Monday, March 26

Oh, Save Me. Please.

Yesterday we changed our clocks for Daylight Saving Time. It came as a complete surprise to me as in I am wondering how it already got to be the last Sunday in March. I knew that it was coming; I just didn't know it was coming so fast. I feel like I blinked once at the beginning of the month and suddenly it became the end. The passage of time seems to speed up exponentially. That is not to say that I didn't feel its relentless march in February; the horrifically gray, exceptionally cold month of winter in Holland. I found myself facing a winter sadness that surprised me almost as much as it frightened me. Up until moving here I had no current point of reference for what the term winter blues meant. The eternal sunshine of Arizona didn't really prepare me for what the eternal darkness of The Netherlands winter would do to me. It tripped me up. And I fell. Hard.
I won't dwell there though, other than to say that a gift arrived from my parents in late January. A light therapy box to aid my brain in producing endorphins on the days when there would be no sunshine to naturally wake the happy hormones and send them dancing through the gray matter. It was more than a gift really and in explanation as to why the winter blues didn't pull me under and strangle me in madness, I give full credit to a box which emits therapeutic intensive light. And to a father who had the insight to purchase it and send it to me. I have joked recently that I could be the poster child for light therapy. I can certainly say that I would be a marvelous representative to The Netherlands in marketing and selling the litebook. I am that convinced that it saved my life. Yeah, they should probably call me. And offer me a job. A job with really great perks, like winters in the south of Spain. I could totally go for that.

"I'm gonna soak up the sun
While it's still free
I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me."*

Which brings me back to this. We are now in the time of the year called Daylight Saving Time and I am wondering why? Why do we have this thing called Daylight Saving Time? And why is it called Daylight Saving Time when what we have actually done is give away some of our daylight. One whole hour to be exact. All at once, just like that. We spring forward and it's gone. One hour missing and lost forever; or at least until the autumn, when I suppose you could make the argument that we get it back. But I am stuck here at the moment, in the spring, with an hour having been snatched from me without mercy. And the result of that disappearing hour was a fallout of grumpiness and grumbles. This morning as alarm clocks sounded there were groans and grunts; complaints of aches, pains and scratchy throats resounding, and that was only in listening to myself. We were tricked. Losing an hour on that first day may not seem like much until you factor in that children won't be tired at the regular bedtime hour. Especially with the sun still up and shining, it is difficult to make the argument that it is bedtime. It certainly doesn't look nor feel like bedtime. It's the sneaky nature of taking an hour away. An hour that in the end, really matters. We just didn't get enough rest without that reliable hour we had two days ago, but that was lost to us yesterday. Springing forward has repercussions. I know. I live with a pre-schooler, a teenager and a pre-teen girl. Petulance reigned in the wake up hours this morning; and irritability took residence for the day. Bedtime tonight is going to be a welcome thing and I don't believe I will face much hard sell convincing in order to send them off to slumber. We are all tired. All on account of a single hour being snatched away.

My personal answer to this conundrum today was to take it back. At midday I tucked Andrew in for his nap and I wandered out to the front garden with a magazine. I read for awhile and then allowed the sun to work it's magic on me. With comfort hormones released and running through my skull, I lay down on the wooden bench and slept. It was a marvelous, indulgent hour and I now have the sun kissed skin to prove that it was mine.

"I'm gonna soak up the sun
I'm gonna tell everyone
To lighten up
I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up
I'm gonna soak up the sun
I'm gonna soak up the sun."*

*Sheryl Crow-Soak Up The Sun

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