At night when everyone else in my house is sleeping, I do my work. I’m more productive when I’m the only soul up, although this sometimes means I’m going to sleep when the rest of the U.S. is waking up for the day. It still occasionally makes Mike crazy that I’ll be up doing laundry, or hanging photos, or writing at 2 am, but he’s learned that this is just how I am. I can start my projects earlier in the day but there are too many worthy distractions – Annie, meals, sunshine – that delay me. At night, it’s just me.
Earlier I was unpacking boxes and getting lost in the contents. I came across old photos from when I lived in New York City, and then I went to my old blog to look up the stories I’d written to go along with the pictures. I was such a different person…healthy, self-assured, hopeful, innocent…so different than I could ever possibly be now. But that’s what happens when we move through life, I guess.
There’s something about the night that scares and exhilarates me. Some people see 11pm on the clock and think, “ugh, time for bed.” I see it and feel relief that the night is just beginning. The darkness cuts both ways – it hides the bad things but leaves me exposed. I feel sad and raw and reflective and hyper in the wee hours of the morning, emotions of mine that don’t always shine in the sun.
At night, I can be alone with my thoughts and live inside my head. I can plunge myself into my memories and become, say, that carefree New Yorker again, without neglecting the life going on around me. I can live in the past or imagine a present slightly altered from this one…one with Maddie here, and Rigby can talk and I can sing like Adele (hey, it’s my imagination). At night, things can be as they should while still being as they are, all while I, somehow, get my work done.
I dont know how you do it- I see 7:30pm and say , “hey, it’s time to hit the sheets”
at least you dont dream about doing the deed with Seth McFarlane on a bunk bed. Because that’s what I dreamt about last night.
he is H-O-T.
This really hits home with me. You are such a beautiful writer, Heather. Thank you!
Anthony from CharismaticKid says:
I’m always up SO LATE working, and I’m trying to change the fact that THATS when I get most of my best things done.
Be gone night owl! BE GONE!
I envy you. I see the clock nearing 10 pm and feel obligated to go to bed. Like if I stay up any later on a week night I’m breaking a law.
Hi Heather….You have NO idea how much ALIKE we are!!! I feel the exact same way at night. I think we ALL need to escape sometimes.
My favourites….when there is a snow storm outside, it’s very late or early in the morning. I did on my couch watching the snowflakes dance, listening the winds howl and take solace in the fact I get to keep my children home the next day in our warm home. Being EXTREMELY grateful we have a home that is safe and warm as I say a prayer for those who are less fortunate.
I get it Heather….I get it.
I’m a night owl too. The night can be freeing but it can also be when the ghosts of the past come out to play.
Another night owl here – and yes, the night is so freeing, and very much when the ghosts come out to play. I have to be careful what I read or watch when there is no one about to distract my mind, or my imagination and dreams are haunted by the things I have read or seen.
I’m that way about the morning. I like to get up before everyone else and get something done. It helps me feel more productive during the day.
I get more done from midnight to 2am than I get done all day long.
Jill Sarven says:
Wowwo agreed the peace of the nite before the unknown of the morning and day…emotions and all
I can totally relate to this. Quite possibly one of my fave posts yet, Heather.
Thank you for articulating exactly how I feel about the night. I love having it to myself. I love letting my imagination run wild. I don’t dare share with anyone all that I imagine when I’m alone with the night but it sounds like you may already know!
Me too! Me too! I work, I play, and like you said so well and I had never articulated, it’s the time when I can be a little self-centered and reflective and it’s not to the detriment of someone else. Possibilities abound at night – I just have to watch out for those rabbit holes, which sometimes I avoid and sometimes I dive right into.
yes, but when do you sleep??? i love staying up and getting stuff done. morning girl hates me though and will make my life miserable if i give in to the temptation too frequently. so? how do you manage?
I get about five hours of sleep a night. No matter what time I go to bed, I’m always up between seven and eight. So sometimes I take a nap when Annie takes one, or sometimes I have a Saturday where I sleep/laze around all day. It also helps that I don’t have anywhere to be in the morning! I’m sure when Annie starts school i will be forced to change these habits!
ah, yes, school will be a rude awakening, in deed. i remember fondly the days of nap time. in fact, my oldest (now 17 years old) used to take a FOUR. HOUR. NAP. and, he’d still go to bed at 8:00 p.m. sharp. he continued his love of naps until kindergarten, bless his lazy little heart. my second was a napper, but not the marathon kind. i loved to join in though, to catch the occasional z’s….dinner be damned. sleep was, and continues to be a priority. even now that they are in school and we are up as the crack of dawn, i will nap. there really should be a law: nap time for all!! the world would be a much saner, nicer place, no?
