Most of these StoryWorth questions lend themselves to a decent amount of discourse and, as has already been noted, the purpose of this blog is to leave a record, it only seems natural I should make the most of that discourse opportunity. That is to say, when I answer these questions, I want to approach it as an exercise to get the most out of it.
To this end, then, I do two things. 1) I never look at the questions before they are sent on Monday and 2) if the questions are ones I can’t reasonably answer, I pick new ones.* Of course, I don’t pick them. Instead, I go to the website and get a random list of 50 questions or so and then have Rasa narrow it down to three she would like to see the answers to and go from there. Mostly, this is because I like the spontaneity of answering questions I would never have thought to ask myself and for me, that is in keeping with my perceived spirit of the game at hand.
So now we come to today’s question, which is simply “Are you a morning person or an evening person?” This doesn’t really lend itself to a 1000 word essay, at least I don’t think it does, but at the same time, it’s not something I can just pass on, because I’m sure there’s a reasonable answer there. So, what to do? I suppose the best plan is just to write and see where the words take us. If this happens to be one of the shorter answers, so be it.
So…morning person or an evening person? In truth, both and neither. In other words, it’s changed over time and I’m not entirely sure where I am now. No, that’s not exactly right. These days, I’m much more of a morning person. This piece for example, right now, as I’m typing these words, it’s 8:30 in the morning. It makes more sense for me to wake up and get work done. Start the day off with small accomplishments. Particularly accomplishments for me, or, as my friend Troy (who got me started on this StoryWorth journey) puts it: “Pay yourself first.”
This makes a lot of sense. With work and Monki and life as it is, my creative energy levels are much higher in the morning, before the weight of the day and all of my other responsibilities have attached themselves like albatrosses to my neck. By the end of the day, I am, as the kids say, out of spoons. 12 hours from now, I’ll be sitting on the couch, slumped over, my brain in a fog. I’ll still have work to do, I’ll still have creative thoughts, but I just won’t have the mental energy to accomplish much. Sometimes, I’ll find extra reserves, like if Rasa is working I might join her in the office and feed off her energy to pull myself along, but in general, I feel better, physically and mentally, if I get stuff done in the morning. This way the pressure feels lifted just in case I can’t muster the energy to work after dinner.
Now, this isn’t how it’s always been. Back in the day, I did things differently. I used to do my own creative projects (or even projects for which I was getting paid and had a deadline but no set office hours) at the end of the day. I would spend my days doing whatever I did, and then, when the rest of the world was going to sleep, I’d hunker down and get my words written. I’d start my workday at 11pm and work until 2 or 3am, get to sleep and then again, up before 9 to start the next day.
Those days, though, I would often take a nap in the middle of the day, crashing out on the couch for a couple of hours (The Spanish have it right, with the idea of the siesta). But then, I wasn’t responsible for anyone else.
At the same time, I don’t sleep well, even at the best of times. No matter how late I go to bed, I’m up before 9am so it just makes sense to get up and get the day started. Even without the added complication of work I still approach life in the manner of wanting to get as much from it as possible. When I travel, I’ll get up in the morning and get out to see the sights as quickly as possible.
I mean, sure, I can talk a good game of wanting to spend time on a beach, sleeping till noon and then sitting in a lounge chair and reading all day, but truth be told, that would drive me nuts.** I’d want to be out there seeing what was on offer. When I was doing gigs with Aga-Boom, on days off (or even days when we had late calls) I’d be out of the hotel and doing…something.
But I can also while away a long evening, hanging out with friends and playing pool until last call and beyond.
So I guess the answer really comes down to what I said early on, that I’m both and neither. Given my druthers, I’d get out of bed, have some breakfast and get going with whatever I had to do for the day, take some rest in the middle of the action and then keep the party going until it was over. But the reality, today, is I’m a morning person. Work and a small child full of energy dictate that when the sun comes up, we’re getting ready to face the day.
However, as you can probably guess, when the small child does come in to wake us up, she’ll often crawl into bed to watch TV. I can’t do that. As soon as I’m up, I’m off to get my day started, leaving her to her shows which ironically, leaves me free to work without distraction.
And look at that, over 1000 words for a simple little question.
*So far, these questions have included topics like religion and military service.
** Not the reading part, I love reading.