This quote, attributed to Hubert Humphrey, vice president under Lyndon B. Johnson, is displayed prominently on my mother’s refrigerator. It shares space with, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” and a warning not to eat processed meats, which have not been a part of her diet for as long as I can remember. I guess better safe, than sorry.
Personally I don’t agree. With any of it. I also don’t agree with covering your refrigerator in quotes, clippings, and inane magnets, but that’s another story all together.
Let’s get back to the owls and eagles thing. I have to assume that once upon a time it made sense for human beings to wake with the sun and sleep in the darkness most of the time. Of course it would have depended on what old homo sapiens was up to. Planting and tending crops required daylight, while hunting might have been a better activity for twilight or later, depending on the prey.
I think we’re pretty much past all of that. Like it or not we live in a more or less 24 hour world now, at least in much of the world. We’re globally connected, so working across times zones frequently means that we’re connecting to one another at different times of the day and night. We also have far fewer restrictions on our activities based on time of day. You can buy your groceries, wash your car, or watch your favorite soap opera at 3 am if you desire.
Still, the whole world isn’t operating on the 24 hours open model. I’m a school teacher in a traditional school. The morning bell rings at 7:55 and by gum I better be ready when it does. In order for that to happen, and all of the things that lead up to it to happen, I have to be up by 5:25. It is unholy. Still, there are alternatives starting to emerge, such as online schools that operate with different schedules.
The world is moving away from the nine to five model. More people are telecommuting and more employers are recognizing that flexible scheduling can increase productivity, as our world economy continues to shift from manufacturing based to information based.
As for me, I’ve always thought that if I could go to bed at 2 am and wake at 9 am I would be at my most productive. Over the years, though, I’ve started waking earlier and earlier. Too many 5:25 alarms have warped my inner timepiece. Soar with the eagles, huh? Honestly, I’d rather be back in the nest.