Thursday, December 8, 2011

Body Clock Conundrum

Nighttime is always the right time for me!
It's past noon and my dishes are still unwashed. And they're not the breakfast dishes either, they're last night's supper dishes. Breakfast for me hasn't happened yet, and it may not happen until far past lunchtime. My nights are my days. I'm messed the heck up....
There's no proof, but I'm fairly confident I was a night owl in utero. I know I was as a teen. And I have been ever since. But the world doesn't operate on Night Owl time, and so I've been trying to recalculate my body clock almost all my working adult life. And all it takes is a long afternoon nap to set it back, or a weekend spent in bed with a cold.
The sad thing is that I work best on Night Owl time. I'm clear-headed and full of energy then and can multitask and actually accomplish something. But when I fight it, I go into zombie mode. Focusing is a problem. I shamble from one project to the next before ignoring all in search of coffee.
I get that I don't have a timeclock to punch at 6 a.m. any longer, and so succumbing to my body's demands should be a no-brainer. In my head it works out perfectly: No strangers at my door or telemarketer phone calls, no neighbors' dogs barking or kids screaming loud enough to be heard through the walls, no sounds of traffic. No TV shows beckon. No yardwork can be done in the night. If I need groceries, the nearby all-night Cub is pretty empty in the wee hours, as is the 24-hour Walgreens or the convenience store on the corner. I can start a project and get a couple hours invested in it before something demands me, before pets need feeding or phones need answering. I don't have to worry that someone I know will drop in unexpectedly and catch me up to my neck in a mess and without my hair combed or my socks matching or my face 'on'.
As awesome as that sounds (....and oh, it DOES sound awesome!....), recalculating my body clock just makes more sense to me. Working nights would put the screws to my chances of babysitting or spending time with James. There'd be no 'let's meet for coffee' or phone calls starting with, "Mom, y'got a minute to talk?" Life would chug along as I slept....
So I guess the trade-off is that the world gets half of me, the half that isn't All Here At Any Given Moment because it's not quite awake yet. And now that I know this, I can look around myself and honestly say, "Hmmm. This explains a lot."


  1. Did you know Winston Churchill was a night owl? He would do his writing from 2 to 4 in the morning and sleep in the early morning hours til early afternoon. When you think about it, farmers were the ones who were up at dawn milking cows, and since we don't have cows in the barn who need milking, I'm all for a (much!) later wake-up call. :)

  2. I'm with you, Laurel! :) Sometimes I think it'd be perfect if I could just live on very little sleep, like James.... But then his sleeptime is nothing like mine: I have lucid and vivid dreams that are important to me, and he remembers nothing. But then, he wakes up refreshed and I don't. My dreams exhaust me. And I seem to need TONS of sleep. A person can't do the million things that need doing if they're tired all the time (or sleeping).... I'd thought of going to bed early and getting up at midnight, but then I'd be missing the twilight hours, which are some of my faves, too.... You know what the day needs? It needs Time to stop whenever a person rests so they can wake up and pick up where they left off! Either that or more dang hours.