Bright As Night

Dec 29, 2017

Glimmering Butterfly Project – Day 09

I’m about to make a “crazy” statement about myself.

I might not be a night owl. Which sounds hilarious to anyone who’s known me for a long time. I’m always up late; often so late that you’re awake before I’ve gone to bed.

But what I’m learning is that a more accurate statement is that I’m most effective in the dark, when the world is asleep. Now, that includes nights, but that also includes mornings.

There’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to entertain that idea because I’ve always identified as and taken pride in being a night owl.

But through my experiences this past week-ish in the Glimmering Butterfly Project, I’ve really become aware that I may also be an early bird – or some weird mutation between an early bird and a night owl.

Normally when I stay up, I feel an incredible amount of guilt and pressure that I’m up late (although I do have fun with gaming friends and can also be productive late at night), since “the world is normally asleep by now.”

But ever since starting the Glimmering Butterfly Project, I’ve just deflected all of that guilt. All of it. Minus a couple of times where it caught me off guard and I had to reset myself to be Chill AF.

Part of the project has been to let myself be awake as long as I wanted, without the guilt. And waking up whenever I want to wake up. A lot of the guilt and pressure has been self-imposed, and I simply let go of putting that kind of pressure on myself when it was not only not necessary but also not effective.

When I started the project, I was waking up around midnight and going to bed around 3 in the afternoon. It’s in this little “sweet spot,” that I feel the brightest, most effective, most in control, least distracted. I was generally happier and calmer at this time.

It’s been really interesting to observe this. I’ve always heard about the impacts of being an early riser, but never wanted to really “give myself to it completely” because I identified as a night owl. My ego wanted to say “yeah, well, I can still be a night owl and be just as effective!” Which was sometimes true, but not always

Those nights I stayed up late, I was facing so much self-imposed guilt that I just went in circles in my mind if I didn’t catch it.

My current situation isn’t much different in that I’m awake at “absurd” hours of the night. The difference is that I don’t feel the guilt and pressure for it that I used to. I’m finally listening to what my body wants and what the heart is trying to tell me, and it’s paying off in so many interesting ways.

These hours seem to be my golden hours, when I’m most productive, most focused, and less likely to be distracted (by the internet and your “imaginary” thoughts in my head). When I’m most in tune with myself.

I enjoy being awake at night. I thrive in this setting. But now I have the exciting opportunity to learn more about how to optimize my schedule and lifestyle around those hours. And if I decide that it’s more effective for me to be “awake late,” then I can start to figure out how to be “Chill AF” in those hours, be more disciplined not to game/consume content all night, and get things done.