darkness
A Guide to Getting Over the End of Daylight Saving Time 2022

Oh no — we turned the clocks back again. Now it’s nighttime at 4 p.m. Now we have to spend every day listening to everyone we know complain about how it’s dark when they get out of work, and about how, if it were the summer, it would still be bright outside, and about how, oh my god, this is so depressing and it’s just going to get worse when it gets cold!

Okay. I see you and I hear you. I acknowledge your feelings and I am not suggesting they are in any way incorrect. But if you can receive it, I’d like you to listen to me. This darkness is a regular feature of life. It happens every year. In fact, we discussed how to cope with it last year, but, like a newborn opening their eyes for the first time to the blinding horrors of humanity, I see you are once again struggling to adjust. You are having difficulty with the return to standard time, as if it were new. Well, it’s not new. And I’m still willing to help.

I’ve put together a guide to help you process the difficult emotions you’re going through right now, again. Please proceed with an open heart, and know that you are loved.

I HATE THIS!

I know, honey.

I HATE WINTER!

I know, honey.

THIS SUCKS SO MUCH.

I’ll give you one more minute to feel your emotions, but then I really must insist that you move on.

How can I move on when it’s going to be dark outside so early EVERY DAY??

You just do it. You accept it as reality and proceed. We have to deal with less than ideal circumstances all the time. For example, I’d rather not have to deal with you, and yet here I am.

I don’t even understand why we do it? It’s so stupid. It’s like they want us to be miserable.

While I don’t doubt there are in fact people making rules explicitly to make certain other groups of people miserable, this is not an issue of grief imposed by humanity; this is the domain of the sun.

Oh yeah? The SUN makes us move our clocks back?

No, but the increase in darkness during the winter is the result of the Earth’s position in relation to the sun. So I guess it’s more of the fault of the Earth.

Oh yeah? The EARTH makes us move our clocks back?

No.

Uh-huh.

Listen — I understand why you’re doing it, but I think it would be easier to cope with reality if you stopped looking for someone to blame.

Did you know that there’s a bill that was passed by the Senate called the Sunshine Protection Act that would make daylight saving time permanent in the U.S., and it’s just waiting for House approval? Why won’t they just approve it???

When you talk about this, I’m curious — do you feel you’re opposing the idea of changing the clocks twice a year, or do you feel you’re opposing the idea of the sun setting too early during the four months of standard time? Because if it’s the former, it’s generally agreed upon by scientists that standard time is more closely aligned with the natural circadian cycle and, while there’s debate and it’s difficult to find conclusive evidence either way, studies seem to lean toward the fact that sticking to standard time would be better for public health overall. So, would you be okay with never “springing” forward?

Well—

I have a feeling you would not be. I have a feeling you, like the bill in question, would prefer making daylight saving time the permanent system, out of a desire for “more sunlight.” And in that case, I’m not sure what sort of future you’re envisioning. We are working with a limited amount of sunlight regardless; we can’t change that. If it gets dark at 4:30 p.m now, do you know what time it’s going to get dark if we switch to “permanent daylight saving time”? 5:30 p.m. It’s still going to be dark when you leave work, it’s just also going to be dark when you go to work. Did you know they already tried this in the ‘70s and people hated it, because it meant going to work and school in the dark?

What is your point?

I think you’re throwing a tantrum about standard-time-related darkness without considering reality.

And what is “reality”???? That we’re just supposed to bend to whatever ridiculous rules the “government” imposes upon our lives and bodies????

No. Jesus. The reality is that winter evening darkness is unavoidable. We’re debating a single hour. Unless we change the clocks in such a way that the sun does not rise until 11 a.m. during the months of standard time — maybe we can rename it “whiny little bitch time” (WLBT)? just a thought with no offense intended — it is not going to be bright out in the evening for a significantly longer amount of time until spring.

I literally hate that.

I know.

It literally ruins my life.

No it doesn’t.

Why do I care about having sunlight in the morning?

So you can wake up without feeling like you’ve set the alarm for 3 a.m. So you get a bit of genuine brightness before you have to start your work day, rather than total darkness in the morning, and then an extended bit of the sun setting when the work day ends.

Okay — well, what if I said, going back to what we were talking about before, that I would actually be okay with never “springing” forward, and I’d like to just exist in standard time forever?

You can’t do that either.

Why?

It’s just the way it is.

Okay — sorry for wanting to change the world for the better. I guess you just want to accept bad things. Sounds sort of Republican?

Okay I don’t even believe that you would want standard time permanently, I think you’re just being a little bitch for the sake of fighting about it.

Yeah — and so what about it???

I don’t even know why we’re fighting. I’m just trying to help you accept the fact that it’s dark in the winter.

But I hate that.

I know.

I like how it is when it’s summer.

Okay.

I hate it SO much.

I know.

And now it’s going to be cold too?

All right, I’m going to have to stop you there. Good luck in the coming months.

You’re being really difficult about this.

No, I’m not.

Why won’t you be on my side?

I am on your side. That’s why I’m trying to help you.

No, if you were on my side you would—

What? Cry about what the sun does? Shake my fist at the sky?

I hate you.

Well, I love you.

I hate you!

I love you! Goodbye!