Annual DST whining
I've been in a bit of a mood for the last couple of weeks. I've written a bunch of posts over the years about my struggles with what I call The Black Hole, my particular form of clinical depression; I characterize it as a massive gravity well of paralysis and fatalism surrounded by a powerful band of insecurity. I'm stuck orbiting this thing and am continually working to stay as high above it as possible, having never been able to achieve escape velocity. Thankfully, my current medication works reasonably well and lets me maintain, for the most part, enough altitude in my orbit that I haven't sunken into a severe episode in quite a while. Thank you, modern pharmacology.
However, I do often slip into minor to moderate episodes. It takes a lot of energy to maintain a high orbit and gravity is relentless. This latest one was of the more gradual variety, happening slowly and really not dragging me down that far. Those episodes can be hard to recognize in the early stages, but over the years I've learned to identify secondary indications that the Black Hole is gaining in the perpetual tug-of-war—principally those signs are brain fog and irritability.
This time I've not experienced notable fogginess, but check that irritability box with big, bold sharpie. Many little things have set me off that are wholly unworthy of a snit. Work things with web projects, umpiring things, household things, Rob Manfred-related things, neighbor things (I'm on my HOA board and shit's about to go down).
I realized I was feeling the irritation of a sinking orbit while I was listening to a podcast that offhandedly mentioned our annual societal wacky tradition of advancing our clocks an hour and pretending high noon occurs at 1:00p.m. for nearly eight months of the year.
I hate Daylight Saving Time. I think it's pointless and dumb, if a fascinating example of social engineering and human psychology. I didn't grow up with it (Arizona doesn't participate in the charade) so it's always seemed kind of weird and goofy—it doesn't save energy, which is how the concept is justified; every time we move the clocks there are incidents and problems like increased traffic accidents and other hazards; and it doesn't do anything to, you know, alter the Earth's position on its axis, we all just pretend it does. But moreover, I am nocturnal by nature and I personally resent being commanded to do things earlier in the day.
It's a minor inconvenience, and yes, this annoys me every single year, but last week when the podcasters reminded me this was happening again the next Sunday (tomorrow, as I type this) I actually yelled out loud. "GODDAMN DAYLIGHT TIME. GODDAMN MORNING PEOPLE. WHY DO WE KEEP FUCKING DOING THIS." I was in my office, which has no shared walls with neighbors, so I likely didn't seem crazy to them, but I did scare Zephyr.
The part of my brain that was not busy trying to maintain orbit spoke up, "Ahem, yes, it sucks, but you know this happens every year and it isn't being done to annoy us personally. Maybe a frustrated sigh and shake of the head would be a more appropriate response than shouting and turning red in the face while our cat runs off in the way he does when we turn the vacuum on."
It's been several days since that incident and I'm on my way back to a stable high orbit. I'm less irritable in general. But I have a three-game ump shift tomorrow starting at noon, which is really eleven a.m., and that means getting up no later than 10:30, which is really 9:30, and despite attempts to adjust my circadian rhythms I still can't seem to fall asleep before 3 or 4 a.m., which is now going to be 4 or 5 a.m., and thus I will show up tomorrow groggy to officiate softball. Fortunately, being this early the players won't have started drinking yet.
Frak you, DST. Some of us like the night.
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