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(sub)standard time

November 7, 2008

In the first week after Jack was born and I was more emotionally bonkers than usual,  I mourned several things prematurely. I cried because in the grand scheme of things, his infancy was fleeting; I cried because in two months, I’d have to go back to work. Our switch to daylight savings time was then recent, and I grieved over its eventual passing (still seven months away at that point).

Seven months of very little sleep has made me more comfortable with the idea that Jack won’t always be a baby, and though being away from him for much of the week still feels tragic, I don’t cry about it (much). But today ends my first workweek off of daylight savings time, and I have not gotten over that loss. I already spend nearly half of my waking hours in an office building 30 miles away; at home, I’ll take all the daylight I can get.

Standard time doesn’t do much for the commuter lifestyle.  Suddenly, it’s dark when I get home. And while it isn’t actually later, it feels that I have less time to spend with Don and Jack, that dinner is more rushed, that 10 p.m. arrives sooner.  It’s hard to remember that just a week ago, I was admiring the scenery on my drive home, and I didn’t need the headlights to get up our driveway after work or the porch light to make it safely up to the front door. Now, nighttime officially arrives there before I do. As the days grow shorter, I’ll see less and less of my house by daylight, until eventually on weekdays I’ll be leaving and returning in the dark.  Even rhetorically speaking, daylight savings is superior: Seriously, who wants to fall back when you can spring forward?

Don has encouragingly reminded me that with standard time season come my favorite holidays, cheesy music, hot beverages, wool coats, tall boots, and Jack’s little bear bunting. And he’s right – in so many ways, we’re headed for the most wonderful time of the year.  I’ll bet a big batch of mulled wine would get us there even faster…

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