I don’t want your stupid worm! A rant on waking up early.
I think one of the general rules of the world is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense (string theory, fashion, baseball, etc.). However, there are a few nonsense beliefs that I encounter in my day-to-day life that really need to be addressed.
My original post was going to contain all my top “Nonsense Beliefs and Outdated Virtues”, but it was getting too darn long. So I’ve divvied it up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Because I woke up early this morning and I’m feeling a bit grumpy about it, my first rant is going to be about this ridiculous little saying:
“The early bird gets the worm.”
As someone who most definitely needs 8 hours of sleep to function properly but who rarely puts head-to-pillow before 1 or 2am, this one is near and dear to my heart. According to Wikipedia, English naturalist John Ray is attributed with first coining this phrase, and while I would never presume to tell Johnny and his friends how to live their lives (Mr. Ray’s is appealingly described as “quiet and uneventful”), I certainly object to the vigor with which they try to impose their preferences upon me. Really, Johnny: must you be such a dictator? Look what you’ve created! Monsterly corporate structures that seem to almost exclusively subscribe to, demand and reward this “early-bird-is-better” philosophy. Fine. Believe this if you must. But I’d just like to remind you that there are also wealthy and powerful humans who think that the Earth is part of a Galactic Confederacy and that we are an alien race first transported here for tax auditing purposes. All I’m saying is that just because someone is powerful and in charge doesn’t mean that they are right. Or sane. So let’s take a real, practical look at some of the more common early riser claims.
“You have so many more hours in your day!”
The real question here, I think, is “hours of what?”. Name for me any party, romantic date, theatre play or book club that happens before 9am in the morning and I will be able to name for you a really lame party, date, theatre play or book club. Also, show me someone who’s been up since 5am and I will show you someone who is asleep by 9pm or on speed*.
“You get so much more done!”
FACT: the only reason an early bird would think this is because they are asleep the whole time that night owls are getting shit done.
“Getting up early is the natural god-given/evolved state for humans!” / “God loves early birds better” (more a suggested statement than stated outright)
But we’ve evolved to need 8 hours of sleep… and naturally seem to enjoy parties, and other late-night activities. Hmm. Also, I’m pretty sure there is not a Time God sitting up in the heavens frowning disapprovingly at late risers. And if there was, you can bet that all the other gods aren’t inviting that grumpy pants to any of their parties.
“You meet so many interesting people!”
You know – other groggy people running on treadmills or checking their emails in fluorescent-lit offices. People at their best!
“You get to attend fun parties, drink wine, and really experience the culture of your city!”
Oh. Wait. Nevermind.
I feel like this blog post would have been so much wittier if I hadn’t woken up at 6:30 this morning.
* Obviously, any person who chooses to simply not sleep can attain the best of both worlds for a brief period of time. This style of life also offers lovely vacation packages in rehab centres with the promise of foul headaches, 12-step programs, etc.