I am one of probably 2% of people that are not members of AARP that are morning people. Not like the “I wake up early because I drank too much” kind of morning person but the “it’s 7 a.m. and I’m fully awake and functional” kind of morning person.
I haven’t always been like this. As a kid, my parents made me work. I liked making money and I made more money than anyone I knew that wasn’t selling drugs. Getting up at the ass crack of dawn, I’d lug golf bags for people that barely broke 100. They paid my way through high school and college. It also ensured that I was awake way before I ever wanted to be, operate without caffeine at ungodly hours and developed an extreme love/hate resentment for the game of golf.
This lifestyle unfortunately followed me into postgrad. While being awake before 11 a.m. is useful, enjoying weekends is pretty difficult. What it has taught me is to respect the nap. Getting up that early requires a midafternoon recharge, usually due to varying degrees of exhaustion, being one of bibulous nature or to get ready for my monthly night out.
Most people aren’t morning people. Mrs. Madoff is often forcibly lifted and plopped on her feet in the morning. We also have morning roles. My pre-job jobs are to feed our Noah’s Ark amount of animals (two parrots, two cats and two dogs, each a male and female), take the dogs out, get lunches ready, shower and get dressed. Hers? Get out of bed and get dressed. 95% of the time, I complete my unspoken tasks before she has her pants on.
Being a morning person is both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s great to be fully functional and firing on all cylinders early, but does anyone actually do any work the first few hours you’re there? Being able to accomplish work during the “work twilight” time isn’t really useful, because no one wants to collaborate and if you do all your work early, the day drags on.
Most people (the non-morning people) are on what I refer to as “newborn turtle mode” where they operate on the lowest levels of instinct to get dressed, get in the car and drive to work. It is of the utmost importance to be alert because those without their caffeine fix are dangerous road citizens. Avoiding those that don’t get enough sleep is just as important as avoiding nighttime elderly drivers. No one wins in either GTA-like situation.
Being a morning person occasionally pays/paid off. In college, I’d always be the first one awake. Oftentimes, drunk people would leave half or even entire cases of beer, liquor or whatever in our party room. Finders keepers. There’s also something majestic about seeing the sunrise, morning beer in hand, that just feels right. I also had a front row seat for any shackers and one night stands that would begin their stride of pride past my open door. Depending on my mood and what kind of booze I drank the night before, the heckling would vary from encouragement to berating. Orchestrating tailgates became a lot easier for our chapter because myself and one other morning guy would get everything ready and loaded in the trucks for those awful 12 p.m. snoozers or to get a quality spot in the lot for the big games.
I am often envious of those who can sleep in. I feel like I miss out on the beauty of the weekends because I get up at the same time, regardless of the day. The charm of the weekend is to be able to sleep in, to take your time, and eat a large breakfast rather than a Pop Tart of some yogurt. I don’t know what to do with myself at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday. Waking up the Mrs. is like waking up a dragon, plus it’s quality time for video games, peace and quiet.
Like anything, being a morning person was a learned behavior. Outside of those in the military, police, firefighters and those with shitty third shift jobs or toddlers, no one should be as alert as I am at 7 a.m. I don’t see it changing either, which kind of gives me a FOMO on sleeping in. At least I have 30 years to look forward to getting my AARP membership and finally being with my own kind. .
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