Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Great Time Famine

Daylight savings is killing me.

Don’t get me wrong—I love the idea of sunlight at the end of my day. I’ve just never been fond of waking up in the dark. Way too confusing. When I wake up from a dead sleep, my brain only works binary: Dark—Bad; Light—Good.

Now, having cranked the clocks back an hour, I don’t just start my day tired, I start it confused and in the dark. And it doesn’t help that they’ve changed the months when we’re supposed to mess with the clocks, either. Just more confusing. And confusion only makes me more tired. Evil cycle!

But, let’s admit it. We’ve been tired for a while; tired before we jimmied with the clocks (to be honest, I’ve been confused and in the dark for a while, too. But that’s another story). There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done:

- Dog fed
- Lunches made
- Kids to school
- Me to work
- Wife to work
- …Worky-work-work… (a whole other time crunch there!)
- Kids picked up
- Kids taken to soccer/tae-kwon-do/baseball/sport-of-choice
- Cooking the din-din
- Eating said din-din
- Homework reviewed
- Oops, feed the dog again!
- Bills paid
- Calls returned

… and that’s just Monday!

Okay, I just felt my blood pressure rise. It’s too much! Fifteen pounds of work crammed into a ten pound bag. And you’ve no doubt observed that, if this was Tuesday’s list, there would be no time for “American Idol.” That’s what Tivo’s for, right?

This weekend, when I was in the middle of sorting through our six-point-font family calendar (designed to capture all the crazy details of every crazy week) my kids suggested that we don’t play outside with them enough.

Hello? Could that be because you’re at soccer/tae-kwon-do/baseball every moment you’re not in school and I’m not at work? Don’t they let you kids outside at recess and lunch anymore? I’m getting migraine headaches from overhead fluorescent lights and my eyebrows are frozen from recycled air conditioning. I’d love to have recess outside!

Of course, it’s on the weekends I actually do get outside, but those are the times they hold the games for those sports activities they practice at during the week, not to mention the time we chauffeur the little mongrels to the birthday parties, sleepovers, and shopping dates. It’s also when we crack the whip on the house chores, or balance those anorexic bank accounts, drained by all that gallivanting we’ve done throughout the week...

But their point is not lost on me—and here it is: The kids don’t have enough time, either. They want to play ball, go to tae-kwon-do, play soccer, AND spend time outside with their parents.

Don’t be mistaken. We do spend time inside with the kids. We play family games a few nights a week or cheer on the American Idol du jour (provided the mongrels aren’t grounded from television).

But, what they really want is to play outside, breathe in the not-so-fresh air, hear the asthmatic birds chirping, or feel the warmth of all that daylight we’ve supposedly saved by shifting back those infernal clocks.

So, now that the sun is out later, I can already see it—playing outside will find its way into the family calendar (hello, five-point font!), and all those other evening activities and chores will be pushed further and later into the night.

That only means I’ll be getting to bed later and waking up even more tired, more confused, and more in the dark. Did I mention the evil cycle? I’m so tired, I forgot.

And that, my friends, is why they make coffee.

© 2008, Herb Williams-Dalgart