I know now that for the most part people are people and living is living. Although people like to say things are way different in this part of the country or in that part of the country this much is universal: Courtesy, hard work, and intelligence will make you affluent in any society. Yes, there are differences between the west and the south but the truth of the matter is that both areas are populated with people who share basic needs and aspirations.
However, one thing not shared is the time zone. Maybe one of the biggest adjustments I have made since moving to the south is becoming acclimated to the Eastern Time zone. Now I don’t mean I had to become acclimated to it in a body sense. My circadian rhythm or whatever they call it never skipped a beat. When I entered Eastern Time somewhere in Kentucky I automatically made the switch and never let any silly jet leg theories play with my head. I never became tired or disoriented like some people like to claim happens to them.
For me the battle came with adjusting to two things: the start times of sporting events and living ahead of everyone else I know.
I definitely got a funny feeling watching NBA playoff games that finished the FIRST HALF at MIDNIGHT. I mean I totally understand that these games are played on the west coast and must be scheduled that way but it seemed so weird to watch live basketball play into the early morning of the next day. I grew up a Mariner fan and have followed them my whole life. I am definitely not following them as closely anymore. With first pitch for home games at 10 p.m. ET you would be hard pressed to track a game without going to bed before 1 a.m. Living on the east coast really makes sports seem like a much more round the clock thing.
Talking with family and friends is quite a bit different. Living in Montana I was on Mountain Time so I am two hours ahead of most my friends. But my family, who all live in Washington state, are on Pacific Time. As many of you know I tweet out a “Life’s Little Instruction” phrase right when I get up each morning. Besides tweeting it out I also text it to my mom. You need to understand though that I get up at 5 a.m. in the morning so these days my mom is having her phone go off at the sweet hour of 2 a.m. Now before you give me the “Worst Son in the World” award I think the text actually gives my mom a little bit of comfort knowing that her son is doing okay and is up and well.
But in the past week it has been routine for me to wake up in the morning and have text messages from both my friends and my brother waiting for me. I also open up Facebook and have numerous notifications. When I lived out west I usually stayed up later and awoke earlier than most so text messages or social media alerts didn’t get past me. Not the case anymore. While I am dozing others are still interacting with me. Not that I begrudge them at all for doing so…how hypocritical would that be coming from the guy who texts his mom a stupid quote at 2 a.m. each morning?
All in all, I don’t know how I feel about it. At times it seems as if the people I have known my whole life are much further behind than just 3 hours. It seems weird that at 10 a.m. when I have already been up for five hours it is only 7 a.m. back home. Or it seems odd that in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. my family still has an hour and a half to go before lunch. Or it seems funny that when I am home at my apartment relaxed for the night and it is dark out my dad is just getting off work.
As time goes on it will seem much more normal. However, if you asked me what one of the bigger adjustments for me with the move has been I would probably point to the time zone change. Hey, I must not be doing that bad if that is one of the larger challenges I have had to face, right? Don’t Blink.