Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lost Time

Greetings blog readers, and my apologies for letting it be this long between posts. I can't believe I haven't been on here since AUGUST! But then again, thinking back to what was going on in my life around then, I get it. Things were crazy around my job at Habitat for Humanity Kansas City. Our 30th Anniversary (we are the 7th oldest Habitat affiliate in the world!) was in October, so we were planning this big birthday block party event. We also had some staff changes, I had two new AmeriCorps members to train, Trouble was back in the Air Force Reserves (this time doing her drills out of Colorado Springs), on top of all the usual things that make people busy and lose track of time. I don't want to even attempt to catch anyone up on what's been going on since then - it would take a long time, be fairly boring, and I'm not sure there would be a point anyway. :)

I'm thinking about time this weekend anyway, as we "Spring Ahead" for daylight savings time. I'm sitting here at what feels like 6:45 am to my body but my clock tells me it's almost 8 am. We go through this ritual every year, moving ahead an hour each spring and back an hour each fall, all in the name of conserving energy and spending more time in the sunlight. Does it really make that much of a difference? There have been debates about the energy conservation part - W. changed the dates we move clocks in an effort to show some effort on his part to conserve energy but we still like to keep our homes at fairly consistent temperatures and use electricity for a lot more things than just lighting. I did a little online research to learn more about DST, why we started it and how it's evolved. It's kind of interesting and the information varies from source to source (of course), but if you're interested, I liked the article on Wikipedia for its information not just on the history in the US but around the world. What's most intriguing to me is that there wasn't a "standard time" (let alone "daylight saving time") until the late 1800's, and that was basically adopted because railroads were running all over the place and need some kind of organized scheduling - it didn't become a US law until 1918! And as most of us know, there has been debate over if we should practice DST, when we should change the clocks, how much, etc ever since. DST is praticed in some form in many countries around the globe, but many countries have never done such a thing.

I wonder what it would have been like to live in a time and place where there was no standard of time? It's such a basic part of my daily life, I go nuts when I forget to strap on my wrist sized clock. We have clocks on our phones, appliances, in almost every room of our homes - it's everywhere! How did people before 1918 schedule meetings? Did church just start when everyone got there? Or was it all just based on whatever local standard was set, so that it wasn't really a problem unless you were traveling (which is kind of the same now - I appreciate that my cell phone can read what time zone I'm in an automatically adjust)? Perhaps what intrigues me mst about the concept of time is that it's something the whole world has more or less decided to agree upon. We can look at world maps and see what time it is in each place, we know how long a second, minute and hour are, we've even established a line on the globe where the date and time are based. If only we could find that kind of consensus on other things....

1 comment:

revhipchick said...

yes, it is helpful that we can all "agree" on time but i think i would like living in a time (ha!) in which it was not so constrained. yes, worshipping when we all got there! doing what is needed rather than being driving by the tick and tock of a clock (which rarely ticks or tocks these days).

doesn't sound nice to think of going with the natural flows of life rather than the modern constraits of time as we know them?

btw, glad you are blogging again!