The Imagined Impact of Daylight Savings

As with an infinite amount of other things, this is a topic that has become a bigger deal because of the explosion of social media, blogging sites, and 24/7 news channels. If not for the proliferation of these mediums, daylight savings probably would not get the attention it now gets. Rather we would just pull the clocks back in November and push them forward in March. These days though we give this man-appointed, energy saving tactic lots of coverage and in my opinion we do this just to give us yet another excuse.

Personally I am sick of all the people who complain about the negative impact daylight savings has on them. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, daylight savings somehow wreaks havoc on the human body, many people say. I constantly hear the following: It ruins my precious circadian rhythm. It makes me grumpy and sad. It messes with my ability to make important decisions on work. It takes me off my “A” game.

Give me a break.

People use daylight savings as an excuse to be unproductive.

People use daylight savings as an excuse to be unproductive.

I am not disputing that the fall back part of daylight savings causes crime to spike because of extended night hours. I am not arguing that a few more car accidents occur because people have trouble driving in the dark. You won’t hear an objection from me that chronically depressed people experience a tougher go with a further reduction of natural light. But you won’t get one ounce of sympathy from me about the “hardships” of daylight savings if you are a normal, healthy person.

Even though the beginning of daylight savings is traditionally supposed to disturb the health and productivity of people more than the end of it, I couldn’t believe since Sunday all the whining I heard in person and over social media about how the fall back of the clocks had done a real number on them. People couldn’t sleep, they couldn’t stay awake, they couldn’t rest, they couldn’t focus, they couldn’t function. Pretty much every excuse for just not giving 100% was given. Nonsense.

I don’t know if this is a placebo effect in action or if people really are just looking for a major crutch to slack off. A couple days before daylight savings hits there is always the extensive media coverage detailing how it is normal to feel certain symptoms relating to the gain/loss of an hour. Then 2 a.m. comes around and social media users start posting about how exhausted they are and how much they hate daylight savings. Do people take in this media coverage and see these status updates and then have something go off in their minds and bodies that tell them they aren’t feeling right? Or, like the second suggestion I offered, are people just looking to be downright lazy?

What I do know is that it is ridiculous for any of us to let daylight savings impact our daily lives. We gain or lose one single hour in the middle of the night twice during the year. One hour. That’s it. Most of us wouldn’t even know about this time change if it wasn’t for the media and for clocks that don’t automatically change. I am one of the biggest proponents of the human mind that you will ever find. I believe that we can accomplish and overcome anything we want as long as we have a strong mindset. If at any second we started to feel as if a symptom of daylight savings was starting to set in on our bodies we all have the capability to send waves from our brain through our system saying that the fatigue or irritability that we are feeling is absolutely false and made up. That should take care of any lame excuses.

To add one more point to the invalidity of daylight savings symptoms all one has to do is look at professions where cross country or cross continental travel is common. Professional athletes, entertainers, national politicians/ambassadors, etc. all make a living crossing time zones on a weekly, if not sometimes daily, basis. They lose and gain big chunks of time constantly, much more than a single hour twice a year. Do they complain? Do they stop working? Do they throw their hands in the air? No. They don’t make excuses and they get the job done.

In my opinion, the daylight savings fatigue/productivity factor is a myth. Even if there is some scientific data to back up small disruptions in our biological cycles, it is definitely not enough to make us unproductive zombies. We need to come up with better excuses. Don’t Blink.

March: A Wonderful Month

February 2013 treated me well and I used the month to improve myself personally. However, I would be lying if I said I am not happy to see it go. For me, February is kind of a depressing month. Sure you got the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day but besides that it is a pretty gloomy time. The cold still lingers, the freshness of the new year fades, and a feeling of restlessness creeps in. It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that February is the shortest month of the year.

Thankfully, I always find consolation in the fact that after one of my least favorite months passes, one of my favorite months emerges. Besides the summer months, March is my favorite month of the year. I like March for many reasons but I think the overarching appeal of it is just that the cold is leaving and brighter, warmer, longer days are arriving. Throw some great basketball in that mix as well and you got a pretty spectacular month. For this post I would like to briefly highlight some of the great things that make March so spectacular.

Great Montana Basketball: As you will see as I list all of the reasons for liking March, most of these items that make the month so awesome are constants …with the exception of this one.

