Are You a Lark or an Owl?

  from Pixabay

I grew up in a household where "sleeping in" was not allowed. My mother had 3 children in 5 years
and had little time for relaxation. My father worked Saturday mornings when I was young and drove 70 miles to work on his "hobby farm" when I was a teen. Sundays, the children went to Sunday school. 

When we are children, we believe that life in every household is the same. In our house, beds were made, we washed (one bathroom until I was a teenager) and dressed early in the day. My mother still showers before she eats breakfast. Eating in bed or lounging in a caftan would be signs of moral decay or weakness. My brothers walk and cycle before 6:00 am. Nature or nurture?

from Pixbay

My husband played in bands during his teen years. He often stayed out with his bandmates until the early hours of the morning. His parents and much younger sister spent the summers at the family cottage. No one directed his daily routines. He is an night owl. In our Covid-19 retirement life together in an apartment, the differences in our circadian rhythms are sometimes challenging.

In the spring and summer, I wake at 5:00 am. I often walk out on the balcony to listen to the stillness
and to breathe the morning air. Tilde, our little dog, usually stirs in her Sherpa bag so I let her join me.
I return to bed to read, write and respond to social media. At 6:30, I make a light breakfast and take it to my room.
I do agree!

Morning solitude is important to me. It is when I think about my day, my life, the world. I used to walk in the early morning. It's a habit that I would like to restart this summer. Monsieur usually gets up at 8:00. He does not eat on waking so I make a second breakfast for him at 9:00. Our days proceed with home tending, gardening, dog walks, music practise and social media. I usually go to the bedroom at 8:00pm because I've had enough time together. I find that the sounds of another person rankle me.

It is often difficult for me to accept the daily habits of another person. Monsieur and I have always lived in an apartment together. There is no basement, workshop, garage or backyard to separate us.
Our den, off the living room has no door. Our kitchen is a windowless galley where I cook but where I don't linger. By early evening, I am ready to be alone.

Covid-19 lifestyle makes me more aware of my tendencies.  Although my experience with students and church teachings help me be aware of the need for acceptance, I am not always successful. Are you a lark or an owl? Do you sometimes base judgments on your upbringing? Do you require solitude?


  1. This was so well written. I can easily picture each of you from this and your routine. I am sure this time of expanded togetherness makes it difficult in many ways for apartment dwellers. And you have always been so used to walking and exploring. I do hope you are able to do more of that soon and that your mother can as soon as it's safe to.

    The main reason RH is building a workshop here is because he just can't stand to be penned up in the house for very long. He has to be doing something and on days at home after he's finished his chore of doing the vacuuming for me he's ready to get outside and garden or work on a project. He grew up being a paper boy from the time he turned 11 and was always up early. Even now he goes to bed by 8:30 and is up anywhere from 5:30 to 6 while I am in bed by 10 and try to sleep to 8 because I'm up and down all night with bathroom trips. RH cooks his breakfast early and then I cook mine later except on Sunday when I fix a big breakfast for both of us. We both used to be larks when our four children were growing up, both raised as early risers.

    Oddly enough, his older brother who was also a paper boy and early riser now watches television until sometimes 4 a.m. and sleeps until close to noon. He lost his wife last year and I think this is way of avoiding the loneliness he still feels. I wonder what the effect will be on people everywhere from the trauma we're all experiencing during this pandemic?

    I actually enjoy breakfast alone on weekdays. I sit at a window that looks out over the pond and I always have a biography open to read a few pages a day from while I eat and watch the birds at the bird feeder outside. And I think RH probably enjoys his solitary breakfast too while he watches the news.

    1. It's funny how our early habits shape us. Our daily routines adapt for the raising of children or for employment but there are some values (or judgments) that stick with us. My mother has a friend (96) who since losing his wife a few years ago, stays up until 2 or 3 listening to opera. Life is interesting!

  2. I wonder if I don't wake up in the wee small hours many nights because I love the quiet and complete aloneness of those hours. Alone, but not lonely. It's just two of us in the house and we're both similar in habits, but I still need quiet solitude for some part of every day. I haven't minded the isolation for Covid one bit. I used to be night owl, but over the years I gradually became an early morning person.

    1. Quiet is important to me. I have tolerance for the noise of children playing or at school but at home, I enjoy tranquility.


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