Early Bird or Night Owl?

early birdIt’s 4:30 as I start to write.

That’s 4:30 a.m.

I’m not up early, at least by my standards.

This is my time of day. I’m an early bird.

Some of you will read this and smile and understand. Others will shudder, shake your heads in disbelief, turn over, and go back to sleep.

I am the poster child for “morning person.” I think this is the most excellent time of day.

There are no distractions. It’s quiet. Everything seems possible.

I’m one of those people who loves to feel productive and to check things off a list. It’s amazing how productive I can be first thing in the morning. Feed the cats, drink the coffee, and go!

Early, early is the perfect time to do many of the things I need to do. When I was working in college administration, it was the time of day I could analyze numbers and deal with logistical issues without interruption. The phones didn’t ring, my secretary didn’t tap on my door, no students showed up with problems.

Now, early morning is when I start more complicated candy making projects so I can think through the steps and get the timing right. I do bookkeeping for my online shop. And I commune with you; I read what you have to say and ponder whether I can add anything to your day by writing.

It’s also really, REALLY quiet in the morning. It’s always pretty quiet where I live, out in the country, with my fairly taciturn husband. But when my husband is awake, there is always music on, every single second. I love music but I also love pure quiet so I get my fix of quiet in mornings.

It’s not just quiet in the sense of noise, though. My pets are quiet at this time of day. The weather is quiet; the wind is usually calm in the early morning and the lake is like glass (at least in will be when the ice moves out!) There’s no traffic outside. Quiet like it can’t be when the rest of the world wakes up.

The early morning is so quiet that it allows my brain to be noisy and to consider all the possibilities of the day ahead. When it’s 5 o’clock in the morning and I’m up and alert, everything seems possible, and manageable, and doable.

At this time of day, my mind burbles with options—I’ll temper chocolate and dip those caramels, and then I’ll blog, and then I’ll iron those napkins I bought yesterday and take pictures of them so I can list them on Etsy. I’ll embroider. I’ll bake bread. I’ll find a cure for a dread disease. I’ll climb Everest. Then I’ll eat breakfast!

There are downsides to be a morning person. It can get a little lonely. I am constantly wanting to call someone to make an appointment or text someone to chat and realizing that the time simply is not right for that.

And, in early afternoon, it hits me and, right about the time the rest of the world is at the peak of productivity, I’m thinking, “nap time.” And, of course, I miss out on a lot of late-night fun because I go to bed pretty early, too!

Right about now, it’s 7:30 a.m. I’ve knocked a lot of stuff off today’s to-do list. I’ve worked on this, walked away, come back to it. I’m ready to package up the Irish cream meltaways I just finished dipping in chocolate. I’m ready to go out and tackle the errands, if the bank and the shops would just open!

And what about you? Other bloggers, when I read your posts, sometimes I try to figure out when you’re writing. Is it early morning where you are and you’re watching the sun rise as you hit “publish”? Or are you a late-night person and this is the way you wind down, at the end of the day?

Early bird or night owl? What’s special about your time of day?

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31 thoughts on “Early Bird or Night Owl?

  1. I’m an early bird, too! Morning is my favorite time of day. Besides, my cat wouldn’t let me sleep late even if I wanted to!

  2. In my older years I am becoming a night owl. (That’s when everyone else is asleep and I get my quiet time 🙂 ) Or is that an early morning owl because I am seldom asleep before 3 am. Evening is for reading blogs and writing comments. Writing blogs happens in the early afternoon. And with that I better do something about going to bed. You make the life of an early bird sound very good.

    • I can see the appeal of the night owl, too. I was one once but now I mostly associate that time of night with procrastination. When I was in grad school, I was always pulling all-nighters to finish papers–lots of stress and anxiety!

  3. I love early mornings, the anticipations of all the day has to bring, the quiet, the stillness before the world interrupts and the mayhem begins lol yep there is a lot to be said for pre dawn

  4. I fluctuate from day-to-day I have to say! It usually depends on my night’s sleep the night before. I used to be a morning person right up to getting married. Then I had to become a night person in order to spend time with my late-night loving husband. When the kids were babies I was an early morning person again (not by choice). Now they are teens I am a night person again, although they go to bed much later than me (and my now early night loving husband)! Hope you can follow that!

