I am writing this message to you from the future.
Unless you are reading this from New Zealand.
(Or if you are reading this from Fiji, parts of Republic of Kiribati, French Wallis & Futuna, or US Territory of Wake Island, but I don’t think I have any readers in those places. Say hello if that’s you!)
Yes, this is a joke about the International Date Line. New Zealand is one of the first places to experience a new day, which means it’s also amongst the first places to celebrate a new year.
I thought perhaps these International Date Line jokes would be old by now – over five years into living in New Zealand. However, people (okay: Americans) keep being surprised, confused, and delighted by the time difference between us. Especially when it comes to setting meetings. So, I keep getting to make jokes about living in the future.
I don’t make the rules, okay. (Except that I do.)
The strange thing about living so far into the future compared to the majority of my existing world of connections in America is that when I’m very focused on a specific day – like New Years or a birthday – that day lasts forever. That’s especially true while we’re in summer time here in NZ. I get to I live all 24 hours of the day here in New Zealand, but when I go to bed the US West coast is only three hours into their version of it. (And, Hawaii is just one hour into it – hello, J!)
That means the day lives on for another 23 hours beyond when I’m first done with it for the people I know and love. I get 47 hours of birthday, 47 hours of Christmas, and 47 hours of New Year’s Day.
I like it. It means I get to experience the joys of these days first, but also get most of them out of the way before all my loved ones in the US wake up. They might have questions about how their birthday will go or if it will be a Merry Christmas, but I already know.
That appeals deeply to my spoiler-loving self.
If you are wondering, I’d say 2023 is relatively calm so far. I only have this first 30 minutes to go by, but aside from a few sparse fireworks in our suburban cul de sac it has been quiet. I didn’t hear any banging of pots and pans. (We did that the one time I stayed at my father’s for New Year’s Eve.)
The one problem with living in the future is there’s no one ahead of me. I’m always the one with the toes on the edge of the diving board. I don’t have the luxury of not jumping – the rest of the world is lined up behind me ready for their turn.
Every new day is a high dive into the unknown. I know New Year’s Day isn’t really any different than any other of those days, but it feels like a higher and more exciting dive to me.
Happy New Year from the future.