Alone in the Morning§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: May 31, 2011; revised: August 31, 2017; readers in past month: 602

Morning Coffee
with my Daughter

It’s well known amongst my friends and family that I’m a night person, and definitely not a morning person. I very much despise the way morning people tend to push their lifestyle on me as if it’s the ideal and only choice. They seem to think that those who aren’t morning people are lazy. I could take the same attitude when I see morning people drooping in the evening. I have a few humorous comments about getting up early. One is a play on a popular saying about the early bird that morning people like. Mine is said with a derisive tone: “The early bird has to eat worms for breakfast.” Another observation I tend to make is that by sleeping late I avoid having to deal with the best hours of the day. Sometimes I’ll point out somewhat bitterly that nothing good ever comes from getting up early.

Many people don’t understand the difference between a morning person and a night person. It’s not just a matter of setting one’s alarm clock to an earlier hour. Instead, it’s something of a mental momentum. Morning people start their day energetically; they’re at their peak at the beginning of the day and slow down as the day progresses. By night time their minds are dull and they’re falling over asleep the later it gets. A night person starts their day, slowly. Their minds are sluggish; thoughts and communications get crossed and they become irritated if pushed too much to interact and to follow a discussion thread too far, too early. However, night people become more energetic as the day goes on. At night, they are very much awake and their mind is very active. This makes it difficult for them to go to sleep at night. They are most creative at night. I think that most people are neither morning or night people. They wake in reasonable spirits and can optionally stay active in the evening, especially with some encouragement.

When I wake up in the mornings, especially these days, I am fairly disgusted. The activities of the previous night, my interactions with others the night before, and my thoughts as laid in bed falling asleep will come to mind as I brush my teeth in the morning or as I start my day in the kitchen making coffee. I become irritated and frustrated with my life and wish to take some massive action to rectify it. I hate my life during these times. I want to scrap all of my plans. I want to move back to the U.S., to change jobs, to change everything. Of course, I’m too beat to do anything in the morning. So, nothing happens and that frustrates me more.

One of the advantages of having a girlfriend, especially when she sleeps over, is that a girlfriend can help difuse bad mornings. This is assuming that she’s not a morning person — I would never date a morning person. The last girlfriend would wake up about thirty minutes after me. That would give me a chance to prepare for interacting with her. Sometimes she would talk to me a little too much and it would rattle me and make me want to snap at her. But usually she wouldn’t talk at first. Instead, she would hug me a bunch of times. That would make starting my day bearable. It would defuse my disgust for my life. Now that I’m alone, though, I don’t have that kind of support. Now that I’m alone, I see this benefit of having a girlfriend. I miss that. I don’t know that in time I will ever adapt to mornings. It’s nice getting a hug or two to help me through my daily contempt for life. It makes life sustainable.