Y’know, it’s not so easy being a night owl.

I get this from my dad. My dad was a professor at Hometown State University–he taught there for 30+ years, retired, then taught as a professor emeritus for a few more years until he moved to RetirementLand. In all the time he worked as a full professor, my dad never taught a class before noon. He almost always taught night classes. When I was little, my dad would come home from teaching at 10 or 10:30 and sit in his pleather La-Z-Boy recliner, grading papers and watching TV. Before I started school–and after, on weekends–I was allowed to stay up, watching TV and reading in the living room with my dad, as long as I wanted. At age 4, I could make it to 2 am with no problem; I’d fall asleep on the couch or in front of the TV watching “The Twilight Zone,” and he’d carry me to bed whenever he finally went.

I remember going with my mom to sign me up for kindergarten (half day programs–did other people have that?), and the school secretary asking my mom if I wanted morning or afternoon kindergarten, and my mom saying “Afternoon–she’ll never wake up in time for morning.” So I’d stay up with my dad, and the babysitter would wake me up around 11 am. I distinctly remember telling kids in my first grade class that I’d stayed up until 4 am over the weekend.

Why am I telling you this? Well, partly because I’ve been thinking about something MaggieMay wrote a while ago, about conquering writer’s block by being “brutally honest with yourself about your work habits.” So when I realize that it’s–once again–2:15 am and I’m just now getting tired, I have to admit that I’m probably not getting up at 6 am tomorrow to start working–though if I can just stop procrastinating, I should be able to get this awful guest lecture and the Horrible Tutorial prepped tomorrow night around this time.

But I realize, too, that it’s taken me *years* to stop feeling guilty about the fact that all my best work happens after 10 pm. When I mention to colleagues/students/professors that I got up at 10 am, I get that “you’re such a slacker” look–whether or not I went to bed at 4.

I just don’t run into that many people who work at night. I like waking up super early sometimes, and I can get work done for a couple hours before I have to nap (due to having gone to bed at 4, no doubt), but I can’t maintain a morning work schedule for more than a day or two. Am I really part of a freakishly small minority? Is there something wrong with me? Does all the “real” work get done during the day?

I think what I’m really asking is: why am I the only one blogging at 2:30 am?

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