I once read an article in a magazine about a lady who was seriously not a morning person. Her story was her confession of this simple fact of her personality, as well as how much this simple fact had come to play a haunting role in her life. Like so many of us are, as a "responsible" adult she was expected to rise early in the morning, be happy to accept invitations for early morning exercise classes or groups and brunches and simply become active early with a chipper desire to conquer the day with great energy.
She gave it her best shot, but just couldn't keep up. She found herself pretending to be someone she wasn't. And when she couldn't keep going that way, instead of pretending to be someone she wasn't, she began hiding who she really was. When asked or invited to participate in early morning activities, instead of feeling like she was able to tell the truth and simply say I don't want to get up that early, she made up false excuses, like she had other plans, simply so that she could be who she was (not a morning person), without suffering the judgement.
This article both pleased and horrified me at the same time. It pleased me to know that I am not alone in my bodies never ending desire to sleep later than 9am, but it horrified me that this lady had to pretend to be someone she wasn't, and hide a truth about her for fear of judgement. JUST BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO SLEEP. I mean, really?
It may seem silly, and even a moot point. Who cares if someone wants to sleep late? But in a society that operates from 8am to 5pm, values over working and prioritizes punctuality and perfection, it is a perhaps surprising, but sad reality that not being a morning person causes one to get treated differently than those that so conveniently fit into the early riser box.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
Ok, so late to bed late to rise makes you, unhealthy? Unwise? How about lazy? This is a judgement that I have dealt with more than once for being a later riser. I sleep in late, wasting away the day, and I must be lazy, right?
There are certain ideas that seem to be universally logical. Things that benefit everyone and are for the best of the species. Example, treat others as you want to be treated. Seems simple, clear and generally like a good idea. Then, there are ideas that have somehow come to be considered the norm, over years in certain societies and cultures people have adopted abstract notions about the proper or correct way to behave in a society. Example, waking up early.
And I have another one, that I'm sure many would disagree with; punctuality. What is time, really? Its how we divide up our days. Its a categorizing mechanism so that we can organize our over busy days.
Now, time is a helpful tool. It allows us to plan things and accomplish things. But people value their time way too much. Is that all that matters in a life that is so short anyway? You spend your days counting your minutes and thinking that your time is so valuable. There is a fine line here. Time must be valued, in so far as it is limited when you are a mortal human being. So take the time to appreciate your life, being alive, the birds and the bees. But that's not what most people are doing when they say their time is valuable so you better not waste it. They are thinking how many things they can squeeze into a day that will benefit themselves.
Beyond that I just could never understand the sheer weight and grave importance put on punctuality. It is the rudest thing you could do to someone to be late, how dare you! Um, I'd rather someone be late than not really be present when they are there, to not be kind and careful when needed.
This is especially true when it comes to the work place. Its the ass in seat mentality that I have such a hard time swallowing. How dare you be a little late to work, even though there was nothing that you were going to be doing productively when you were there on time. If you get there late, stay late to make up for it. So, stay there late when you have nothing you can do for work, as long as you are physically there, just sit at your desk and stare, because that is better than being late.
How about we focus in the quality of the job someone is doing. Isn't that the most important thing?
Now if someone is not punctual and misses something they are supposed to participate in or because of their tardiness cannot complete work, that is a problem.
I am just so tired of what seem to me to be arbitrary customs, and getting judged because i exist outside the box. To me, it just seems like a waste of negative energy and a serious overlooking of whats really important in a life.
And now I am left with the sad fact that I don't see our society changing its arbitrary values and notions anytime soon. My choices? Ditch normal life and become a homeless wanderer? Pretty sure it will have to be continue to force myself, against all my natural inclinations, to fit into the box already built for me. At least some of the time. The rest is for me and those I love who accept the misfit that is me for who I really am.