Lark & Owl

There are larks and owls and I've always been an owl but I try every so often to become a lark. I went to bed early last night and had a devil of a time getting to sleep. I was going to go to sleep early tonight but I got home from school around 10:30 and then had dinner and started reading.

It is so much easier to get things done if you get up in the single digits. You have all day to make phone calls. The odds are stacked against us: If left to our own devices, the sleep experts say, we would stay up a little later every day, so that we'd never have regular hours for anything.

Some people move from owl-dom to lark-life when they have children. They're forced to get up early. But I skipped a generation. I have not children but step-children and step-grandchildren. I have not had to stay up all night with a colicky baby. Which, if you think about it, would make a person an owl.

Don't go against your natural rhythms, people say. But my natural rhythm or way-of-being-in-the-world is to be lazy and slovenly and slow and messy and never get things done. You have to fight against what's "natural" sometimes.

I know that the most depressing thing is to be staying up late and then when you're getting ready for bed you start hearing the birds chirping. They're saying: You wasted a whole night when you should have been asleep.