Every year around this time, I struggle with the onset of Daylight Savings Time (DST). Somehow, this change to our national clocks represents far more than one measly hour lost – or gained, depending on your perspective.
For those with a positive view of DST, it represents a gift that keeps on giving. Every evening, beginning with the first Sunday of DST, these happy people celebrate an extra hour of daylight by taking walks, working in the yard, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. (Imagine smiling faces, couples strolling hand-in-hand, games of croquet, fetching dogs – all in dramatic slow motion.) You get the picture … and don’t miss my rolling eyes.
For those with a less-positive view, DST represents a stolen hour, robbed under protest and flaunted every morning as we are forced to rise from sleep and begin our workday in the darkness of pre-dawn. This cruel distortion of time lingers in our bodies throughout the rest of the two impacted seasons like a chronic case of jet-lag, leaving us tired and irritable with one daily dream: to catch up on our sleep.
I haven’t done a formal study on this, but my theory is that those of us who despise DST are more concerned with the way things begin than the way they end. We are cyclical thinkers who see most everything occurring in cycles. If a cycle begins badly, then it recurs badly. If it begins well, then it has a better chance of being good when it comes back around.
On the other hand, those who love DST are, in theory, more interested in endings than beginnings. “All is well that ends well.” These are more linear thinkers who see things with set beginnings and endings. Every day is a chance to start again. And a good ending signals a good day.
To unpack that a bit more and put it in different terms, as a cyclical thinker, I don’t really see relationships as having true endings. For me, once you know someone, you always know them. Some of my relationships cycle back together often and some only rarely, but I don’t ever see a relationship as having ended. (I don’t even believe death ends relationships entirely, but I won’t follow that thread here.) To a linear thinker, relationships begin and they end, then new relationships begin. If an old relationship is re-established, it is seen as a new beginning and not as a continuation from the previous relationship. These would be the friends who say, “That relationship is over, now move on.”
If you look up the concept of linear thought versus cyclical thought, you’ll discover this is a very old discussion. I just might be the first one to relate it to DST.
Rather than to fight about it or struggle through it, perhaps the best answer for someone like me is to move closer to the equator. It would be the best of both worlds, really: days are longer than our North American winters, yet shorter than our North American summers. Plus, it’s the equator – the biggest circle we have on earth! (Don’t tell me you call that a line.)