No fan of springing forward

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, March 11, 2012

I may be a little late for church today. It’s been known to happen.

     In case you missed it, daylight saving time began at 2 a.m. today. Our clocks should have been moved up by one hour at the time, or more likely before we went to bed last night.

     It’s the “spring forward” part of the familiar “spring forward, fall back” mnemonic device that helps people remember what to do with their clocks at certain times of the year.

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     I hate “spring forward.”

     I enjoy my weekend sleep too much and I really detest losing that hour. Plus, I have a fantasy baseball league meeting later today, so I won’t be getting that lost hour back through a Sunday afternoon nap.

     When it comes to church, the “spring forward” can be dangerous because forgetting to set the clock ahead means running the risk of missing church altogether. You show up for morning services thinking it’s 11 a.m. when it’s actually noon.

     One year I arrived to find a parking lot full of cars and realized my mistake. I just turned around and went back home.

     OK, I’ve confessed; I feel better now. But I know I’m not alone in how I accounted for my goof-up.

     We do a lot of playing around with clocks and calendars to make sure time is, well, on time.

     In February, we had an extra day because of leap year. We have a February 29 every four years in order to keep our calendars in sync with the earth’s movement around the sun.

     Of course, later this year – Nov. 4 to be exact – we’ll do the “fall back” thing to regular time.

     If I don’t like “spring forward” because of the lost hour of sleep, you’d be right to assume I love “fall back” because of the extra hour we get on that night.

     The “springing forward” and “falling back” business has been around since the Uniform Time Act took effect in 1966. According to, Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not participate in the twice-yearly time adjustments.

     While I prefer the “fall back,” quite honestly, I’m not a fan of either clock adjustment.

     For a couple of days after either adjustment, I feel a little “off” in the time department. It’s hard to explain, but it often seems a little earlier or later than it actually is shortly after the time change.

     Also in the immediate aftermath of the time changes, you’re dealing with darkness either before or after work. In the spring, for those of us with 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or so schedules, you drive to work in the dark and in the fall you drive in home in the dark.

     The days even out in the months in that follow, but it still takes a little getting used to.

     I like to think I have a pretty good internal clock. I haven’t worn a watch regularly in years, but I’m pretty good at guessing – usually within 20 minutes or so – what time of day it is.

     Nevertheless, I do check the clock on my cellphone fairly regularly and I do endeavor to make sure the clocks around the office are keeping the correct time. I may not need to know exactly what time it is, but somebody else might.

     I pay attention to time because I hate to be late – for anything. On the fun side, being late for a movie risks missing a good part while being late for a business meeting could mean not hearing an important fact for a story.

     But chances are, I’m going to arrive early for an event … provided I’ve remembered to set my clock the right way.

     That’s all for now.

     Write to Managing Editor Matthew Coleman at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602, or send e-mail to