should we keep it going? Is it time to pick one and just stay with it, year-round?
In 2018, Tennessee passed a law to stay on Daylight Savings Time all year long. So why are we still subjecting ourselves — and our pets — to this barbaric change in circadian rhythms?
The bill passed by Tennessee’s lawmakers recognizes that time doesn’t just impact our state. It would impact the states that surround us. While most of us are accustomed to making the “fast time,” “slow time” calculations when planning to travel to Knoxville, staying on Daylight Savings Time would require a whole new set of calculations if going from Crossville to, for example, Danville, KY, or Dalton, GA, which are both in the Eastern Time Zone. And, during parts of the year, we might have to think about the time difference between Central Time Zone Tennessee and Central Time Zone Alabama.
And all those folks in far East or more Middle Tennessee would suddenly have to do a lot more math in their day.
Ultimately, changing our time would impact interstate commerce, and that requires action by the federal government.
We won’t get to bid standard time farewell until the U.S. Congress amends the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to allow states to stay on Daylight Savings Time.
I just hope if that happens, our neighbor states make the same change. My head already hurts trying to figure out all those time calculations for a simple trip an hour away.
n Heather Mullinix may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.