Confession right up front: I have never been a morning person. Never, ever. I have managed to be reasonably responsible and fairly successful despite this flaw, but there has never been a time when I have not believed that if I had tried harder (or at all) to overcome this shortcoming I would have been a better person. I knew how lazy I really was. How much I loved staying in bed after the alarm went off, preferably sound asleep.
Until now. As of today, thanks to my new hero, Amanda Ruggeri of bbc.com, I realize that I’ve had it all wrong for the past 70 (OK, 71) years. Being a morning person isn’t a sign of virtue after all, it’s just a matter of genetics. Ruggeri’s recent article, Why you shouldn’t try to be a morning person, has me walking with my head held a bit higher.
The message is everywhere. We are told about how people in charge – successful people – get up at obscenely early hours after scandalously few hours of sleep. Typically, these same paragons of virtue hit the gym or the trails before the sun comes up and are busy in their offices before the rest of us leave the house. Knowing this has always made me feel a bit defeated before I even started my day – although not defeated enough to get up earlier.
Having read Amanda Ruggeri’s life-altering article, I now know that being a morning person or a night owl (or in the middle, as is half the population) is genetic, nothing more. It turns out that getting up early every morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, isn’t necessarily a sign of an extremely motivated, self-disciplined person who attacks every aspect of their life with the same steely resolve. Gosh, I wish I had known that many, many decades ago. Continue reading