meet me mondays | on being a night owl

Monday, February 24, 2022

For as long as I can remember, I have been a night owl. Even as a little girl, I loved staying up late with my grandparents, watching the 10 o'clock news before bed or the Red Green Show on the weekends with my Grandma Bea and Grandpa Milan; my grandma Bea would air-pop popcorn and slice a red apple almost every single night. She would heat a pat of butter on the stove, in the same small frying pan and we would sit together on the couch in the den, eating popcorn before bed, sharing and talking, laughing and playing and being best friends. 

Even my mom tells me that as a newborn baby, I never wanted to take naps during the day. I would be up until midnight most nights, even without having napped. She thought it was because I never wanted to miss anything. Maybe she was right. Or maybe I was just born that way. Growing up, the evening would come and I just wouldn't be tired. No matter the day I'd had, I just didn't feel sleepy. 
In fact, after dinner, going to bed was the last thing on my mind. 
"I'm just getting started," I thought to myself, "How could I go to bed now?"

Well, in the 24 years I've been alive, not much has changed. Through and through, I am a night owl to the core. I love to stay up late, whether I have something to do or nothing to do, I just love being up past everybody else in the house. I love the peaceful stillness of the night, when the hustle and bustle of the day has ceased. I love the serene darkness that settles in once night falls; I love seeing the moon hang in the night sky, and watching the stars come out.

I do my best thinking, writing, and planning at night, and in fact late into the evening is when I get 99% of my blogging accomplished (well, 99% of anything accomplished for that matter), after Olivia has been tucked in and Dustin is fast asleep. 
During the day, I am busy with Olivia and it is important to me to be able to fully devote my time to her when we have the time together, so I write at night. I read at night. I clean at night and think at night. I even breathe my best at night. The days can be long and sometimes stressful, they are usually busy and often noisy. Nights? They are the opposite. Nights are the time when our house is silent; all that can be heard is the breathing of one another and the wind outside the window; my mind is suddenly calm when night falls. 

In thinking about this post, I wanted to see what experts had to say about the differences between night owls -- like myself -- and early birds -- like my husband and father. I recently read an article that said, "It's 6:30 a.m. For Early Birds (or Larks), that's prime time. For Night Owls, however, such an hour is ungodly. Most of us are neither pure lark or owl, but we all know people who can spring out of bed at the crack of dawn or stay awake into the wee hours of the night." 

It went on to explain that there is scientific evidence as to why these two extremes exist and a lot of it has to do with how we are wired genetically. Personally, I think it is has been a combination of both nature & nurture in my life. My genes may have always meant for me to be a night owl -- something my mom witnessed even when I was a newborn, but in my heart, I think it is also because of the environment I grew up in. I was surrounded by people that loved and adored me, people with so much wisdom and knowledge...a home where I could stay up with my Grandma and Grandpa eating popcorn and apple slices, watching PBS or learning about fishing, the ukulele, the Bible, my heritage, how to speak Finnish, the game of Scrabble, and so much more. 

Evenings have always been filled with special memories to me. And maybe that's why, even now, when the rest of the world is ready to sleep, I settle in with a big quilt in our basement -- baby monitor in one hand and a handful of air-popped popcorn in the other -- pleased to have the night ahead of me to enjoy myself and breathe. 

1 comment :

  1. Yes. This is me. As a matter of fact it's 2am right now and I'm probably feeling like people who go to bed at 10pm feel around 8. My baby sleeps until 10:30-11 am and my fiance does mornings with my school-aged child. So I stay up late to get shit done and then sleep in with the smallest member of our family. Then we get up and laze all day until dinner. Then after dinner I get started on my "office work." My only complaint is that I can't run the sewing machine at 3am...


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