  5. I’m a night owl. With it being darker in the morning its harder to get up! Mornings are slow for me and I have to push myself. When 11:00 PM comes around, I’m not ready for bed. But with others in the house off to dreamland I have to be quiet. Sometimes it’s quilting, but other times it’s blogging.

  6. I am a night owl. I seem to get my most creative ideas in the evening for writing or knitting designs. I will get up early and go for a walk and listen to the birds sing. I really don’t like getting up before the sun.

  7. I prefer mornings, I like knowing there’s a whole day ahead of me. I wish there was a way to be both though, imagine how much things I could squeeze into one day!

  8. In general I write in the evenings–though I generally check my blog in the morning and will occasionally respond to a few comments then. I’m more of a morning person during the long days of summer than during the winter months.

  9. I really considered myself a morning person until I read your post! And I really am supercharged with energy from 5-6.30 a.m. Getting up early to visit the massive car-boot and market on Sundays at 5 is no problem at all. Every morning when I wake my creativity is buzzing and some of my best ideas for posts and things to make and do are overflowing. But 4.30 a.m on a regular basis would see me ill in a very short time and in the Winter, I always sleep in later. Interestingly, when I woke regularly at 4, my Dr considered those symptoms to be a sign of depression! At the time, I was running a restaurant and working a minimum of 12 hours a day and getting to bed at 1 in the morning, after evening service. So there are times when unusual sleep patterns can be destructive to health and life.
    I love the sound of your day of the tranquility and activity you make for yourself and your passions. Thank you for sharing something which makes you ‘you’. -Karen.

    • You write the best comments, Karen! But, really, the difference between 5:00, when you are full of energy, and 4:30 is not so great! What you went through with the restaurant job sounds really rough, though. The difference, I think, is that you were keeping those long hours because you felt you had to and were stressed. I get up early because I want to and, if I feel stressed, I just take a nap!

  10. *Quiet like it can’t be when the rest of the world wakes up.
    The early morning is so quiet that it allows my brain to be noisy and to consider all the possibilities of the day ahead. When it’s 5 o’clock in the morning and I’m up and alert, everything seems possible, and manageable, and doable.*

    I knew you were a kindred spirit!
    Early morning is my time to take my coffee out back to the privacy of what inadvertently became my man cave–a small patio tucked into the corner of the house and fence, next to the garden (oh, what a glorious place to be in the spring, summer, and autumn!), where I’ve got my grill, a chair, and a small wooden box that serves as a table.
    In the spring, I am out there before the birds wake up; in the summer, here in central Oregon, the mornings are deliciously cool and dry; and in the autumn, the air becomes brisk, and I become alive!

    I truly enjoy your blog. You are one of the finest writers I’ve ever come across–and that includes not just bloggers but all the great writers I’ve discovered reading published books these past 45 years.

    Keep up the great work!

    • What a wonderfully kind comment! Thanks so much–it’s so nice to hear. I wrote as an academic for all those years and it was satisfying but so dry. This kind of writing is much more fun! And, yes, the early morning hours rock!

  11. I used to get up that early for many years, when my kids were home and I wanted to have some “quiet, alone time” before the whole house was filled with activity. Now that my kids are married and the house is always quiet, I miss those times. Because of my (and my husband’s) schedule now, I cannot go to bed early, so I am getting up around 7am. While it may sound early to some, it’s still “sleeping in” for me.

    • 7 a.m. is still quite early, by most standards! And I agree, we always have to adapt to outside demands and be flexible. Who knows–maybe I’ll be a night person again someday!

  12. I’m usually awake around 5:30 am – I don’t start work until 9 am most days so getting up early gives me time to write, have some tea, and not rush around to get ready to go out. In the summertime, on my days off, getting up early means I can go for a long walk before the city fully wakes up! 🙂

    • Your mornings sound a lot like mine–such a nice, relaxed way to begin the day. I live in the country so the walks are different but still a great way to begin a day.

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