Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The curse of being a night owl

I have always been a night person. From as long as I can remember, I always resisted going to bed. Finally in 5th or 6th grade, my parents deemed Friday nights as my "go to bed whenever" nights. I had one luxurious night to stay up late as I wanted, then sleep in late on Saturday morning. It was divine. I really took to my newfound freedom; we lived in KS at the time, and MTV was brand spankin' new. I remember the first video I ever saw: Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n Roll". I was mesmerized. I remember being stunned to find out those people? In the video? they were the ones who REALLY sang the song. It was ... well, time stood still, let's just put it that way. And this was before I discovered Adam Ant. But. I digress.

So, Friday nights. My goal was to outlast my parents. Then i could watch as much MTV or whatever scary movie i wanted to, unfettered. On some channel they had a "Friday Fright Night" where they would play these really baaaaaad B-horror flicks. Like "Grizzly." "Motel Hell." Or the one about the giant, radioactive earthworms attacking a whole city. Can't remember the name of that one, but i'm thinking it may have been "Earthworm." HIGH calibur movies. I think this is where my love of scary movies was born. I was never creeped out reallly, until I had to go down into the dark basement where my room was after watching one of those. But it was worth it. Totalmente.

I loathed going to bed early on school nights, and I don't think I ever fell asleep before 11:30, no matter what time I was in bed. Worse? the mornings. I think back now and cannot comprehend how I actually had to be somewhere at 8:10 in the morning. FREAKSHOW. How do they expect kids to learn that early in the damn morning??? Do they think they're somehow preparing you for the "real world"? Well that's a load of crap, because once I got to college, I never took a class before 10am (ok, except for one journalism lab at 8am and I missed it more than half the time...). And the "real world"? The only job I've ever had to be at work at 8 was my very first job. 18 months of constant guilt of being 15 minutes late every single morning. Since then? Flex time, baby. It's all about the flex time.

So now, I get to work by 9. Or as close to that as possible, on either side. (In a perfect world, I would be at work around 10 am. This is what I did while I freelanced, and thrived. Loved it). I still struggle every single morning to make myself get out of my snuggly bed where there is a large grey cat curled up on my head, lulling me with his even wheezing and soft purr. And NO it doesn't help to go to bed early -- I can't sleep before midnight unless I'm really sick or something. I have come to the conclusion, after many many years, that people are just wired differently. Some people are wired for mornings, some for night. That stuff they say about "you can reset your clock"? Bull. You cannot. You may trick it for a while, but left to your own devices you will end up a night owl or early bird, just like always.

Which leads me to my dilemma tonight. I am bone tired. I have a big day of work ahead of me. It is almost 11pm and I've been struggling to stay awake since about 9. But. I cannot make myself go get in bed. It's torture. I know if I get into bed, i'll just toss and turn for at least an hour. Plus, I actually have a mental aversion to going to bed early -- I feel like I'm going to miss something. Some of life. I spend so many hours at work, I feel compelled to maximize my "at home" time. Even if I'm just sitting on the couch, yawning, next to a large grey cat curled against me, lulling me with his wheezing...and his soft purr........

The bottom line? I don't think i'm going to grow out of this.


Babs said...

YES! It's so true! There's something to the nightime, like an underlying excitment. Logically, you know you should sleep. Physically, it would probably feel good. But deep in your soul, you just want to keep exploring something while the rest of the world sleeps. (even if it's just a cool rerun of the X Files) Night owls rule!

Crazy MomCat said...
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Crazy MomCat said...

I soooo know where you are coming from on this one. I'm being forceably turned into a morning person by the rest of my family, all of whom wake up when the sun comes up. And, I'm kicking and screaming the whole way.

Didn't you watch "Friday Night Videos" on TBS during the 80s? I used to stay up into the wee hours watching those videos--they were great!