The obvious difference is that I'm a pastor now and responsible for leading services through the liturgy of death and resurrection. This may be the reason I can't wait for Easter...but I think there is more.
In years past, I've approached Holy Week with a real eagerness for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Living a privileged life full of first world problems, I yearned to remember (and to have those around me reminded) of the suffering and pain Christ experienced in order to give us new life and hope in the resurrection. I was critical of the Easter bunnies and chocolates and the commercialism of this "secular holiday" advertised weeks in advance. I deeply yearned for the rest of the story - the suffering and pain - to be told.
This year, I yearn for Easter. I'm ready for the new life springing up around us. I'm excited to dance out of worship on my tiptoes full of joy and hope and love.
And I yearn for this because of the reality of brokenness and pain and despair all around me. Now, living in an urban place, I feel more exposed to the in flesh pain and suffering Christ experienced. I see the long journeys of depression and loneliness and despair...and I'm ready to be reminded (and to remind those around me) of the hope that is true and real and good.
I guess the age old quote about ministry "afflicting the comforted and comforting the afflicted" rings true. We need both. Joy is not empty when experienced apart from suffering, but Easter joy sure is fuller and deeper when the suffering is real.