Tuesday, January 02, 2007


One of my ichat pals said, "I can't believe how late you stay up." And he's right. I'm a true nightowl. And have been all my life. It started so long ago. All along the way people have expected me to grow out of it, or life to force me to change, and it hasn't. In H.S. I was shrewd about dropping first period classes, in college had tremendous freedom. I once started a job where I was to report at 7:30am. I overslept the first day and that was the end of that. Mostly I worked in jobs where you had to report at 9:30am, or 10 am, or even in the evening. More than that, I've not had conventional office hours at all. Then I thought child-rearing would knock it out of me, but no, John took the morning shift - and still does. I'm up late with the kids - actually, later than the kids. They don't get to enjoy that peace and quiet when everyone else is asleep because I've beat them to it. It's odd how these patterns emerge. Why so ingrained?

When I was growing up, I remember staying up til 2, and hearing my father emerge from his attic workshop scrounging around for some chocolate. I've inherited both those habits. 2 a.m. is my steadiest bedtime. The 2am-10am a perfect sleep in fact. But lately I've been drifting later. It's 3am now, and for weeks I've been up til 4am. It's odd. John and I are shifting schedules, he keeps waking earlier and earlier. In the old days, he could burn the candle at both ends. Now that's changing and his early bird is taking hold.

He thought the natural rhythms in Fiji would change me. Daylight ran roughly from 6am to 6pm, all year round. We had the use of a generator for maybe 3 hours a night if that. So by 9-10pm, it was totally dark. Once and awhile I'd try using my laptop if I'd been able to charge it. Of course then all the bugs just went crazy flying into the screen, the only light around for miles. One would have thought I would just toss it in - go to sleep, and wake at dawn. But no, I climbed under the mosquito net with a flashlight, a book, my ipod, and would lay awake in the stillness for hours.

Meaningless for anyone else but amusing to me. Where does this come from?


Joe Swanberg said...

I hear you. Kris has to get up really early for teaching now, and I seem to be staying up later and later. I'm usually awake until at least 2AM, but often times 3 or 4.

S said...

Always been very envious of you for managing to work this out in spite of the kids! Nightime is the right time for me as well but alas motherhood has forced me to be an early bird. When the girls are gone for more than 1 day I swing into staying up late and love it. Best creative time ..........

Anonymous said...

I hate waking up early. I've had a 2 week break for christmas and have been able to stay up until 2 or 3am and go to sleep with Joe. Every night I dread going back to my early routine. It never gets easier.