Saving Daylight

Daylight saving has finally ended in New South Wales. I don’t know if I like it or not (daylight saving, I mean). It’s nice to have the longer, lighter days in summer where you can have barbecues and go for pleasant evening walks but I think it goes on for too long (nearly 6 months). By the time it is over I am longing for the dark.

Daylight saving started in Australia in 1917, running during late summer. It was discontinued after the war but started up again during World War II for three consecutive summers.

The state of Tasmania had a major influence on why we have daylight saving today. It was due to the state experiencing a severe drought in 1967. It was thought that by saving power, water would also be saved. The campaign was a major success and afterwards the Tasmanian government pushed to introduce daylight saving across the country.

They weren’t successful everywhere. In 1972 Victoria, NSW, the ACT, and South Australia adopted Daylight Savings Time but it is still not practiced in Western Australia, the Northern Territory or Queensland.

When it is in effect it means Australia has five different time zones. People joke that it also makes curtains fade and stops cows from producing milk…….

The clocks move forward. The clocks move back. I have lost track of how many times it has happened. Longer days, lighter days. Does that mean I am older or younger than I actually am?

I have scary thoughts about daylight saving. Does turning the clock forward and then back six months later act like an enormous zipper that opens and closes the fabric of the universe thus splitting the time-space continuum?

Is the cup of coffee I made 5 minutes before daylight saving ended the same an hour earlier as it was an hour later? Should I drink it? Is it safe? Are the particles of which the cofffee consists reversible in time?

If the clocks keep moving back and forth does it make it harder to live in the moment? Is that why I have so much trouble with that concept?

What has happened to all the hours I have lost or gained as the clocks turned forward and back? Are the thoughts and experiences I did have, could have had in those vanished hours gone for good, sent out chaotically into an alternate universe?

Thinking about daylight saving could drive a person crazy. Months and months of lingering, lazy, light nights mess with your head. It is nice to end the day with a night that is decisively dark like a candle snuffed out for sleep. It is nice to pull in and hold the comforting night, sleek as velvet.

38 responses to “Saving Daylight

  1. Lol You’re so eloquent and whimsical in your wonderings about daylight savings time and standard time and I’m all like: Oh for Christs sweet sake can we not just PICK a freaking time and call it DONE?!?!?!

    I like the lighter evenigs too but this switching back and forth causes havoc on our systems. People get into more arguments, more car crashes etc the week of the change be it in the fall or spring. Canada is the same, some provinces have daylight saving time and some don’t …how confusing.

    • I agree with you Cathy. The lack of uniformity across the country is what causes the problem. It’s all so confusing. I have heard that about the arguments. It must be because people sleep in and then someone spends too long in the bathroom and someone else is late for work etc…… what a nightmare :lol:

  2. “splitting the space-time continuum”, “alternate universe” – Oh, my head hurts after reading that!! I thought the problems went only as far as the curtains fading ;-), but now I see that the effects are far more sinister than that, haha

  3. We have Daylight Savings Time here too, Selma, and it truly sucks! It takes a full week at least to adust each Spring and Fall, and it totally confuses my cats as to why I’m ignoring their pleas for breakfast and supper. A couple very wise states in the US voted not to go with Daylight Savings Time when it was enacted, and the rest of us wish ours would follow suit. You made some wonderfully creative arugements here which made me smile this morning, the best of which is… “If the clocks keep moving back and forth does it make it harder to live in the moment?” That could explain so much!! :-)) A fun blog post about a not so fun subject, great read!

    • The adjustment process is tough, Josie. I see it with my goldfish. They don’t know whether to sleep or eat or swim. I remember it was particularly tricky when my son still had daytime naps and it took him weeks to settle after daylight saving came in. Night time was even worse. So glad you liked the post, hon!

  4. It’s one of most stupid ideas man has come up with. As if we were not capable to adjust to naturally changing conditions. It is the old problem of taking things so personally. Changing time to my liking? Of course it inevitably interferes with somebody elses different liking. You are heading into winter down there, we are hoping for summer soon.

    • I completely agree with you, Klaus. Who are we to change time to our liking? The time lords must look at us and laugh. I think it’s one of those things where you can’t please everybody!

  5. We’ve just entered the longer day phase of daylight savings up here in SoCal…not sure it makes much difference but… my coffee is tasting a little strange? ;-) Enjoyed this post very much this Sunday morning.

    • I’m not surprised your coffee tastes different, slpmartin. There is more to daylight saving than meets the eye. Be careful, be very careful :o

  6. I don’t like messing with time. It’s like lying about your age. If daylight savings time is so great for saving power, why not just keep it going all year? Choose one and be consistent. It’s very disorienting and I’m certain it’s because of your explanation of the enormous Zipper of the Universe. It’s like the way I used to try to fool myself to get to places on time by setting my clocks ten minutes fast. I grew up in a house with fast clocks. I’ve finally chosen to accept the real time I’m in. It’s much less unsettling. Whenever the time is changed to DST, it takes me weeks to stop translating the time into Real Standard time which I assume my body thinks it is.

    • That’s what I think, Squirrel. I really don’t like messing with time. I feel like that melted clock in the Dali painting. It’s incredibly unsettling. We need to keep it real in this life and that includes the time :lol:

  7. Hi Selma,
    We had a trail of Daylight Savings here in Queensland back in the 90’s and the majority voted against it. Now with new people moving into Queensland they want this, but it really didn’t work well here.

    Queensland being in the tropics is a lot different than the Southern States, and 8.30 at night it was still too hot to cook tea, put the kids to bed etc. But some did like it, they were beating the tropical storms home instead of being stuck in the city. Personally I didn’t like it, justt way too hot here for that,

    • It’s all those ex-Sydneysiders voting for it, isn’t it Mags? Crazy kids. I can see how it would cause a lot of confusion in the tropics, especially with the heat. It would make it very hard to follow a daily routine.

