Early Birds And Night Owls

In Chinese medicine, Yin and Yang exist in different levels within every single thing in the universe. They are used to represent separation or difference between two items, ideas, or factors...but they always coexist within each other. The concept of Yin and Yang is both simplistic and all-encompassing. Everything imaginable has a Yin and a Yang, and the two cannot exist without each other. Although these terms are more abstract concepts than anything else, each possesses certain characteristics. Yin is heavy, dark, quiet, cool and calm. Yang is light, bright, loud, hot, and energetic. Night is Yin, and Day is Yang. Water is more Yin than air. A dance club would be more Yang than a quiet pub. If we were using celebrities as an example, Morgan Freeman would be Yin, and Carrot Top would be Yang. You get the picture...

Each of us has a certain amount of Yin and Yang in different measures. Some of us are more quiet and reserved than our Yang friends. And then, within the quiet group, there are levels of Yin. There is no ultimate Yin or Yang, just as there is no largest number. You can always find something that is more Yin, or less Yin than something else...just as you can find comparison within levels of Yang-ness.

Yin is sleepy, relaxed, and belongs to the night. Those of us who need more sleep are said to be more Yin than those who are up at the crack of dawn.

I'm a pretty Yin person, and I've always been quite fond of sleep. I like to sleep in, and to stay up late into the evening hours. I've been this way since I was a kid, and it's simply part of who I am, like my left-handedness or my dark eyes. But, do you know what I've noticed? Night owls get judged. Oh yes, we do.

I'm not going to lie, perky morning folk confuse me. I don't want to talk before 9 am. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who willingly set their alarm clocks to wake up before 6 am to do things. Positive things. Things that are way, way too hard to do before 9 am. I recently went to a business networking group at 7:00 in the morning. All I could think was, how did these people have time to do such a good job on their hair? (I had my wet hair wrapped in a tight bun-wet hair meant an extra 15 minutes of sweet, sweet sleep.)

I realize that there are night people, and there are morning people. Inside, despite our differences, we are all just people. It shouldn't make a difference whether our golden hour is at 6 am, or at 1 am, right? No, it shouldn't...but it does. Night people are judged as being lazy or immature. Morning people, on the other hand, are often viewed as more responsible, driven, and focused. It's so unfair. I work until 10:00 pm most nights, and I usually don't get to bed before 1:00 am...but I still hear the snark in my early-rising friends' voices when I groggily answer the phone at 8:30 am. Damn morning people!

As I think about all of the night owls vs. morning people that I have known, I do realize that our preference toward day or night tends to correlate with our tendencies toward being more Yin or Yang. Most of my night owl friends tend to be more laid-back, relaxed, and unstressed about life. And my early-rising friends do seem to be more energetic, quick, and action-oriented. I don't know if this is the case for everyone; how about you? Do you notice certain distinctions in personality when it comes to morning versus night people?