Spring Forward into Adulthood

When I was young I hated the Spring Forward. I hated “losing” an hour of sleep, I hated how dark it was when I’d wake up, and I hated having to manually change all the clocks in our house.

Now, however, I kind of enjoy it. I still don’t love the lost hour of sleep, but I don’t mind the darker mornings and I love the later evenings. And Spring Forward always meant different things to my parents that I didn’t quite understand way back when because I was a child. As an adult, there are a few tangentially related but still more ethereal things I have really come to enjoy about Spring Forward.

Spring Cleaning

It was normally the weekend following the great Spring Forward that we did a deep clean of the house. I hated it from ages 5 to 22, but now I love it. I love taking a Saturday, opening the windows, turning on some tunes, and cleaning. Mowing the lawn, decluttering the garage, really cleaning the floors more deeply than normal, and even stuff like getting cobwebs out of light fixtures. It’s labor-intensive, but the end product is so nice and now that I’m old enough to drink I’ve come to really enjoy that post-cleaning bourbon that follows all the bourbons I have while cleaning.

Baseball

I always look forward to baseball season, but I have come to associate the DST switch with the cusp of a new season. Just this morning as I was making coffee I started absentmindedly looking at the Texas Rangers’ 2021 schedule and I swore I could almost here the pop of a fastball hitting a catcher’s mitt. Baseball has come to mean more to me as I’ve aged. I used to listen to the audio of Rangers’ games while I was studying in law school, and now there’s some vague bit of Americana I can feel every time I watch a game. It’s nice, and because it’s so associated with Spring Forward, I’ve come to enjoy the clock adjustment more.

Flowers

This one might be a little more personal because my dad is a nurseryman and so I was raised in a way that made me notice when bedding plants are changed out. The fall in Texas means pansies, which can last into June if taken care of properly, but normally they’re pulled in March, April, and May and replaced with begonias, coleus, impatiens, petunias, pentas, and periwinkles, which happen to be my favorites. I love the bright colors and the fresher flowery smells that come at office parks and public places after their flower beds have been changed over. It’s nice and it’s another thing that I’ve come to associate with springing forward.

College Basketball

I know, it’s another sports thing and I already have baseball on the list, but come on, man. March Madness! Who doesn’t love it? It’s such a big deal that men all across the country specifically schedule vasectomies to occur so they can plop down on a couch with an ice pack, some Percocet, and a beer (not that I would ever promote mixing pain drugs with alcohol) and watch passionate players try to advance in the dance. Normally March Madness starts the weekend after the DST jump, so I love that.

Golf

A third sports thing? Really, Ben? Yep. I don’t mean it’s great that the Masters is in a few weeks. I mean with the longer days, I can play more golf. Playing before noon on a weekday is almost out of the question completely for me even though I own my own business. But I can normally swing (no pun intended) a round on an afternoon on occasion. I suck at golf, but God help me, I love it. And March, April, and early May tend to be the best times to play in Texas because the weather is about as mild as it gets. By July we’re drenched in sweat just from the walk to the clubhouse from our cars because it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. But March? Oh, man. Seventy-five degrees and sunny. Perfection.

Long Spring Evenings

Finally, there’s just the fact that the evenings are longer. Spring Forward means more cookouts, more 8:00 p.m. sunset beers, and that cool sunset glow that makes everyone think of some nice evening from childhood. I like the pink/purple/blue/orange sky being around after dinner. I love the smell of charcoal grills and wood-fired smokers. I even enjoy yawning widely, looking out and seeing the sun still out, and wondering how I ever got this old as to be tired at 7:45. But the important thing is that Spring Forward always feels a little like a fresh start. It’s like the darker winter months allow you to do one thing, but the longer evenings of spring and summer present a blank canvas of sorts. I try to take advantage of it by finding a new hobby or doing something to improve myself. It doesn’t always stick, but the spring always provides the motivation I need to try, and that’s half the battle.

Happy Spring Forward, everyone. And don’t forget that morning traffic will be bad this week because of people oversleeping and getting on the road later. Have a great week!

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