Why DST Offends my Sensitivities

I know that I’ve mentioned reading Susan Cain’s book at least once here in this space.  It has been a game-changer for me.  My physical realities have made my sensitivity impossible to ignore.  So that’s good.  But reading her book has opened me up to a deeper layer of sensitivities that I have tended to suppress.  It goes without saying that suppressing part of ourselves for any extended period of time is a bad idea.  But because of the nature or suppression, I’m going to reiterate the point by putting it in writing:  suppression is not a long term strategy for wellness.  All that is to say that I’m getting more and more in touch with my sensitivity these days; it’s turning out to be a boon for me in that it is helping me to honor myself more in my day to day life.  This takes a little fight out of me.  As I’m more accepting of myself, I’m easier in my interactions with the outside world.

For the past few days, I’ve had a nasty and frustrating case of laryngitis.  This is most probably, the consequence of my ambitions.  I tend to pack more into my life than I can actually do, which keeps me going to the point of sickness when I do something crazy like fly to NYC for a 24 hour stay.  But perhaps on a more symbolic level, my therapist pointed out to me today, I’m in the process of learning to speak what’s true for me, for my heart.  Perhaps my loss of voice is reflecting the years of suppression that are washing away as I reclaim the parts of myself that I’ve attempted to ignore.  I’ll chose to believe a little of both stories, because I know each to be true.  And then I’ll get to the point which is to say that this current ailment has put me behind on posting my biannual protest of daylight savings time.

For those who are new around these parts, I am passionately opposed to daylight savings time.  I don’t think that the supposed benefit of more sunlight at a certain part of the day comes even close to outweighing the cost of the disruption that altering our time brings to our bodies.  Now I’ve come to think that it’s my sensitivity that makes me so passionate about this.  I realize that for less sensitive people this is not an issue, they gloss over their weaknesses and challenges easier than us sensitive folk do.  But I’m quite sure that most of us are affected.  Babies and children, for example, are affected across the board regardless of their personal temperment.

Along with others, I suggest that there are other ways to respond to the seasonal changes of the natural world then by changing the hour of our invented time system so that we sleep different hours which in turn messes with our own physical rhythms.  Businesses could have different hours of operation depending on the season, many do anyway.  Start and finish times at work could be flexible so that folks could take advantage of hours on sunlight in the way that satisfies them most.

The bottom line is that DST meddles with our nature for a not-good-enough reason.  And the longer it goes on the more we come to accept it.  (Please don’t take offense to what I’m about to say, I realize that it could easily be construed as criticism, take it more as an abstraction of human behavior rather than a singling out of some people versus others).   Many people I meet don’t really get DST, they see it as a nuisance and a funny thing to get confused about twice a year.  It’s those people who worry me the most, because those are the ones who go along with ideas regardless of how well they understand them.   Their going along creates the current that carries all of us down the stream of those bad ideas.  But us sensitive ones?  Today, my theory is that we are the ones who can save us all.  We can point out the obvious flaws in meddling with time.  We can suggest alternatives.  We can remain true to what we know.  And in time, everybody will benefit because there really is a more sophisticated and graceful way to live in concert with this world of ours.  Dare I repeat on of my favorite maxims?  Simple is the ultimate sophistication.  Changing time is anything but simple.

Reading Cain, has given me strength in my sensitivity and even more courage to share my experience, because we all have sensitivities, and the more we embrace them within the context of our lives the happier and healthier we will be.  So to all the sensitive people out there who really think that daylight savings time is a bad idea, speak up!  Let’s get back on time and stop causing ourselves unnecessary perplexity!

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