Well, I should rephrase that last sentence in regard to my subject. The University of Montana always has great basketball, it is just that this season we have really, really great basketball. Both our Griz and Lady Griz teams are in first place and have great shots at ending the regular season in those number one spots. If this occurred, we would get to host both Big Sky Conference tournaments and I would be in absolute Heaven. But let me not get ahead of myself…

Big Sky Conference champions or not, the first ten days in March will be very exciting as both teams play in crucial games that will decide the outcome of the league. To have the opportunity to travel to Bozeman tomorrow for Griz-Cat basketball and then to work the final two Griz home games next week is something very special and something that I am looking very forward to.

Christie and I in Bozeman last year after both Montana basketball teams swept Montana State.

Christie and I in Bozeman last year after both Montana basketball teams swept Montana State.

Daylight Savings Begins! – On Sunday, March 10, we will move the clocks forward and trade in sixty minutes of sleep for longer days. Immediately, we will have an hour more of daylight on that Sunday evening and from there on the days will just get longer and longer. I can’t express how much it elevates my mood when I leave work in the evening and it is still perfectly light out. Waking up to the sunshine is another coveted luxury that Daylight Saving’s brings.

Longer days make me happier and more productive with my time out of the office. I notice a change in the people around me too. I can’t wait for the time change to come!

NCAA Basketball Championship Week – Last year I devoted a blog post to Championship Week so my love of this time is well-documented. The NCAA Tournament is awesome but Championship Week just has a whole different element to it. The ten days of conference heroics, court stormings, unknowns made into heroes, storylines, and the allure of having automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament up for grabs makes for incredible basketball.

The playing stakes and the different atmospheres make me adore Championship Week. What makes Championship Week even better? When I get to participate in it! Last year we hosted the Big Sky Conference tournament for men’s basketball and it was an absolute blast. With the chance to host both the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tourneys this year, I could potentially have the best Championship Week ever.

St. Patrick’s Day – Who doesn’t love St. Patty’s Day? Sandwiched perfectly right in the middle of the month, I have never not had fun on March 17. Last year I got to experience the craziness of Butte American on St. Patrick’s Day and had a memorable time to say the least. I have also had many good times in Missoula on the holiday as well. Nothing beats dressing up in ridiculous green gear and celebrating the Irish. It is something I look forward to every March 17.

In Butte last year! Melissa, myself, and Misti.

In Butte last year! Melissa, myself, and Misti.

The Start of Spring – On March 20 the season of Spring officially begins. Even though Montana weather won’t always recognize this change in seasons, just the indication on the calendar means a lot to me. Winter is officially over and even though if it happens slowly, conditions will only improve. Spring symbolizes new life and brighter days. All I can say to that is AMEN.

The NCAA Tournament – There could be a month marked by natural disasters, famine, and death but as long as the NCAA Tournament still took place during it, many people would consider it the best month of the year. The NCAA Tournament is obviously one of the best sporting events in the world and what helps make it so fun is that the excitement lasts for a couple weeks, even spilling into April! Of course nothing really compares to the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament where the whole field is in action, making it two of the most exciting days on the calendar year.

Remember how I said there was a certain condition that would make Championship Week even better? Well that condition applies for the NCAA Tournament too! If the Griz or Lady Griz happens to make the Big Dance, the excitement goes up exponentially.

Myself at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the NCAA Tournament.

Myself at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the NCAA Tournament.

Easter – This year March will conclude with my favorite holiday. Easter falls on March 31 this year and will provide an excellent ending to what is going to be a great month. Easter to me is such a bright, hopeful holiday that brings a lot of peace and joy to my soul. The most significant date on the Catholic calendar, Easter has a lot of meaning to me and my family. Nothing beats Easter Sunday mass and nothing beats the time I get to share with my family afterwards. Easter is not about presents or a huge meal, it is about being thankful for the saving of humanity.

As with the whole theme of March in general, Easter is about renewal and the coming back of life. It is an optimistic holiday filled with brightness and joy. Luckily for me, Easter will be here in no time because this month is going to fly by with all the fun things going on.

My brother and I on Easter Sunday last year.

My brother and I on Easter Sunday last year.


Have a blessed March everyone! Make the most of it and improve yourself. Good luck to your teams and have a good one. Don’t Blink.