For your reading pleasure and personal edification, I’m about to reveal a little known fact that obnoxious people (such as me) enjoy parading before others (such as you) to give the misleading impression that we’re more intelligent than we really are, to wit:
Today is Sunset Hump Day.
If you don’t know what Sunset Hump Day is, it’s not surprising. I just made it up. If it were up to me – and judging by recent events nothing is up to me – we would celebrate this day as much as New Year’s. This is the day when the sunset starts to reverse direction, setting later every day until the summer solstice.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that sunset begins to get later on the winter solstice. No, that’s only the shortest day. The sun actually starts setting earlier some time in early December. This year, it’s today. That means you’re closer to coming home from work in daylight. It also means more afternoon sun, more time to bike, and, most significantly for those of us MS who live with MS, more vitamin D. *
The reason for the confusion is that Sunrise Hump Day doesn’t happen till early January. On the solstice (December 22 this year) the day is shortest because the sunrise and sunset are furthest apart, giving us our longest day. Confused? Here’s a nice chart that shows all the pertinent data.
Sadly, the change in sunset time is so gradual, it won’t be noticeable for another month or so. In the meantime, it’s all about attitude. Simply knowing that I’m getting more light is enough for me as I endure this purgatory of gloom. At this point, I can use any improvement I can get.
* Note that I’m dismissing the light lost by the still later sunrise. Some of us (and by some, I mean me) don’t care all that much when sunrise occurs because we sleep through it. Thus Sunrise Hump Day barely registers in light (pun intended) of the importance of earlier sunrises.