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Monday, March 12, 2012

Time Adjustments

At the end of February this year we "gained a day".  It was a leap year so an extra day just "appeared on our calenders". Over the weekend most of the population "sprung their clocks ahead" and all of a sudden we "lost an hour"- poof and it was gone. So today, I figure there's a pretty good chance a lot of people will feel pretty fuzzy.

In my opinion, the whole concept of time  feels arbitrary and artificial, and although I certainly understand the need to agree on a consistent time, it doesn't really quite make sense to me. I still remember the difficulties as a kid learning to tell time. I remember these long sheets of paper with different clock faces on them and we were supposed to write down what time the clock "said".  Nobody could quite understand why this was such a difficult exercise for me. I was supposed to be a fairly intelligent child, and yet I just couldn't "get it".  Perhaps my saving grace was the invention of the digital clock. I didn't have to translate those hands anymore, the watch "told me what it said".  Ahh... communication at it's finest!

It turns out a lot of people have trouble with the concept of daylight savings, and loosing that hour.  A Swedish study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, found in the days right after the change to daylight saving time, the risk of heart attack increases.  American studies report there is a greater incidence of workplace and occupational accidents for about two to three weeks after we change the clocks. The belief is that most people, in the Western world at least, are sleep deprived anyway, and taking away that extra hour just puts us "over the top" and perhaps "under aware" to the point that we suffer physically and mentally. Hmm...

Not everyone agrees to "lose this hour". In Canada, areas of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia don't change their clocks. Most of the province of Saskatchewan hasn't participated since 1966. Arizona and Hawaii both opt out of the concept. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa don't play the daylight saving game either.

There are groups, such as "Lighter Later" in the U.K.  that lobby for daylight saving time to be implemented all year long.  I have no idea what that means in terms of what time it might be (obviously I still have issues), but the idea is that we would have extra hours of daylight in the evening. Lighter Later believes this could even reduce our electricity use.

I guess a lot of the angst comes in because we rely on a clock to tell us when to go to bed and when to get up instead of relying on natural cycles and rhythms. In fact, this arbitrary concept we have created, dictates an entire schedule for us. We follow these time rhythms and hope that our biological rhythms, such as eating and sleeping, can adjust to this pattern. 

A lot of people don't wear watches anymore. But I don't personally think that is because we have become any looser on our concept of time, I think it's quite the reverse.  You don't have to wear a watch anymore because you can see what time it is just about wherever you are without looking at a watch.  There are digital time clock displays outside many buildings. Some of them tell you both the time and the temperature just in case you can't feel that for yourself. All electronic devices, from music devices, to Blackberries, to cellular phones and laptops, all display the time and most of these automatically adjust for daylight savings.  Most meeting rooms display clocks- it's not just one clock for the office, there is usually a clock or time device of some sort in every office. Cars all have a clock on the dashboard.  When was the last time someone on the street stopped and asked  if you knew what time it was? Nineteen eighty something maybe? 

How you feel about time might give you a clue as to the Bach Flower essence that might be helpful for you.

Impatiens types never feel like they have enough time to do the things they want to do, but they also feel like nothing is happening fast enough.  It's a sense of lack for Impatiens, and it causes them great irritation. Impatiens types can be accident prone in their haste so watch out for them, or that sensation in yourself, if you are trying to "make up for that lost hour" today.

Honeysuckle types long for the past and want to "turn the clock back". These types can tell you today, and perhaps for the next few weeks, what time it would really be if we hadn't had the time change. They are eating an hour earlier according to the clock today because they still feel like it's suppertime or lunch time. They regret that "lost hour" the most.

Rock Water types are most likely the time keepers of the group.  They make sure all the clocks are switched to Daylight Savings time.  If you can't figure out how to change that digital clock in your vehicle- ask a Rock Water person. They will read your owner's manual  (their manual is always found in the glove compartment)and have it changed in a minute. In fact, just take them for a drive, they will offer to do it for you.

Vervain types  have done one of two things. They either changed the clocks to Daylight Savings time before they went to bed on Saturday night, or they are refusing to change the clocks at all and suggest you stick to the "old time" as well.  There are probably some Vervain types that belong to the Later Light movement or, having heard about that organization, they are thinking about opening a local chapter. Vervain types often have trouble sleeping so they might really be suffering today with that. Vervain can help them adjust and get a better sleep as well!

Willow types feel "short changed" by the loss of an hour. They don't think it's fair that the government decides to enforce this on them. In particular they begrudge the fact that you loose the hour on the weekend when they should be able to spend time doing what they enjoy. They resent those people that have no problems adjusting to the change, or just went to bed earlier.  If only they were so lucky as to be able to do that. Willow types may be particularly grumpy and a bit sulky today.

Clematis types had no idea that time changed over the weekend until they showed up to work on Monday. Clematis types don't find as much significance in time as others do and they are used to being in their own timeless world of dreams anyway. People that know them well really don't expect them to be on time. They are often distracted by a good book, a daydream, a new concept, or a sunny day.  They have trouble concentrating on tangible things like time.  Clematis types probably understand Time Travel and Time Tornadoes  better than most.

Bach Flower essences are never "one size fits all". Faced with the same external influences people react differently and therefore find benefit from different essences.  If there were one universal essence to choose today however, it would likely be Walnut.  Walnut is helpful when you need protection from change and outside influences. It's helpful when you are having difficulty adjusting to major life changes like moving, puberty, menopause, divorce, or job-loss.  It might help today in the adjustment to a sudden change of time that requires your biological rhythms to quickly adjust to such an external force. Walnut might help you move foreword despite some universal influences that might be pulling you backward.

There is a pull to move backward today. At the same time as all  clock change is occurring, Mercury is in Retrograde, or moving backward. So at the same time we are artificially moving clocks foreword, the universe is moving things backward a bit. Maybe it will all even out and we will feel truly in "the now"? It's about time!

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