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Daylight Saving Time: Environmentally cool, but a hard adjustment

October 31, 2012

By Lynda Hollenbeck

I don't like Daylight Saving Time. I never have and I doubt if I ever will.
It's not that I have specific objections to that particular time process — or that I especially favor Central Standard Time, the time zone that we live in.
What I don't like is being forced to change times. To me, 4 o'clock is 4 o'clock even if the clock says it's 3 or 5; I still feel it as 4. My internal clock doesn't move in conjunction with the hands on a timepiece.
And there's the matter of the family pets. My dogs go by one time. So do my cats. If I've been feeding them at 5:30 p.m. "regular time," they will expect to eat at that same time — we'll call it "sun time" — the following day and every day thereafter.
They won't have any objections to being served early, but rescheduling their dinner an hour later doesn't make for a happy menagerie. All they know is that they were ready to eat at the usual time and it's now an hour past that. It takes a long time for them to adjust.
The other day someone told me she had trouble remembering which way to turn her clock.
"I don't know if I should push the hour ahead or backward," she said.
She apparently never heard the old "spring forward, fall back" method I embraced many years ago. That system makes it easy to have the correct time according to whatever our legislative body has dictated.
It just doesn't make it easy to be happy with it. Changing the clock either direction upsets my psyche.
However, the time change happens ever year, and I try to get ready for it. Just as sunflowers turn their heads to catch every sunbeam, I know that we, too, have discovered a simple way to get more from our sun. Daylight Saving Time gives us the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings by moving our clocks an hour forward in the spring.
Yet, the implementation of DST has been fraught with controversy since Benjamin Franklin conceived of the idea. Even today, regions and countries routinely change their approaches to it.
Apparently I'm not the only person who objects to the change. For years it's put me in a bad mood when I have to alter my time just because someone in authority says I have to
I'm not the only person who has a problem. Moods can definitely swing when the time changes. This is backed up by a number of sources. Fashion designers and florists will attest to this.
Michael Skaff, head of floral design for FTD and one of the Color Marketing Group’s designers, says a splash of color can help people adjust to a time change. He contends that color has an impact on mood and incorporates accents of color into the environment to positively affect people's moods.
In his storied career, Skaff has set the mood by designing everything from individual bouquets to large events like the Academy Awards and multiple presidential inaugurations, among other prominent events.
He says the following colors can be used to help with the time transition, or just can help in general to alter moods:
•Green shades reportedly convey joy and health and create feelings of tranquility and renewal.
•Pinks encourage love and warmth, and instill feelings of calm and appreciation.
•Purple signifies a sense of beauty, creativity, and imagination.
•Yellow, inspired by the bright sun, sparks feelings of cheer, happiness and high spirits.
Mood plays a powerful role in our routines, which reportedly is why FTD has created a new floral collection called Color Your Day. The collection is themed around bright hues of yellow, purple, pink and green in bouquets that are hand-designed to positively impact mood with sunshine, beauty, happiness and joy. A simple pop of color really can create a mood makeover, the experts say.
No matter what the "experts" contend, my favorite Daylight Saving Time illustration comes out of the archives of preacher stories that dominated my life for nearly 37 years.
During the the greet-your-flock moments at the front door of the church following the morning worship service, a devoted parishioner — much like "Miss Emma" in the mythical Mayberry — once told Ed Hollenbeck: "Brother Ed, I just don't like this Daylight Saving Time. It's burning up my tomatoes."
Ed, being Ed, was kind in his response.

Lynda Hollenbeck is senior editor of The Saline Courier.
lyndahol@yahoo.com.

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