I lost an hour this past weekend.
Daylight savings time (also called summer time in several countries) arrived this past weekend, and I found myself pondering that lost hour.
That pondering produced a modest flash of insight.
We’re asked to “spring forward” and advance the time on our clocks by one hour, and we’re told that that technically happens at precisely 1:59 a.m. Just like that, we all lose an hour. One-fifty-nine in the morning ticks to three in the morning!
And, because most of us are sleeping at that time, we all lose an hour of sleep.
But that’s not quite right, I don’t think; not in the sense of that’s not fair, but in the sense that I don’t think that’s what really happens.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t set my alarm for 2 a.m. just to get up and advance the clock to 3 a.m. and then go back to sleep. (If I did, I would surely lose more than just that one hour of sleep!)
Instead, I — and I suspect you — do one of two things: before we retire for the evening on Saturday night, we adjust the clocks by that one hour; or we adjust them upon waking up Sunday morning.
So are we really losing an hour of sleep?
We might decide to go to bed an hour early on Saturday night, moving the clocks right before we do. So, in this case, we lost that hour from our Saturday evening.
Or we adjust the clocks sometime after we awake, thereby losing that hour from our Sunday morning.
So, actually, we decide when, and where, that hour is lost.
And while we certainly are adjusting the time on our clocks, we’re more importantly adjusting our behavior.
We’re adjusting our lives.
So, in pondering that lost hour, perhaps you, like me, can come to consider a possibility that seems implausible, unthinkable.
It isn’t really about time.