I thought I would attempt to give a brief explanation of what happens to one’s concept of time while in Alaska. Basically, you lose it (or at least I have). I’ve heard a few other people also bemoan their inability to tell time easily, here as they would elsewhere.
A recent example: we had a game night a couple nights ago and after a while of playing games the phrase, “well it’s 10 O’clock, we should get going”, came out. I was shocked. The light outside still had me believe it was only a little after 6 or 7. It is nice to have all the sunlight, but it has been playing with our minds some (especially not growing up in these conditions).
In a different form, I was listening to Christmas music a couple weeks ago. I had all of these Christmas songs stuck in my head, and I kept having memories of past Christmases and feeling reminiscent of that time of year. This has faded, but for a while I was ready for Christmas vacation a few months ahead of time.
I have a theory about this. For most of my life I’ve followed a school structure. Go to school for 3-4 months, with the same daily/weekly routine, and then have Christmas vacation. For the past year and a half I’ve been out of that system, and for a while I didn’t have anything really structuring my time. Now that I have work and have been following that daily routine, I realize I reached my four month mark and I think my mind naturally figured it was time for Christmas now.
Never setting sun*
That’s all I had to say on that right now. I was going to post a picture showing how bright it can be at midnight, but Jonelle has the camera and I don’t feel like walking back to the hospital now. Instead I will say that we’ve walked home a couple times when she gets off work at 11:30pm. If I didn’t know otherwise I would have figured we were walking home at around 7 or 8 O’clock.
*The sun does set, even at our longest day. Then we have hours or twilight, in which the sun is only technically set and it’s still much the same as full daylight. It does actually get dark in Kodiak, from around 3-4 in the morning, even on our longest days.