Are you a morning person? I wish I was, but would have to say I'm not. I perk up at 11 p.m. and have a really hard time going to sleep. By the time it's 7:45 a.m. (when I usually have to get up) I'm ready to sleep until noon.
On the other hand, if I don't have work or someplace to be, I have much more energy no matter what time of day it is. So maybe that whole time of day or night thing is just a state of mind. That's what I keep telling myself, though I will never be able to be as perky as my husband is before 9 a.m.
He gets up immediately on waking. (Can you even imagine that?) I am waiting (anxiously and eagerly) for the day when I don't have to be ANYWHERE at any time and can set my own schedule. I know you can do that as a freelance writer/consultant, but you still have to be somewhere and deliver projects to various people.
And... there is something about nighttime that makes me feel more awake. It could be just the prospect of freedom, or the freedom to write what I want.
I had a friend who was also a playwright who had to work as a temp for a while. He told me he used to come home and feel completely numb for hours and all he wanted to do was watch TV. I understand completely because the daily grind is just that--it grinds and wears you down.
That makes me wonder if we send kids to school at an early hour to get them used to the work day. It never really worked for me; I was always tired. I don't know if that meant I was naturally a rebellious artist, but I think it probably does.
I do remember a woman I worked for who said she'd take a night person any time over a day person (we got along very well). She felt night people worked harder and were more organized. When I had a job working nights doing data entry at a hotel, I felt extremely confident and alert and they liked me a lot. So there is something to the whole night person thing, at least when it comes to day jobs.
Theater people are mostly working at night, which is likely why I gravitated to working in theater. When I'm at a gathering of theater peeps, things usually start to perk up at about 10 p.m. and I'm always envious when I have to leave early because of an early work day. One of these days I'll get my schedule right, but until then, I'd have to say I'm a night person who works days.
That's why I could understand Ruby Tabeata so well in The Beat on Ruby's Street. I couldn't have dreamed up anyone (especially not someone who was part of the Beat Generation) who would get up early in the morning willingly.
The world as we know it revolves around day people, though. Not that there's any sort of magic bullet that will help you or your kid become one. (My kid was awake 24/7, I swear to God, for the first year and a half.)
But if you want to learn more about morning people vs. night people, I found a lot of interesting stuff that might help you understand who you are--and who you could have been.
Morning People vs. Night Owls: 9 Insights Backed by Science
Why You're an Early Bird or a Night Owl
Night Owls and Early Birds Have Different Personality Traits
Yawning photo: Dale Cruse
Barn owl: Jitze Couperus