The inventor of Daylight Savings Time obviously was not a family man, or at least he wasn’t the primary caregiver. If he was, he would never have proposed a system in which children under the age of thirteen are expected to go to bed or expected to stay in bed after waking up an hour differently from what they are accustomed to. Mine, like so many others, don’t take the change well. The following day is almost assured to be a cranky day. This year, Daylight Savings Time ended the same weekend as Halloween. We also had a cold front roll in combined with rain. Extreme sugar induced mood swings, time change crankiness, and all of us forced to stay inside, what could be better?!
We had allowed our boys to stay up late the evening before the change with the hope that they might sleep in an extra hour the following day. While this plan has never once worked, we always remain hopeful. By the time things had quieted down, the hubby and I were exhausted. My hubby turned to me and asked, what would you do if you had an extra hour? Without waiting for my response, he told me his answer. “Imagine nine hours of sleep.”
I will admit that the idea of nine hours of sleep each night did sound heavenly at the time. Earlier in the week, our toddler chose to wake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Extra time for sleep would be the ultimate luxury, or so I thought Saturday evening. On Sunday, the rain had passed and a look out the window showed a beautiful Fall day. While I drank my morning coffee, I found myself thinking, what would I do, really?
An extra hour every day equates into essentially an extra three years over a lifetime. Would I really want to spend that time in bed, or would I take that time and do something more exciting? Then again, would I even be allowed to spend that time on myself, or would I be expected to spend that extra time in the office? As the saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum. If I didn’t find a use of those extra sixty minutes, I am pretty confident that someone or something else would fill it for me.
I often think that life would be so much easier if there were more hours in the day, but is that really the truth or an opportunity for more stress to enter into my life?
Perhaps it might be better to examine the flip side of the question. If I had one less hour everyday, what would I be willing to sacrifice? If the answer to that comes to mind easily, then what is stopping me from letting it go today and gaining that extra hour tomorrow?
What is stopping you?
4 thoughts on “What have you done with your extra hour?”
I always think that extra time (or an extra hour) will never be enough to accomplish all I want to do in a day. It’s like when we get a holiday that comes after a weekend – we still think that we can use an additional day – to recover. So I like the idea of giving up an hour – it might force us to prioritize instead.
It’s so much easier to find ways to fill up your time than free it.
What a thoughtful and compelling set of questions. I don’t have a good answer to either yet–what I would do or sacrifice–but I can promise you I’ll be thinking about this, ironically, for some time to come!
I’d like an extra thirty minutes at lunch so that I could both eat and run errands rather than my usual eat or errand. I’d like to spend less time in my car, but that is more a factor of distance rather than time. I suppose I could stop working, thereby solving both problems, but my family seems to like the pantry to actually have food in it. So I’ve tried making other changes.
The biggest thing was stopping blindly accepting meeting requests at work. It is amazing how much time that freed up. I’ve also given my kids chores to do around the house. Thankfully, they are now able to stay up a little later without turning into grumpy hellions determined to crush my sanity the following day, so even when they drag their heels or don’t perform their chores quite up to my standard, I don’t feel like I have to cram quite so much into the short time I have with them after work before lights out. Every extra minute has helped my stress level.
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