Night owl

I’m a night owl. On a recent visit home to my parents, I saw this fact so clearly. I take after my mom.

She works until 10 or 11 o’clock most nights. When she comes home, she bustles around the house putting everything in order. Finally she snuggles down into the couch cushions to read something. Maybe a magazine article that has been tantalizing her all day. Maybe the study material for our Christian meeting that week. Possibly she pages through a catalog looking for just the right gift at just the right price.

I see myself in her. Like right now; the kids are in bed, my husband snores. I make lunches, plot my course for tomorrow. And finally sit to write here. Or I read a parenting book I borrowed at the library. Or I browse the latest blog I’ve encountered and get to know it’s writer.

My great-grandmother owned a farm. She milked the cows at 10am and 10pm. The cows didn’t care what time it was, as long as it was consistent!

My grandmother used to put my mom in her crib at 9pm, knowing she wouldn’t fall asleep but needing to get some sleep herself before my uncle woke her at 5am. My grandfather would come home from work at 11pm to his daughter happily playing in her bed, waiting for him.

My grandmother thought she was going to get her sweet revenge when I was born. She told my mom, “Now you’ll have to wake up early!” We have a famous family photo taken when I was a baby of my mother and I, sleeping soundly. The clock beside the bed says 10:00 am.

I have had jobs that require waking up early, and I have had night jobs. Luckily for me, I was able to adjust and function fine either way. But for other people, it’s not that easy.

Photo by Kristen Roome

What is your busiest time of day? When are you most productive? When do you most often feel inspired?

I think it would be sad if we limited ourselves to the schedule and timing someone else believes is most productive. I love my night owl “me time”. I feel sad thinking of all the contemplative, creative hours I would have lost if I had gone to bed early. How many blog posts or poems unwritten? How many deep thoughts never discovered? How many long, meditative prayers never spoken?

Embrace your own unique rhythm. Use it to your advantage instead of wishing you were different.

In biology there are terms like nocturnal and diurnal. Did you know there’s also another category? Crepuscular creatures are active during twilight hours. This category is even more specifically divided into vespertine, which are active during evening twilight hours and matutinal, active during morning twilight hours.

To have such specific terms means that living creatures have a wide variety of sleep/wake patterns! Why not humans as well?

Photo by Kristen Roome

At times we have difficulty understanding others who have a different pattern than our own. This can be especially true in a marriage.

My husband is definitely a morning person, as you probably already can tell from the comment about him snoring right now. Over the years our daily schedules have changed a lot. Jobs have come and gone, kids have entered the picture. But I think we’ve both long ago learned that neither one of us is lazy. We just work most efficiently at different times of the day.

We’ve each made tweaks to our routine to help the other person. I don’t do noisy tasks in the evening, and when I get up, my coffee is usually there waiting for me.

Instead of judging, let’s respect what the other person gets done during his or her active time!

To wrap it all up, take advantage of your natural active time of day, whenever that may be. Do something that inspires you. Do something on your list. Tap into that energy and use it.

2 Comments

  1. This is such an interesting post. I’m very much a morning person which you’d assume would mean I call it a night early. Although most days I am in bed at a relatively decent hour I do struggle with a racing mind and find myself blogging late late at night. My daughter is just like me and gets up somewhere between 6-7 am too. Perhaps it’s something she inherited from me 🙂

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