Cityside: Daylight saving time and making the most of every moment we have

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Many years ago, I knew someone far more cynical than I (hard to believe, but true), who explained to me that since Pro is the opposite of Con, Congress will always be on the wrong side of Progress. I'm not sure how correct he was, but I think last week's unanimous vote by the United States Senate to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in these United States starting in 2023 with passage of The Sunshine Protection Act might have given him cause to reassess his conclusion.

I mean the last time, in my memory, the Senate moved as swiftly and surely (and spoke as if with one voice) on anything was forty years ago in support of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 declaring August National Peach Month and look at how well that’s turned out.

I wasn’t alone wandering around even more out of sorts than my normal for about three days after we sprang forward last Saturday night/Sunday morning. And probably like your house, there's always one clock we didn't 'fix' before turning in; often it's the one on the range that makes the buzzer sound as you struggle to adjust it, not because you're doing anything wrong but because it's just in its nature.

Bill Kenny
Bill Kenny

Speaking of which, not counting the White Rabbit (and his oversized pocket-watch leading me to wonder what he was compensating for), there's no other creature anywhere in nature with a fixation about time like ours. We slice it and dice it into nanoseconds through to and beyond light-years (where's Buzz when we need him?) to exert control over something over which we have absolutely NO control.

And when we're all still a little groggy and grouchy from the shifting of our circadian rhythms, the notion of ending the forth-and back-of-back-and-forth of clock adjustment is not without a certain amount of appeal. Heck, on more than one evening last week after dinner I strolled around my neighborhood, enjoying the still-daylight at seven o'clock.

But I'm thinking we should be careful what we wish for.

We're going to have MORE daylight anyway through the Summer Solstice (June 21st) because of the earth's rotation and tilt of its axis as we circle the sun. After that, through late December, we'll have less and less daylight to start and end the day, again, because of the positional relationship to the sun. None of it has anything to do with a timepiece and our arbitrary designation of an o'clock.

So how enthused will you be to have to get the kids ready for school in the fall of 2023 when it will be dark not just at five, or six, but also at seven in the morning and/or maybe until after the school bus picks them up? And your morning commute in the dark? Maybe making what we call Standard Time, the year-round standard is better for us both in the long and short of it.

Y’know what? Instead of worries about springing forward and falling back, we could dedicate ourselves to making the most of every moment we have, knowing no matter how they are measured, once they are gone, they are gone forever.

All we have is the space between our birth and our death; what we do in that space is the only thing that's important.

Bill Kenny, of Norwich, writes a weekly column about Norwich issues. His blog, Tilting at Windmills, can be accessed at

This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Cityside: Daylight saving time, the Senate, and making the most of it