I think I’ll cancel my plans for April 1, but maybe I can schedule a really great dinner, as I shift my calendar yet again…
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After a full year of this CV Diary, it’s time to take a look at what I’ve learned and the times I slept through the lectures, including…
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Welcome to the biggest conspiracy in the world, the great grandmother of all conspiracies, a plot so seamless we don’t even realize it’s a conspiracy at all.
Yes, it’s Daylight Saving Time. Since two o’clock this morning, or maybe it was 1:37 last Thursday, we’ve all entered into a plot to convince ourselves, and our poultry, that the sun and the moon and the stars and all the planets skipped a beat. For roughly eight months, we will tell ourselves and anyone who will listen that the natural order of the universe shifted ever so slightly, just because we decreed it so.
Spring forward, fall back, do the hokey pokey, it’s all a giant delusion that we agree to share. Yesterday, the sun set at 5:45. Today, we’ll all agree that it’s setting at 6:47. Then, in early November, we’ll take it all back and whine about how early the sky gets dark in the winter.
The whole concept is just a bit crazy. The very fact that we have time zones owes more to train schedules than to any underlying need. When every city had its own time, noon was when the sun was directly overhead and everything revolved around that consistent standard. Today, with typical human hubris, we’ve declared that the heavens revolve around our clocks, not vice versa.
In a very real way, though, technology has eliminated the need for time zones. Dividing the country, or the world, into standard times was a great idea for the railroads, but why shouldn’t I have my own time zone to meet my special needs? If I can stream my videos whenever I want, why can’t I change the hourglass to suit my mood?
F’rinstance, I love the idea of the sun setting late in the summer, but it sets before nine p.m. in Chicago. A few miles east of me, in Indiana, sunset is close to 10 p.m. Why should all those Indiana-inians get to dine out in the sunshine at 9:45 while I’m in the dark? Isn’t it my God-given right to live in a world where my sun sets at ten or eleven? Of course it is.
If I had my own time zone, I would always be on time for meetings, because we’d change the clocks to show the right time whenever I arrived. If I had my own time zone, I’d never have a late fee from Visa, because I’d just adjust the clock to make my payments meet the deadline. I’d never forget my wife’s birthday, or our anniversary, because I would just reset the time/date as soon as she reminded me. I’m liking this idea more and more by the minute, whichever minute I choose it to be.
Of course, I’ll need to be careful of the space/time continuum. Too much hopping back and forth to make time my servant could lead me to meet my future self and collapse into anti-matter. I promise to use this power only for good, or for really good pranks.
I haven’t quite figured out all the details for making this a reality, but I have eight months to figure it out before everyone wants to set their clocks back and I stop the motor of the world. In the meantime, maybe I can convince the fine folks at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to just move all the world’s clocks up an hour or two and save me the aggravation. How could they possibly refuse?
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We hold these truths to be self-evident:
One of our greatest skills as human beings is the ability to hold both of these views at the same time, often within the same conversation, sometimes within the same sentence. If mental gymnastics was an Olympic event, we’d qualify for Team USA.
In reality, though, each of us is a sample size of one. That makes each of us unique, but it also means none of us is an average Jane. We’re all empowered by and trapped in the circumstances of our lives and our journeys, so we all see things a bit differently.
In my corner of the world, the Coronavirus is real, the state is woefully behind in managing the vaccination rollout, local businesses are suffering along with their landlords, and very few people are arguing about masks. When I’m writing these posts, that state of the world is part of my foundation, even though it might not be a match for a good number of readers.
Many of you live in areas where the economies have stayed open almost nonstop or in places where wearing a mask, or not, is cause for a confrontation. For all of us, our sense of how the pandemic is unfolding will draw more from what we see in our personal lives than from the news. Yes, we’ll read the stories and check out the videos, but the sources we pick and the way we interpret the news will depend heavily on what we, individually, think is the reality.
If we know people who have battled Covid, or lost the war, we’re more likely to take the whole thing very seriously. If we don’t know anyone who has had to deal with the situation, it’s more remote and less threatening. There are tons of exceptions, because each of us brings unique combinations of experience to the conversation, but all of us tend to focus more on our own friends, our own communities, our own challenges.
That’s the crazy part about all our interactions with other people. We think we’re talking to someone else who is like us, but we might be mis-communicating about almost everything. We’re usually aware of it when we’re talking to a doctor or a lawyer or some other specialist whose language is clearly different from our own. The gaps are less obvious when we’re engaged with someone who looks and sounds like us, but brings a whole different set of baggage to the journey.
Sometimes the differences are small enough that they don’t get in the way. Other times, you and your conversation partner are both fluent in English, but you’re speaking a totally different language. We can’t find a way to make our points effectively, because we don’t see the other person’s filters.
Before we can understand someone else, and be understood by them, we need to know a bit about what makes them unique. Otherwise, we’re just talking to ourselves.
As we enter our fourth year of the Dad Writes experiment, we hope you’ll sign up as a subscriber and that you’ll join in the conversation. We know we’ll benefit from your unique perspective.
Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.