by Barb, trying to find her way around in the dark
Our Wicked Wednesday theme for November is Light and Darkness. It seems particularly appropriate this Wednesday since most of North America “fell back” this weekend. Daylight savings time seems to be a love it or hate it thing for most Americans. But whether or not you’re a fan of daylight savings time, everyone seems to hate the actual time shift.
Here in New England we’re on the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone, which means it gets dark really early when we go off EDT. During the entire month of December in Boston the sun sets between 4:11 and 4:20 EST, less than half an hour later than Anchorage, Alaska, despite Boston being much farther south.
So there’s a movement and even pending legislation in our various state capitols (except for Connecticut, which has to stay in the same time as New York City due to the number of commuters) of going to permanent daylight savings time. But federal law only allows states to opt in or out of daylight savings time, like Arizona and Hawaii do, not to go to permanent daylight savings.
Another solution that gets floated is moving northern New England or even the bulk of New England to the Atlantic Time Zone, where we would stay on standard time year round. We’d join Puerto Rico and three Canadian provinces. We’re on the same time zone as them March through November anyway.
Joining a new time zone seems like a very big deal, but I do hate those dark, dark afternoons.
Wickeds, what do you think? Daylight savings, love it? Hate it? What’s your solution?
Edith/Maddie: As I have one son living in Puerto Rico and the other in Massachusetts, I say go for Atlantic time! The time shift puts me into something like jet lag, and I don’t like it. I’m not someone whose body knows how to sleep in, so when people say you get an extra hour of sleep, I never know what they’re talking about.
Jessie: If we were to change to the Atlantic time zone I would not be in the same one as two of my sons so I’d rather stay where we are! One of them goes running at the same time as me a couple times each week and one of my favorite things is to chat with him on the phone while we do so!
Generally, I adjust to time shifts quite easily. My husband and I went to China few years ago on a 9 day trip. It was a thirteen hour difference and neither of us really felt the impact of the shift until the day we were to leave. I just continue to go to bed at my regular time. If I wake up naturally an hour early I get up and enjoy an extra bit of time with a book before walking the dog. Within a couple of days my body adjusts to sleeping in until the regular hour and it is resolved until the clocks change again.
Julie: This is my time. I don’t mind the dark, once we’re through December it lightens up again. I’m not a morning person, so I drag during DST. All of that said, the switch is hard on us all. I’d be up for Atlantic time, though I think that would cement my night owl ways.
Liz: The early dark thing depresses me – I don’t love this time of year. It’s better since I stopped actually having to go to the office about five years ago – before that, it was leave in the dark and come home in the dark. Now with more control over my day it’s not as bad, but I would be up for the Atlantic time too.
Sherry: I used to love falling back, but I’m not so sure anymore. Monday night I fell asleep at nine which is crazy early for me. Then I was wide awake at 11 and read until after one, then tossed and turned the rest of the night. I hate springing forward and don’t like the thought of having to change time zone when I get the chance to travel to New England again. I used to go back and forth a lot. So I’m a just say no to the Atlantic Time Zone!
Barb: Jessie, I envy your lack of jet lag. I’ve been to Australia three times. I was fine going over and wrecked for three weeks coming back. I hate the early darkness. One of the things we love about going to Key West in January is that it’s so much farther west in the eastern timezone than Portland, Maine we get an extra hour of daylight right away.
The challenge of Atlantic time is who’s going with us? Maine, for sure. But as I wrote, Connecticut needs to be in the same time zone as New York due to all the commuters. Lots of people commute from New Hampshire and Rhode Island to Massachusetts. Vermont is farther west. But I’m all for five New England states going to Atlantic time and not doing daylight savings time. We’d be on the same time as the rest of the east coast March through November anyway.
Readers: Tell us what you think. Daylight savings time yay or nay?