I have never been a morning person and getting up early has always been a struggle for me. In fact, getting up, period, has always been a struggle for me. I like to clock about 9 hours of sleep a night and if I don’t, I generally feel like murder all day. Except between 9pm and midnight, when I always feel completely alert and pretty much fantastic, no matter what.
It’s not uncommon for me to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning reading or writing or watching mindless sitcoms, but luckily for me I work for myself and don’t have to set an alarm. Not setting an alarm is a way of life I am quite devoted to, in fact. You might say it’s a personal philosophy. I think the world would be a better place and we would all be better people if we were abiding by our own natural sleep rhythms. For me, that means I don’t generally wake up before 9 in the morning, and sometimes later, depending on the time of year and how enthralling the book is that I am currently reading until the wee hours. (Which, right now, is the new Steve Jobs bio and yeah, it’s a good one.)
Occasionally I will make the mistake of having a soda at the movies — like I did when I saw the incredible Steampunk (thanks, Maynard) masterpiece Hugo the other night — and then I’ll have an even harder time getting up because of the sugar hangover.
This is not just laziness or petulance on my part. It’s my genetic legacy. The other day I called my dad at 9:30pm East Coast time and asked him what he was up to. He sounded groggy and out of it. I thought I might have woken him up. And I had. “I’m napping,” he said grumpily. That’s right, napping. When pressed, he elaborated that he generally naps in the late evening and then gets up and starts painting. “Jos,” he said, “You know I get my best painting done between midnight and 3am."
My dad is retired and recently managed to finally shake his horrible evil coldhearted wife of the last 25 years, so he can afford not to set an alarm or bother to care what society at large thinks about what time it is appropriate to get up in the morning. In this way, he is my hero.
Roughly 15-17 times a week, someone tries to convince me that I should really get up earlier so that I can better accommodate their schedule. My exception-less refusal is just one of the many reasons I'm starting to suspect that I will always be alone. But as long as I can sleep in, I'm fine with that. Oh, and before you start to suspect that I'm a nihilist, here's my Christmas tree: