“Beware the Ides of March” warned the soothsayer in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. For ancient Romans, the Ides (the 15th on the calendar) was bad luck because it was the day for paying off debts. For Caesar, it was a reckoning of another sort: he was assassinated.  Changing up the clocks might not exactly equal Caesar’s fate, but for myself, and I suspect some of you as well, it feels darned close.

Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at heather@heatherdmartin.com.

Lordy! What is it about the time change that is so darned debilitating? I mean, it happens over the weekend, so there is a solid day to adjust. On paper, it really shouldn’t make a difference. But it does. Yes, it does.

And while the springtime change, where we lose an hour of sleep, is obviously the worst, the autumnal change, where we gain an hour, is no better. It knocks me for a loop.

The good news: we are none of us alone in feeling that way. Not only have I been hearing this same sentiment from friends and family, but there are numerous articles out there, both anecdotal and evidence-based, that suggest this takes a very real, very damaging, toll upon our physical and emotional well-being.

Most of the articles boil down to discussions about the time change upsetting our circadian rhythms – which are related to sleep, hunger, focus, etc. – potential impacts upon traffic accidents, impact on lost work and depression.

At some point, the articles will also bring up the history of this puzzling societal habit, including the fact that Benjamin Franklin first proposed daylight saving time as a way of saving on candles, and it was officially put into practice during World War I to save energy. All of this is tremendously interesting, but what I really want to talk about is legislation that might have just ended the semiannual changing of the clocks.


Yes, you read that right. We might actually have just gone through our very last time change ever.

Over the past several years, there have been multiple bills aimed at abolishing the practice. But for one reason or another, sometimes just plain bad timing, none of them wound up sticking. However, a bill put forth by Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco, and Rep. Christopher Kessler, D-South Portland, quietly passed and was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills. It became law in June 2019.

The legislation says that if allowed by the federal government to do so and if other Eastern states join in, Maine will adopt daylight savings time year round.

Here’s what is really astonishing: this might actually happen. This move has astounding bipartisan, national support because while Bailey, Kessler and Mills are all Democrats from Maine, similar measures to eliminate daylight saving time nationally were introduced last September by U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Florida Republicans. It is not often I find myself in agreement with Rubio and Scott. In fact, this might well be a first.

While we are at it, I feel the urge to point out that, technically, Maine is in the Atlantic time zone, not Eastern, and we might want to look at that change, too. But for now, let’s just talk about keeping our clocks where they’re set. Be well, rest up, drink water and we will all survive this change together.

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