Having moved across the U.S. 33 years ago, I’m used to being in a different time than my family, by which I mean my parents and siblings, who all live in Massachusetts.
Since the company I’ve worked with for thirteen years joined with two others, the range of people I regularly work with has come to cover the territory of the continental U.S. That broadened to include the globe when our Seattle-based company was in turn purchased by a very large worldwide consultancy.
I rose late-morning GMT today, got my morning latte, and began writing, staying quiet so as not to wake The Love of My Life, with whom I share this little cottage. I posted my initial blog entries to two of the many places I intend to publish it, and was a bit startled when I got likes, responses, and comments. “How can that be?” I wondered—it’s still dark out.
Quickly I realized that my solipsistic view of the “world” was whacking me in the face: my time is not everyone’s time. That is, of course, not true—we all share the same perceived time-space on this planet, true?
Not true, of course. Our bodies recognize night-time as regenerative time; our minds may regard it as lost, or non-existent time. But for others at distance from ourselves, those same minutes are the wakeful, busy, productive minutes and hours.
Each minute of each day is a hello, world moment, a beginning for someone. Shift workers, by which we tend to mean “those who work the shifts that I don’t,” have known this for ages, I imagine. But that’s just it: until today, I’ve only imagined it. “Why,” I’ve silently wondered, “is Janel not responding to me?” “Why does Howard have notifications paused?” “Why don’t I have an answer yet?”
Not a deep realization, but one that today is affecting me deeply.