A Marvelous Night

My father is a morning person if there is such a thing. So is my brother. Both love going to bed early and waking early. Both do their best work in the mornings.

Growing up, my dad was gone every morning before I got out of bed. When he’d return home to see me walking around in a groggy stupor he’d remind me how much he’d already accomplished. I was impressed. But not enough to have grabbed breakfast or got myself in the shower. What’s the hurry anyway?

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Picture of Seattle at Night by CJM

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people refer to people like me as slackers, night owls or weirdos. “Early to bed, early to rise…”

And I used to believe them.

But I’m done apologizing for not being a morning person when I do my best work at night.

I love the night. Van Morrison had it right all along.

I don’t know when it started. Maybe when I was in college which had more to do with attending school during the day, working afternoons leaving evenings as the only time to tackle homework.

But it wasn’t until I moved to Seattle that I started to embrace the night. By the fall of 1995, I worked for a local ISP located in downtown Seattle. When the noon to 9 pm shift become available I grabbed it. But I don’t recall ever leaving the office when my shift was over. These were the early days of the internet and having a high speed connection was a luxury. I stayed at work surfing the web and designing my website. It wasn’t uncommon to leave my office at 3 or 4 am. If the night is darkest just before dawn then my timing is impeccable.

It was only a 15 minute walk from my office to my apartment on Capitol Hill. But I was in no hurry to get home. I loved the cool night breeze on my face. If I was lucky there’d be a light mist in the air. I’d pass the bakeries emitting delectable scents into the neighborhood. I could almost taste the cinnamon rolls or scones with orange icing drizzled on top. I’d see men and women tossing large bundles of newspapers at the steps of large buildings. I watched clouds of steam hover above the streets.

I savored the delicate soundtrack of the night, provided by the birds and rain instead of cars and people. It’s a side of Seattle few people experience.

Those were magnificent times. My neighbors didn’t know if I was coming from or going to work. Keeps them guessing.

Working a later schedule doesn’t exactly work well with children, so I’ve had to learn to adapt my schedule. But I still look forward to Friday and Saturday nights when I can stay up late and read or blog or walk outside off my deck and feel the cool late night breeze under moonlight.

Just look at what I’d miss if I were in bed like all the productive people?

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand” – Frederick L. Knowles

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4 thoughts on “A Marvelous Night

  1. Amen! As a fellow “night owl” I have to agree 100% with this post. It would be a dream to be able to work at night. The day is full of commotion, confusion and distractions so why would anybody want to work then. No, I can’t think of a better time to work then at night when it truly is the best time of a day. 🙂

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  2. Power to the night owls! I’m an efficiency consultant and I swear by working when your productivity is highest – and for some of us, that’s the middle of the night. It’s 3:44am right now in Seattle and I’ve still got a couple hours of solid work ahead of me. When I wake up like a “normal” person I’m useless for hours. “Early to bed” my foot!

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  3. Boy did you ever marry into the right family! The absolute best thing about retirement is not having to fight my natural schedule. I love the night hours. I find every now and then when I am up for the entire night that I also love the dawn but unfortunately I am usually asleep for that other beautiful block of time.

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