Unless you homeschool:) I am an RN and I work nights and even on my nights off I am up until at least 3 a.m. I sleep so much better during the day. I started homeschooling my oldest son (age 9) last year after 4 years in the Oklahoma public school system. He loves it and I love it AND I can still keep my sleep/work schedule. I nap with my toddler and my oldest works on his school work while we nap. We have the flexibility of doing Math at 8 p.m or 9 a.m. We make our own schedule and it’s fabulous!
Only in Louisiana ~ documenting the adventures of life! says:
Yea….and just when do you sleep??? I tried the green chili casserole the other night and the family loved it! Thanks for sharing and keep em coming!
We are so a like girlfriend!! I’m a night owl and love it!
I totally get what you’re saying – another long time, hardcore night owl here! Hoot hoot, represent! (;
When I retire, I will stay up half the night. Then I will wake up early. Then I will take a three hour nap. I’m a night owl. I’m a morning person, too. I just love the siesta!
At night, I have six hours hours of sleep. But before I have little hours of sleep dues to the busy schedules I have. Sometimes I have to take a nap for a second and wake up again after. It is really hard.
Funnelcloud Rachel says:
Fellow night owl here! Other people tell me they like to stay up late – like 1 am – and I just smile and nod, but don’t typically admit that I’m frequently up until 4 am. I know it’s kind of nuts and I don’t really think it’s good for my relationship, but I can’t help it – I’m energized at night. It’s after 3 am right now (East Coast time) and I can hear him snoring away while I’m at the computer. I’m glad I’m not the only one!
I was such a different person…healthy, self-assured, hopeful, innocent…so different than I could ever possibly be now. But that’s what happens when we move through life, I guess.
This statement makes me want to cry. I NEVER thought I’d be a “sloppy mom”….my 19 year old self would be horrified by what I feel is acceptable to go out looking like. Among other things. It’s so funny how things change. Another fellow night owl here, trying to reform myself though. It’s not working the greatest (like when I stay up trying to get a project done). I LOVE the nighttime hours but have found in my “old” age (33) that I am NOT good on 5 hours of sleep anymore. Too bad.
Beautifully written. Reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs.
On My Own lyrics
And now I’m all alone again nowhere to turn, no one to go to
without a home without a friend without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near
Now I can make believe he’s here
Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and then I’m happy
With the company I’m keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head
On my own
Pretending he’s beside me
I walk with him till morning
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me
In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/l/les-miserables-lyrics/on-my-own-lyrics.html ]
And all I see is him and me forever and forever
And I know it’s only in my mind
That I’m talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there’s a way for us
I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river’s just a river
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers
I love him
But every day I’m learning
All my life
I’ve only been pretending
His world would go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness
That I have never known
I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own
Richard McEachern says:
Les Miserables excellent novel & musical, ‘Stars’ amazing song, beautiful and very inspiring http://lyricsmusic.name/les-miserables-lyrics/les-miserables-highlights-from-the-motion-picture-soundtrack/stars.html
There, out in the darkness
A fugitive running
Fallen from grace
Fallen from grace
God be my witness
I never shall yield
Till we come face to face
Till we come face to face
He knows his way in the dark
Mine is the way of the Lord
And those who follow the path of the righteous
Shall have their reward
And if they fall
As Lucifer fell
mary c says:
How I love the night! Sometimes I stay awake for to long!
“There’s something about the night that scares and exhilarates me. Some people see 11pm on the clock and think, “ugh, time for bed.” I see it and feel relief that the night is just beginning. The darkness cuts both ways – it hides the bad things but leaves me exposed. I feel sad and raw and reflective and hyper in the wee hours of the morning, emotions of mine that don’t always shine in the sun.”
I can relate to being a night owl as well and to prefering the night time better than the day. In the darkness another self emerges. When everyone else in the house is fast asleep, sometimes certain masks come off. You can be, you. Another you. A different you.
You’re fully exposed, in privacy.
Sometimes it’s the only time you have alone.