I always thought I was very much a morning person. In the summer, waking up early for my 6:30 start suited me fine. I managed to get up every morning with time to read my Bible and still have the morning ahead of me. At school I still try to get up early, even if I don’t have class until later in the morning, as I enjoy the quiet of the morning and I feel I can concentrate better. And yet these days concentration and motivation are ghosts, apparitions here a moment and then gone. With only a couple weeks left of school, doing my little bit of work is like pulling teeth.
Yet somehow I do better in the evenings – with the sky black outside, the clock having long since seen ten, then eleven. My eyes are tired and strained, my bed looks like heaven and each thought of waking up in the morning fills me with dread. Go to bed now. Yet everything is clearer. I read through long scholarly articles for class and suddenly I understand what the authors are saying. Ideas flow from thought to thought and I have the patience to plow slowly through a page, and the drive to move on to the next. Why does this happen after eleven-o-clock at night? Why does my body taunt my mind with this turbo-charged diligence?
When I was younger my brain seemed to switch on at night. Just as my mum would tuck me in to bed, my heart would decide it wanted to pour out all my thoughts, fears hopes and curious questions. Philosophy and existential discourse have no respect for bed times, perhaps more so in the mind of a young child. Reluctantly my mum would sit, listen to me start, and then stop me to tell me to wait until morning – to talk then. Of course, my thoughts, dreams and fears would vanish with the stars, fading into the brightening morning sky, not to be found by day. Now I play the double role myself – both the dreaming boy and the tired mother – the buzzing mind and the weary body.
Mornings or evenings? Some days I feel like I am trying for the best of both worlds, waking early for the industry of the morning and then working late into the dark of night as well. Perhaps its time for me to give up the idea of being a morning person. But I love my mornings. I love my evenings too. Naps. I should perfect the art. This childhood nightmare and adulthood euphoria might just hold the key to my body’s strange ideas about when it wants to think.