      • Actually I don’t think a lot of Sydneysiders actually like it that much. I have a few friends down south and they aren’t that keen.
        I think people just like the sound of having an extra hour of daylight, but as I said it is a bit different up here, and for those living further north and out west it is a nightmare.

  8. I love daylight savings time, because I *hate* when it gets dark at 5pm! So depressing.

    • I DO like the lighter evenings when it first comes in, Meleah. It is really nice but this year it went on for 6 months. It was just too long. It’s kind of a relief for it to be dark at 6PM. But I guess that by the time November comes around I’ll be longing for it to come in again. I am fickle like that :roll:

  9. hahahaha – very funny Selma – so it is you southerners that are causing the fabric ripping of the universe – should have known – bwhahahahahaha

    • I think us southerners have a lot to answer for, Gabrielle. Don’t get me started on our position string theory – I’ll be here all day…… :lol: :mrgreen:

  10. You are preaching to the choir. Why do we think we can ‘save’ time? I say we pick one and stick to it. Let’s stop the insanity.

  11. Ha, you ask some difficult questions Selma.

    Since becoming a parent a few years ago, the time change simply means an hour more or less of mom and dad play time. We are still trying to figure out how to get an hour more of sleep out of the deal.

    • Questions only a quantum physicist or a Time Lord could answer, Slamdunk. Where’s Doctor Who when you need him? LOL. That’s what I want to know – where’s the extra hour of sleep we were promised with this whole shebang? I feel ripped off!

  12. keeping track of time is such a bugger scuse my language. :)
    but you know selma, what you wrote about ‘If the clocks keep moving back and forth does it make it harder to live in the moment?’ intrigues me. because of the moments that escape my attention, important ones too, because i have something on my mind so to speak
    and so what eckhart tolle most recently and perhaps farther back than lao tsu what these enlightened beings have called ‘being present’ has certainly escaped me more often than i’m comfortable with, or shall i say have done so in the past haha which seems ridiculous even to say but anyway, the thing is, imo, they say the “present” is a “gift”. but they also say he who speaks doesnt know he who knows doesnt speak et al, and so i think if we were like eckhart tolle and lived only and perpetually in the present moment we might have to just be swallowed by it (of course that might be the ego fighting for its survival haha) and we wouldnt have anything to do or say really about it and we’d maybe feel like we were betraying the present moment when we sit down to think or take a picture or write a poem, i dunno, thats what i think (not) haha and yet still wouldnt everything experienced in whatever form including ego be also of the present moment whatever it is for what its worth…..

    • That ‘present moment’ stuff is much more complex than I thought, Tipota. I wonder if Eckhart Tolle himself was able to achieve ‘present’ living because every moment is interspersed with experiences from the past and thoughts of the future (even if it is just a little sprinkle.) Boy, thinking about living in the moment is as complex as contemplating time travel. Keeping track of time IS such a bugger. That’s a good Aussie way of putting it ;)

  13. You worry a lot. I don’t really understand daylight saving having lived all my life in Kuwait & India. Tiny Kuwait isn’t big enough to have a zone of it’s own and as big as India is, she is still not big enough to have multiple time zones or need daylight savings.

    • I know, Roshan. I need to get out more. Hahahaha. It’s good that you’ve never experienced daylight saving – you will never know the trepidation of wondering what the clocks going constantly back and forward is doing to your mind. AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH 8O

  14. We have it in UK, too … in fact, I think we pioneered it in WW1so that the farmers could work in the fields for longer (I’d imagine there’d be strong resistance to a law which said you had to get up an hour earlier, although BST is basically the same thing)

    From time to time, there have been moves to make BST permanent, and make GMT a purely theoretical concept … at least, it would mean I didn’t have to move the sundial in the garden every 6 months!

    • I knew it. It’s all about making the workers work longer so they can be kept in their place by the landed gentry and the aristocrats. Daylight saving is social oppression, that’s what it is. LOL :lol:

  15. Hi Selma

    this post has driven me, a person suffering from spatial dyslexia, crazy – tub ni a doog yaw…….

    Greetings from Scotland where I always think I ‘ m getting an extra hour when I’m not, and eciv asrev….


    • Oh no, Anne. I think even those of us who are not spatially dyslexic would find ourselves challenged by too much contemplation of space and time, especially time manipulation. Some things are probably best left alone./ Thinking about the extra hour always befuddles me :D

  16. I love your interesting ideas about daylight savings time and its effects. I have a thing about Time, anyway, but I never thought much about DST. Maybe you’re right. I still haven’t gotten my mind around the fact that, as I write this, you are probably sleeping, and it is almost tomorrow and soon to be winter. Everything in me says, “How can that be?” Sigh.

    • It is a strange thing to think about, Patti. We are experiencing opposite seasons and opposite times. All the time. When I went to L.A. a few years back I arrived the day before I left even though the flight was 15 hours. At least I think it was the day before. It might have been the same day but earlier than I actually left. And I can’t remember if DST was in effect. That would really have thrown things. It’s just all terribly confusing :lol:

  17. Just goes to show that time is nothing more than a mental construct and doesn’t really exist. Here in Arizona, we don’t go on Daylight Savings, because it’s hot as hell here in the summertime, and we’re at least smart enough not to drag that out any longer than necessary!

    To quote the late Dean Martin: “Booze is the only answer!”

    • Dean Martin was a true philosopher. Haha. I can see how DST in Arizona would just make things far too hot to handle. The only answer would be mojitos. Dean was more right than he knew…..

  18. Ha, yes, thinking about it can be quite mind-boggling, Selma! :)