I used to be a morning person. One of those annoying, chirpy, “Good MORNING!” types of people. Even marrying a night person, who sneered at morning people as being not as intelligent, artistic and creative as night-types like him, did not push me off my morning routine.
Having children disturbed my circadian rhythms for a few years, but I soon returned due to going back to university to get my bachelor’s. Those 8 am classes were brutal, especially during Michigan winters, but the macho feeling one gets for braving tough weather more than compensates for the discomforts.
What turned me into a night person was my late-developing career in news reporting. Through an amazing series of coincidences and lucky breaks, I became a hard news reporter in my thirties.
Local hard news required covering night meetings of various elected bodies – city councils, school boards, planning commission meetings, etc. When I moved from the relative ease of a weekly to daily newspapers, I really had to step up my game. Stories had to be in by 11 pm, 11:30 pm at the latest for hot news. School districts were often good for hot news!
So, I finally capitulated and became one of those annoying night people, sneering at the early-bird simpletons. That exciting time came to an end with the slow death of the daily newspapers. I had to reinvent myself as a trade magazine writer/reporter. Those stories required day-time phone interviews, which were fun and highly educational.
Another series of coincidences and lucky events have now reduced my work activities and freed my time to whatever hours of the day I choose to be awake. A change of living circumstances, primarily a new house with a big picture window looking East across the road, has turned me back into a morning person.
It was an accident. I happened to be up at 6 am for some insane reason, perhaps the early morning radio DJ who remarked on the fabulous sunrise he had noticed on his drive into work. I went out to the living room and looked out that big window. Wow! He was right. Amazing light show!
Now, I try to view a sunrise whenever I can drag myself out of bed. I get up, make my bed, get dressed, go out to the kitchen and get a big glass of water and cup of coffee with milk, drag a chair over to the window, sit down, and wait. Take several slow, deep breaths. Shoulders come down. Meditative state develops.
The light show is different every morning. I keep thinking “rosy-fingered dawn,” and criticizing that as a cliché. Today, I looked up the phrase. Well, of course it is a cliché!
It was used by Greek poet Homer! So, you’ll never see me writing it. Anyway, dawn doesn’t have rosy fingers up here in the Pacific Northwest. The sun is at quite a different angle than the one experienced by Greeks.
Here the dawn blazes, or spreads like spilled red/peach Kool-Aid, turns clouds lightest baby-pink, or doesn’t even appear at all. The sky simply lightens up from dark gray to light gray in the frequent overcast mornings we see here.
My thought this morning was that this is like a television show, without the blipverts, (a British neologism for adverts, or advertisements). Researchers have learned that TV pictures have to change constantly to keep viewers’ attention fixed to the screen.
[See Max Headroom for further information on blipverts. Max Headroom is a still- relevant science fiction show, maybe even more relevant than when it was introduced in 1984. It is, as the producers said, a look at 15 minutes into the future.]
Here’s a clip showing blipverts in action. It will seque right into a video of the content-rich pilot for the show. Beware: Graphic images!: