Friday, March 21, 2008

maybe it's a time zone problem

Even though I've never been a morning person and have always done much better staying up later at night, I've found that to be more and more true nowadays. My arrival time at work has been seriously adjusted the last couple of years, but I'm grateful that my boss is ok with that. I've also found myself staying up later than I really should given that the next day, I have to go to work.

I think I finally figured out the problem - I'm in the wrong time zone. I'm getting up and going to bed about 3 hours later than I really should - so since Hawaii is three hours later than L.A., would my problem disappear if I were living in Hawaii instead? Is my internal body schedule tied to the earth and "time" as an abstract concept, or am I somehow fixated on the actual time constraints of L.A.? If I were living in Hawaii, would I then be in sync with how their workday goes, or would I still end up being more comfortable doing things 3 hours later than I should there, which means that I would have to keep moving 3 hours west in an elusive and futile quest to find the natural time zone for me?

But then, I don't want to live in Hawaii (or in the middle of the ocean for that matter). I've never been there (Hawaii or the middle of the ocean), and I hear it's nice (Hawaii, not the middle of the ocean), but I don't think I want to live on an island (in the middle of the ocean). OK, technically, North America is an island, but you get the idea. (I can't figure out how to squeeze in an ocean reference here. OK, I'll stop.)

I've not had to deal with differing time zones much. Sometimes, I've adjusted well, and sometimes not. When I was in London eons ago, I didn't really have a problem adjusting to the 8-hour time difference when I got there. However, because of various extenuating circumstances, adjusting to the time change when I came back to L.A. was a nightmare. When I've been in places that had a one or two hour time difference, it hasn't been a big deal. When I've been on the east coast, my adaptation has varied. Recent trips to New York, Florida and Connecticut and an older visit to Washington D.C. did not yield any time-zone adaptation problems. On my first trip to New York, I did have a bit of a problem, but that's because I had a red-eye flight (which I am *NEVER* doing again), leaving L.A. at about midnight, and it wasn't a very comfortable seat or airplane, so I didn't get much sleep, and then they woke me up at what I thought was about 3 in the morning and tried to feed me nasty airplane food. That's not to say all airplane food is nasty, but this stuff was, moreso because it was the middle of a frickin' sleep-little night for me. It took me a few days to adjust to New York time on that trip.

On my first trip to Washington, D.C. with a friend, we initially tried to go with local time, but as the week wore on, we discovered that we were having dinner later and later, and by the last couple days, she and I were having dinner at about 9pm local time, which was at least closer to our regular dinner time. On a trip to New York two years ago, though, the husband and I pretty much just went right into New York time, so we were having dinner fairly early, relatively speaking.

And yes, before someone else mentions it, I was in Reno last year and had no idea what time zone I was in, so maybe it's not entirely a time zone issue.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I've always thought I would do better on a 30-hour cycle--20 awake, ten asleep. It's rather difficult to make that work and have a job at the same time unless the job involves peeled potatoes and hot oil. I stay up too late and force myself to get up to go to work, and I'm tired and grouchy for the first few hours. Then in the evening I'm fine and ready to be awake for hours more and I stay up to late again.