I had a good thing going on, or at least I did for a bit.
I am fanatical creature of routine. I can do pretty much anything if I schedule it correctly (to the friends who read this, if you are ever wondering why I have said no to something, this is probably why). And I like my schedule, I treat it as if it were sacrosanct, and don’t like it when things fuck it up.
For instance, I try to fit in one or two hours of reading and writing every morning. I do this by waking up around five AM. I have been doing this for years, and somehow adjusting to all the various circumstances I might find myself in, regardless where I have moved to and what was going on there (the one exception of course being the occasional cases of crippling depression).
I was doing this before China, during, and was happily doing it after. But in the two years I was in China I got used to one thing that made this habit in particular a lot easier: a lack of daylight savings. Daylight savings time is some kind of racket, although I am not sure who is profiting. All it seems to be is a massive inconvenience for some perceived gain which I just cant figure out. It should be noted that I don’t like it in either direction, even when we are meant to ‘gain’ a sleeping hour in the winter. It’s stupid, and people need to stop doing it.
In China I had two years of no one changing my schedule, and I got stuck into a nice routine. I came back to America and managed to get myself well entrenched into another comfortable routine.
Until fucking daylight savings.
Out the window was my routine. For some god damn reason I could not surmount this hour difference. I have no idea why this is, but my best guess would be that my body really reacts well to the amount of light there is outside, and the fact that now 5 am is still dark as hell. Nor can I seem to shake brute force my way back into my routine.
Were this just one minor change, it would be surmountable after a minor bit of moaning. But it is snowballing into the rest of the day; not only am I not waking up at the right time, but I am not reading, I am not writing, I am barely getting out of bed at the right time. I barely have time to shower before work and I am getting to work later and later. In other words, daylight savings has fucked with my whole day. And with all wasted days, I find myself exhausted at the end of it (largely from playing catch up all day), and I go to bed feeling very tired.
And then I still don’t manage to wake up early.
Ok, this could just be bellyaching. But daylight savings time fucks everything up for other people as well. As the light changes people begin to either stay out later or go out later in the morning, thus changing the traffic patterns. This begins to affect my absolutely god awful commute. I try to live my life as precisely timed as possible, but unfortunately this requires some participation from the people around me. And this I cannot control. Thus, daylight savings time has changed the timing of my various routines. It might not sound like much to say that I need to leave for work at 8:05 instead of 8:15, but consider the weeks it is going to take to re-figure out all the times involved.
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There is a frontier of technology that I have been diving into regarding exactly what you’re experiencing. What is being proposed is a sort of wall pack fixture that is programmed to mimick sunrise and sunset at an optimal time of year. I work with a company that does app connected LED lighting, and I have been suggesting they add a color cycle as such. That way, someone simply swaps their regular light fixture for one of their lights and simply select the cycle on their phone.
I have already implemented a simplified system on a hobby controller because here in the PNW, it gets gloomy as fuck socked in with 9 months of rain. December gets to be hell with 6ish daylight hours and maybe 60% light intensity. I realized through the swing seasons, when clouds are thick one day and gone the next, that my family felt far better on days that the sunrise was nice and clear.
You could always have a dim light on a timer as a low cost fix, but it’s the common belief that the color of light plays a part as well.
Anyway, it’s worth a look into if it can provide you some relief.
That actually sounds super cool.
My reason isn’t a precise routine; in fact I’m blissfully happy in total routinelessness, but what gets me is the senseless shortening of the day during “daylight wasting time” (in Australia we set our clocks back an hour come summer – so you lose that precious hour of daylight in the morning). Anyway, loved your post!