Spring Forward — But Its not Good for Your Health!
By now you should have adjusted your clock ahead by one hour. This blog comes to you in the unlikely event that you get up in the morning and check your email, and reading this, discover the news this Sunday is Daylight Savings Time and exclaim; “O dear – I forgot to change the clocks – better hurry or I’ll be late for church!”
The whole thing is a bit of a mystery to me. Not so much as it was to Garland Drover though. Garland was a gentleman who lived in the community of Whiteway, NL where I grew up. I used to visit Garland from time to time – usually to deliver the paper, and sometimes, on a Sunday, to deliver the church bulletin. I swear I learned early in life what a pastoral visit is supposed to be by spending time with Garland Drover. I remember being in his home one early summer day when I was about fourteen or fifteen years of age. I noticed that the clock on his wall was an hour slow. “Garland,” I said, “your clock is an hour slow. Its now 3 o’clock not 2!” He looked at me and shook his head. “My clock is set at the right time. I don’t change it forward in the spring and then I have no need to set it back in the fall.” I was not done. It was important that I be right. (Most George’s have a hard time being wrong about anything – just sayin!) “But Garland everybody else is using daylight savings time. The Post Office, Drovers Store, the Church services….” He looks at me and said – “Doesn’t bother me,” he said, “its everyone else that is playing with the time. I leave mine the same all year. What is the difference?” While I knew the answer to that is….. one hour…. I just nodded and said – “I guess it does not matter.”
When I think about it now I see that Garland Drover was to our community of Whiteway as Saskatchewan is to Canada. The people in Saskatchewan survive without changing their clocks – and so did Garland Drover. I was not able to articulate the benefits of DST to Garland all those years ago and I still can articulate the benefits of it today. But I don’t have the same independent spirit as Garland or the support in numbers that the people of Saskatchewan have. So I have to set my clock forward in order that I might be at church at about the same time as the rest of us are a little later this morning.
I saw a news piece yesterday that suggested that DST might not be good for our health. According to the American Journal of Cardiology, During the first week of DST (in late winter – the spring forward time) there is a spike in heart attacks. Other studies suggest increases in accidents, lower SAT scores in countries that observe DST and on and on it goes. Well …..they might just be on to something. While, Garland is gone from us now he lived a long life with little stress. He died in 2008 just a few months shy of his 90th birthday. Not changing the clock seemed to make little difference to his ‘length of days.’ Perhaps Garland knew something the rest of us did not….
All that being said…. I gotta go change some clocks…..