Time to Celebrate

Isn’t “Fall Back Day” the greatest? You know, the day we “fall back” to Standard Time. The day that Daylight Saving Time ends.  I like it so much, it just might be my favorite holiday.  Oh, I know, it’s not really an “official” holiday.  But it should be.  In fact, they ought to just call it Mother’s Day and forget about that inferior shorter day in May. 

After all, if you’re a mother with kids still at home, isn’t time the one thing you wish you had more of? Time for yourself or your family or your laundry.  Time to make it to places on time. Time to do things you never do, like catch up in the family scrapbook/photo album, have lunch with a friend, fix your broken earrings, read a book, get 8 hours of sleep.  If you’re not a mother, you probably wish you had more time, too.  And the only day that actually gives you extra time is Fall Back Day, coming to a clock near you this Sunday.

Yeah, I know, it’s only an hour, but beggars can’t be choosers.  My to-do list is so long right now I’d be happy to take advantage of even 15 extra minutes. (And life just seems to go in slow motion when you need to get things done, doesn’t it?) And evidently with DST, thought up by Ben Franklin in 1784, a little time goes a long way.  According to webexhibits.org, an online “museum”, Daylight Saving Time reduces energy usage in some locations, and helps the economy (more daylight time to shop!). 

This year, the end of Daylight Saving falls on the day before my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better present.  How will I spend those 60 precious extra minutes? Maybe reading the newspaper. Or cleaning my house, since my 85-year-old mother arrives on the same day to spend two weeks with us.  (Fall Back Day would also make a great “National Day of Service”, where everyone would pledge to use the extra 60 minutes to volunteer in their community.)

Maybe I should follow my own advice, published nine years ago in the Dallas Morning News, on how to make the most of this unique day (updates are in purple):

-Plan to use the extra time first thing in the morning, before distractions get in the way. Make sure you let your kids stay up an hour or so later than usual the night before. Otherwise they’ll wake up at the usual time (which in my house, can be the same time I arise or earlier
for my 10-year-old) and your precious moments of freedom could disappear. (That is, unless the one thing you never have enough time for is your family. In that case, rise and shine, everybody!) (If you’re a walker, early morning is smart because pedestrian fatalities increase three-fold in the evening right after the switch.)

-Don’t set your clock back before you go to bed – wait ’til the next day. There’s more dramatic impact when you wake up, look at the clock and for a brief moment think something like, “If I don’t get up now, I’m going to be late for church!” and then realize, “Aahh, it’s really only 6:30 a.m., not 7:30!” That is the blissful, annual moment when time is actually handed to you on a silver platter – so set yourself up to savor it.

-Plan ahead what you’re going to do once the time has arrived. 

 -Be thankful that you live in Texas (well, at least on that day), as opposed to Arizona, Hawaii and the eastern half of Indiana, where daylight-saving time is not observed. (Horrors!)  (Indiana is now on board)

 -Be flexible and have a sense of humor. Your best-made plans may have to be put off another year after being up all night with a sick child, or a neighborhood kid selling something rings your doorbell early in the morning and wakes everyone up.
Then again, you could always vow to take your next vacation across a couple of time zones…