Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mornings on horseback

Sunrise on Lake Superior at Green, Michigan, August 5, 2008

I am a Morning Person. I arise at the crack of dawn -- sometimes before -- full of vim and vigor and vitality and other virtues that piss off people who are not Morning Persons, those unfortunates whose energy does not kick in until at least noon and who find their most productive hours to be those pushing midnight. Non-Morning Persons tend to be gloomy and irascible before the third pint of Starbuck's crankcase cleaner, and they hate the chirpy cheeriness of those whose engines run at full throttle from the time they awaken.

This does not mean that Non-Morning Persons are Bad People -- just, uh, different ones. It is not their fault that science has proven that Morning Persons score higher grade point averages than Midnight People, enjoy better health, have better sex, make more money, and so on. Being a Night Person is not a character defect, just a minor but not insignificant biological flaw, like six toes or hairy nostrils. Genetics have a lot to do with one's circadian rhythm. Midnight People just can't help being Midnight People, and one should not cast judgmental aspersions but view them with pity and compassion.

True, early risers tend to be early retirers -- that is, we start yawning after dinner and hit the sack by 9. Yes, this crimps our social life; you do not find us haunting midnight balls or even night ball games. We tend to be wallflowers after sundown while everyone else is having a high old time through the wee hours drinking and smoking and swearing and otherwise truncating their lifespans.

Being a Morning Person, however, enabled me to rise at 4 a.m. every day and write a few hundred words, resulting in six published books, before going to my day job at the newspaper. There is a lot of truth in those chestnuts about birds and worms.

Even in retirement I still get up early, around 6 a.m., to write and chop wood and milk the cows and harrow the lower 40 and surf the Net while the rest of the local cable and DSL users are still sleeping, allowing me to hog the bandwidth. In my habits I am blessed and lucky, as well as steadfast and righteous, and that is why I was able to capture that glorious Lake Superior sunrise at 6:29 this morning.

Midnight People, eat your hearts out.


  1. I am a Midnight Person and I am offended by your suggestion that Morning People have better sex. What scientific study gave you that erroneous idea?

  2. Anonymous, you know as well as I do that it's common knowledge.

  3. Were you really on horseback? How does your back handle the bump, bump, bumping while you ride?
    Not a morning person.

  4. Blah!!!!

    -From your five-toed, night-owl city girl daughter-in-law

    (Posted at 10:29 -- the only time the house is quiet enough for me to get on the computer)

  5. Anonymous: "Mornings on Horseback" is an Obscure Literary Reference, the kind old book editors like to make. It refers to the habit of young Teddy Roosevelt (now THERE was a morning person) to hopping on his horse upon arising and riding lickety-split from hither to yon, in order to cure his asthma. David McCullough wrote a book about that and called it "Mornings on Horseback." Now you know.

    Melody: As I said, Midnight People just can't help it, but that doesn't mean they're evil. I understand Will follows your example but Ellie, like her daddy, arises at the crack of dawn raring to go.