During peak energy hours, both can conquer their respective worlds. During lethargy hours, they also conquer those worlds, but they require coffee. Oxygen. And a spouse/parent/boss wielding a high-voltage cattle prod.
All toddlers and preschoolers are morning people. Their shiny inner weaponry systems launch them from bed at the crack of dawn. They will begin search and destroy missions unless intercepted with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.®
Fortunately, they retire early, which explains why the human race has survived.
The lone exception: if a parent must reach a destination before 8:00 a.m. Then little ones portend the future when, as comatose teenaged princesses, they won’t awaken if 10 Prince Charmings appear; or, as hairy 17-year-olds, they must be spatulaed from their beds.
I, an oddball teen, retained my morning person habits. As a college student, however, I had to change my ways.
Even my boyfriend, Steve, who shared my staunch early-to-bed-early-to-rise background, joyously embraced night-person status. I attempted staying awake till midnight. According to Steve, I learned new study skills, including turning pages for hours while dead asleep. When our weekend Bible study group partied, I never lasted through a game of Monopoly. Dragged to a quiet corner, I snoozed until awakened for breakfast.
Regardless, I, a dedicated music student, hit the practice rooms by 8 a.m. Afterward, I phoned my boyfriend.
Groggily, he asked, “Did I miss breakfast?”
“You missed lunch.”
“Oh.” Then, “You want to get something to eat?”
I’d already eaten twice. But if the early bird got the worm, pecan pie proved a satisfactory substitute.
After marriage, a studio apartment, medical school/practice and new babies helped us cope with our incompatibility. We no longer categorized ourselves as morning or night people. We mostly were exhausted.
Fast forward a few decades. Steve has slipped into old patterns, staying up to finish compelling books or ball games. He occasionally sleeps in, wrapped in blankets like a giant burrito. I confess to adopting his stay-in-bed vice during dark, arctic months.
But soon, dew-fresh spring mornings will arrive. I’ll run outside early to welcome delicious fragrances wafting from earth, trees and flowers. Most birds are morning people, too, singing their best concerts at dawn. On days like that, how could I be anything else?
Which do you do better, mornings or nights?