Resolutions, Renewal and Daylight Savings Time.
We’ve all turned the clocks ahead one hour this past Sunday and with that comes the flurry of articles and commentaries bemoaning the loss of that precious hour and how to retrieve it. Along with those come the protestations that Daylight Saving s Time is an obsolete practice that only works in an agrarian society. Of course, those like myself who love the longer daylight hours tend to scoff at such suggestions. But how does that extra sunlight benefit us in the 21st Century, where we are a global, 24/7. digital society? I have a somewhat radical suggestion.
Think back to January 1st. Recall how many resolutions you may have made. Now think about how well you have kept those resolutions. If you are like many, many people, by March, .those resolutions have long since been forgotten, evaporated, retreated into the land of “Shoulds.” For example, by March, gym managements report that memberships begun in the New Year, (under the pressure of the “New Year, New You” campaigns that flood the airways at the end of the calendar year) drop off drastically. This resolution attrition rate is not restricted to gym memberships either. Just do a search of why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick and you’ll find plenty of reasons, many of them valid and sound.
I have an additional thought. Those resolutions are designed to renew, re-spark, reinvent or regenerate some part of oneself that has been neglected or perhaps even unconsidered in the year past. To me it’s difficult to conceive of any sort of renewal in the dead of Winter, with its cold, bleak and scarce light. Why make these resolutions at the first of the year just because the calendar says it’s the beginning; why not begin to reflect on what you would like to change as the year ends at the new one begins. Sort of an emotional hibernation period, where in a fallow state one can accrue the internal resources to make lasting ( and moreover, realistic, doable) changes and then with the arrival of brighter, lighter and warmer days, implement that which you reflected upon. Like the crocuses that peek up through the last patches of snow in Central Park, our wishes for a better self could get a life-affirming boost from the advent of Spring.
It’s just a thought.