Manuel N.

"I am a 39 old man. I am married. And I would like something that I thought was a given: I want to live to see my daughter grow up; I want to grow old with the love of my life, my wife. I have always felt bad with daylight saving time, especially because I was always forced to wake up very early: firstly, to go to school, then to go to college, and now to go to work. I always heard from everyone around me that one gets used to it. Whenever I pointed out that I felt tired, my colleagues always made jokes about me being too lazy for mornings. And so, I shily smiled in acceptance, and shyly kept to myself the thought that I felt bad. This has been the status through all my life.

Last year, while discussing with my wife, I felt as if I was about to faint. Mind you, I have never fainted in my life. What happened in reality, so I was told later on by my wife, was that I experienced a temporary memory loss. I kept repeating the same sentence over and over, and I was unsure if the events I was trying to recollect really happened, or if they were just part of a dream. My general practitioner immediately jumped into the scene. He issued a one-month sick leave and the visits to the doctor multiplied. We collected a plethora of exams: MRI scans, blood tests, 24h blood pressure monitoring, neurology exams, and things that I cannot really pronounce. We had specialists giving their input, different people all issuing their opinion and test recommendations. At the end, nothing was found. Then it started: “this is psychosomatic”, “this is stress”, “you should meditate or do yoga”. When I suggested that this could be a lack of sleep, that these work schedules were not adequate, that daylight saving time was not adequate, I was again frowned upon…

Those were hard months that followed. The incidents continued and become more and more frequent. And I had to really consider bad scenarios… My daughter was at the time 2 years old and I could not bear the thought of not being there for her.

My wife took upon herself all the tasks belonging to our personal life. She pushed me to rest as much as possible and to listen to my own rhythm. On that summer I spent my 2-week holiday literally sleeping. Not exactly fun for the family.

With the end of October, came standard time, and all improved significantly. The months went by, and March was approaching again, and with it daylight saving time. I talked with my boss about working less and starting work later. He was receptive and helpful. I would earn a lot less money, but money cannot buy life, so I took the deal without a second thought. But then the coronavirus-19 disease hit the world. My company needed everyone’s help as the situation became complicated. We arranged home office, and later work schedules. Me and my family could ignore daylight saving time. And here is the conclusion: as of yet, I have not had any health problems; I am able to fulfil my full contract; my value was not only recognized but rewarded with a promotion; and I can finally understand that all these years of smiling idly out of shame and prejudice almost killed me and risked all that I love the most.

This madness must end. And with it, so must daylight saving time."

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