Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - May 27, 2005

Change of time

It was 3 o'clock in the morning and I was still awake. Normally that would have bothered me because I would have been thinking of all the things I had to get done the next day and how it would not be fun doing them on so little sleep. But this was different. For once, I didn't have that much planned for the next day.

Maybe it was different, too, because of my cold. It came on with a vengeance, but it seemed to be easing off and I could breathe some with the help of a nasal spray. There's something about starting to feel better that has a certain sort of exhilarating quality to it.

But there's one thing that has always bothered me about the wee small hours of the morning - they don't seem like morning. They still seem like night.

I think the folks who set up how the world operates got it wrong when they decided at what hour the day changes. If you go to bed at 11 p.m. and wake up at 2 hours later, it doesn't seem like the next day. It seems like the same day.

If some special TV program on Wednesday night bumps the regular programming and they announce that my favorite show will air at 1 a.m. on Thursday, I always think, "Oh, I'll have to set the video recorder for tomorrow." Well, that's true as 1 a.m. Thursday IS officially tomorrow, but it only seems later that night to me.

If I was the one doing the arranging, I'd set 5 a.m. as a good time for the new day to begin. The daylight savings time shift is set for 2 a.m. in an effort to affect as few people as possible, but I think 5 a.m. is a better choice for the shift of days. That way, if you decided to go to a friend's place for a Friday-night party and you came home at 2 a.m., it would still be Friday night when you slipped into bed.

I think the remainder of the morning should stay the same - 5 a.m. to noon.

And then I'd make afternoon start at noon and end at 6 p.m. Some might think that 5 p.m. would be a good ending point, but that is when most people are leaving work. This would mean they would arrive home in the evening, making the work day sound really long. If you go to work in the morning, but don't get back until evening, you sound like a workaholic. But going to work in the morning and arriving home in the afternoon sounds as it should be.

Evening would begin at 6 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. That would give you enough time to go to a movie at 7 p.m. and still get home the same evening rather than arriving home at night. Night sounds like you were out pretty late.

And to complete the system, night would officially begin at 10 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. when a new day would begin.

Some folks would probably balk at my new system, but they'd come around with time. It's only because we have grown up with things a certain way that these changes would at first seem odd. If I suggested that the year should begin on March 1, everyone might think I was joking. But prior to 1752, that was how it was. New Year's Day was the first day of March.

I know, my scheme is probably a crazy idea, but what do you expect from someone filled with cold medication lying in bed and rearranging the world at 3 a.m. in the night - er, morning?

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