I’ve never been much of a morning person.
In college I used to avoid classes scheduled earlier than 10:00 AM as much as possible. I just never felt fully awake or engaged before 10 AM. My first real job was an internship with seriously weird hours: 5-10 PM weekdays and 9-5 weekends: I was working for a political consultant and with campaigns, every hour counts. I LOVED those hours. Eventually I began my career as a PR professional and the morning issue became irrelevant: I needed to work every single hour possible to get the most work done. I still found my best work was completed from 5-10 PM, and I often worked late, but I needed to be “on” in the mornings too. I think adrenaline was the key to my being able to handle the mornings, because most of my most important meetings were in the mornings and I was able to excel then. If I had to.
I was in that profession for a long time. Then I got very ill.
It took me a long time to recover from that illness: about a year. After that, I worked from home. I was primarily a customer service person and a very good and devoted one. But I worked seven days a week, and odd hours.
Then (eventually after a ton of crap) the twins were born. My husband was both working a grueling full-time job while pursuing an MBA at night and on the weekends. He just wasn’t available to help most of the time. The twins were preemies, and needed feeding around the clock. (My daughter needed to be fed every 1-2 hours because of acid reflux.) I was pumping and breastfeeding and my supply was awful. We couldn’t afford a night nurse. And so, I became the night nurse. At first, my parents stayed in our city for six weeks and relieved me at 7 AM every morning so I could sleep a few hours. Then my brother joined in a month later. My MIL would come evenings to share the load, and my FIL, when the babies were old enough, would come every afternoon to help me down from our third story walk-up so we could take the twins for a walk. I can’t stress enough how critical this help was.
My day would begin like this: at about 10:30 or 11:00 AM my mom would wake me up. I’d go get a Jamba Juice (I had to have the Matcha Green Tea Blast) then my day would begin in earnest: pumping, then feeding then burping then playing then napping (with my anxiously watching their every breath) then breastfeeding then pumping then medicine for my daughter, then changing diapers then bathing. Rinse and repeat until 6 AM.
I loved the late evenings. Darcy would be home from business school at 11:00 PM, and would immediately go to bed because he needed his seven hours of sleep to face his insane schedule. And I would stay up. I watched a lot of old movies on low volume, and kept a hawk eye on my babies. I have extremely fond memories of this period. I watched “Mrs Miniver” for the first time (a favorite now) and sang the kids lullabies from the Karaoke channel and read the Aesop fairy tales to them. My daughter had to be propped up a lot because of her reflux, and was feisty from the get-go: her distinctively loud voice was prominent from the moment she was born, when she screamed so loudly that everyone (and there were dozens) of people in the OR laughed. My son was (deceptively) laid-back and mellow. It seems to me looking back that I was at my full potential during this time: I really rose to the occasion. Was it the schedule? Or is this the evolutionary thing everyone talks about, where you don’t remember how hard labor was so you’ll do it again? I don’t know. But I think this period was my finest moment, my Churchill war years if you will.
But my body clock is still messed up by it. I detest getting up, still, everyday, at 7:30 AM. It feels like torture. I love to write at night. I love to read at night.
Are you a morning or night person? And if you are one or the other, why?