“And I don’t want to hold her down, don’t want to break her crown,
When she says… Let’s go,
I like the night life baby”
-The Cars, Let’s Go
Every morning I wake up early, just as the sun is coming up. I shuffle out to the kitchen and start my coffee before heading out to my back porch. With the early morning chirping of birds as background music I do my morning yoga sequence. Afterwards I sit with my coffee and soak it all in. The stillness. The serenity. The peace. By the time my kids are up I’m sparkling with energy and ready to start the day.
That is completely made up. That is not my life. That is the fantasy version I have wistfully yearned for. The reality is I trudge out to start my coffee barely awake, the kids already dressed and eating their breakfast. I mutter “Leave in 10 minutes” and go get dressed while my coffee is brewing. We all pile in to the car to head off to school, me gripping my coffee for dear life. It takes roughly two carpool lines for me to fully wake up and be in human speaking mode.
It ain’t pretty.
I decided this summer to change all that. I wanted the early morning yoga and the peaceful solitude of just me and my coffee. I started gathering up articles. You know, the ones that pepper every “lifestyle” or “healthy living” section of ever on-line newzine. I read “Top 10 Ways To Become A Morning Person” pretty straightforward and “Hey, Sleepyhead! How To Be A Morning Person” did I just feel someone tussle my hair?. These articles were full of sunny optimism. They made it sound so easy. Happy mornings are just a Buzzfeed article away!
Then I stumbled upon “So You Think You’re A Morning Person” are you taunting me? and “Why Morning People Rule the World” Really? Now you’re just being an asshole. But for the most part, the advice spewing articles were full of hope and promises. It’s so easy! Anyone can do it! Shaman promising to change your life in 10 steps or less. Snake Oil salesman spinning tales of people who’ve transformed their lives by simply adjusting their circadian rhythms. Billy Mays offering you a free Sham Wow if you just read this article!
And I fell for it. I fell for the money back guarantee and the free gift when you purchase two. I am a sucker.
You have probably guessed that it didn’t go well. I saw no sunrise. I tried. But I legitimately can not make my body fall asleep before 11pm. And that’s on a good night.
So in the vein of justifying things and making a negative a positive (my secret super power), I decided that I shouldn’t even try to change this. I shouldn’t yearn to be something different. Just as I shouldn’t wish to be a tall leggy blonde, I shouldn’t wish to be this other person. This unicorn of early morning euphoria. I know they exist, I think I may even know some, but I can’t really be sure. The point is, I need to accept who I am and not fight it.
I’m going to embrace it. Because despite what you may read out there, being a night owl is kinda cool.
I have crazy energy at night time. This is when I work out. Not late at night, but right before or right after dinner. My 7:30pm workout kicks my 6:00am workout’s ass.
At night I feel no guilt. I’m off the clock and done for the day. Free to do whatever I want. If laundry is piling up I let it wait until the next day. I can’t just sit and read a book in the middle of the day or watch t.v. I would stress about all the things that need to get done.
But at night? I can do whatever I want. It’s allowed. No one judges you for sitting on your couch in you pajamas shoving Cheez Its in your mouth at night time. And you can have a drink without feeling like a degenerate. Try doing that at 6am.
Nighttime is mysterious and interesting and romantic and dangerous. I don’t want to miss out on it. There’s always possibility after dark that just isn’t there during the day. People are more daring, their inhibitions are lowered. No great story ever started with “So, I went to bed early… ”
I’m not alone.
There are plenty of us out there. Probably more than care to admit it.
There are all kinds of people who are biologically predisposed to staying up late. And you should be grateful that these people are out there. They are there if your house catches fire in the middle of the night. They are there if you have an emergency and have to go to the E.R. We need night owls just as much as we need morning people.
And let’s just consider for a minute that we live in a world that really starts moving on morning people’s time schedule. Most of us have to be up for school/work/life at the same time as all of you sunshine greeters. Only we didn’t go to sleep at 9:00. We get used to functioning with less, maybe even thriving. We don’t sweat being tired, it’s a fact of a night owl’s life. We go about our day, doing our thing. We don’t complain about how tired we are on FaceBook, it’s not a big thing to us. Night owls are bad ass.
I would like to point out that I really like morning people. I just don’t understand why we need 156 million articles on how to become one. (Really. I checked Google.)
So morning people, I don’t begrudge you your morning glory and a.m. chipper-ness. Yes, it may be annoying if you’re chatting me up before I’ve had my coffee, but I get it. This is your time. Your shining moment. This is your peak. And that works for you. But don’t judge me for my morning surliness. I’ll get down to business and I’ll get stuff done but I won’t be all sunshine and rainbows until at least mid morning.
My peak will come later in the day. I will have a day of gradual ascension, each hour feeling more energized and creative and alive. I will be dancing around my kitchen and acting silly at dinner time. While you’re climbing in to bed, I’m sitting on my porch with my husband enjoying a glass of wine and great conversation. While you’re drifting off to sleep, I’m writing, words flowing out effortlessly. I’m recharging, I’m connecting with my man. I’m free to create and write. I go to sleep every night having spent a few hours doing whatever I need to do to take care of me. And feeling no guilt. No one was neglected or ignored because I spent this time on myself.
So here’s to all you night owls out there. Be proud. Flaunt your late night awesomeness. Embrace your lifestyle with no apologies. Steer clear of the articles and that are so abundant because they’re so easy and cliche’. You don’t need to change a thing. You don’t need to follow a ten step program. And you definitely don’t need to believe the hype. You rock.