In the mid-90’s I used to sleep in (when I could get away with it) and stay up all hours of the night. No, I wasn’t going clubbing every night. I wasn’t even leaving the house. I had just gotten a new VCR and I set it to copy episodes of Days of Our Lives and Beverly Hills 90210, so on weeknights I would watch the Days episodes, and on weekends I would catch up on 90210. But even when I wasn’t watching the shows I was staying up, reading, listening to music, and writing (it was mostly formulaic stuff back then).
Of course, I was a teenager back then, and staying up late didn’t mean anything on the other side. I could stay up until all hours, and then be up again for the day, with no ill-effects. New Year’s Eve meant nothing because I was up past that time every night. It was easy to be a night owl, and I laughed at older people for having a set bedtime, for getting up before it was light outside.
Nights are for the young, aren’t they? Mornings are for the old, right? Maybe it’s all about perspective, and about responsibility, in equal measure. Because, as I moved into my 20’s I began having 8-4:30 jobs, jobs that required me to be up early, and it started being harder to stay up quite so late and still be fresh enough to hit the floor in the morning, ready to roll.
Then don’t get me started about kids. Kids don’t care about schedules, so I was up when they were up, which generally meant off and on throughout the night. Mornings became a slog, and coffee became my best friend–it still is. I became that guy, you know the one, who stumbles out of bed, drags himself to the coffeemaker, slaps it a few times, and isn’t himself until he’s had his first cup.
But, then, I transform into a morning person. I can go for hours, properly caffeinated, of course, and in this strange form of reality we’re now in, when I’m working from home, it’s helped me to get everything organized and done on time. There’s just something about those early morning hours, when everything is so quiet (except in my study, where I’m listening to The Cranberries and Duncan Sheik–homage to the 90’s, perhaps) it makes me feel most alive.
Now, for that second cup.