I’m a lark. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve awakened at dawn. Although, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained the ability to—occasionally—roll over and go back to sleep, early morning is still the highest energy point of my day. I hit the ground running, and the whole day slides downhill from there.
This is not an uncomplicated virtue. Most people are owls, dragging out of bed in the morning with great difficulty, and not really feeling alive until they’ve had their second cup of a hot caffeinated beverage of their choice. This means, for most of my life, I haven’t had anyone to talk to at breakfast. Most workplaces don’t open for business until 8:00 am or later, so (until I started freelancing) I had to waste the best part of my day waiting until someone unlocked a door.
Until he started teaching high school, my husband was an owl. Although he had to face carnivorous teens at 7:30 am, I’m convinced he doesn’t wake up until almost 9:00. It’s almost like someone, somewhere, flips a switch. His eyes suddenly brighten, his voice changes timbre, and he becomes capable of carrying on an intelligent conversation.
Me? I sing in the shower at 6:30 am. Every morning. I still don’t understand why I wasn’t murdered in my freshman dorm.
The other end of the day is problematic for me. My brain shifts into neutral sometime around 5:30 or 6:00 pm, and unless I take a nap, forget about any evening activity. Even with a nap, it’s difficult for me to focus on anything requiring creativity. After dinner is a great time for me to proofread, for example, because my brain is incapable of gliding past grammar or punctuation errors to the sense of the sentence. It stops. Dead. And refuses to move on to understand a concept until the structural problem is fixed.