A non-biological clock…and a place where I belong

Tena koutou.

If you ever hear me say this, I’m only sending greetings to you in my new native tongue—Māori.

That’s what they speak in New Zealand, the country whose time zone is in sync with my daily routine.

New Zealand is the world’s only country to have had women hold all top political offices at one time (between March 2005 and April 2006), Wikipedia says. The 4.1 million New Zealanders enjoy mild temperatures. New Zealand is ranked 19th in the world in terms of freedom of the press, compared to the United States at #53.

New Zealand is more than 8,000 miles from Chicago, but over winter break, I’ve been running my life according to their time zone.

While I follow a routine in Chicago that might tick off you Central Time clock watchers, my circadian rhythm is marching to the beat of drummers in Auckland, New Zealand.

When I drag myself out of bed at the crack of 2 p.m. Monday in Chicago, people in Auckland are starting their Tuesdays at 9 a.m.

At 3 p.m., I head off to work, while my friends in Auckland begin water cooler gossip at 10 a.m.

My 9 p.m. slice of cheesecake with my Central Time friends happens just as my e hoas (friends) in New Zealand sip their 4 p.m. afternoon tea.

While I’m watching Jeopardy! episodes on TiVo when my Chicago clock reads 1 a.m. with my dad and brother, Aucklanders are spending quality time with their families at the quality time of 8 p.m.

And, finally, when my “Monday” really ends at 3 a.m. Tuesday, the well-rested folks in New Zealand might turn off the lights at 10 p.m.

My dad asked me if, over winter break, I had completely reversed night and day. The answer is no. I am merely trying to live a lifestyle in sync with my fellow human beings from another culture.

Next time you IM me with “goodnight” when your timestamp says 3 a.m., don’t be surprised if I respond with “aroha nui.”

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