I am a morning person. During exam periods at school and uni, I’d begin studying at 6am, break briefly for breakfast and have most of my work completed by midday. My brain became muddled in the afternoon and by evening, I’d need to read something three or four times to understand it. No such problems in the morning. And the silence! The birds tweeting as dawn would break. I was literally up with the birds.
As a teenager and twenty-something, if I wanted any sort of a social life, I needed to abandon my aversion to late-nights, plaster a smile on my face and persevere. None of my friends were volunteering to abandon an activity at what they deemed to be nana hours.
This pattern of early rising has continued through to mid-life. My disdain for evening activities has become entrenched. I won’t attend a movie that starts after 7pm and I’m looking at my watch feverishly if I’m at an event past 10pm.
There are consequences to limiting my waking hours this way. Most cities around Australia are blessed with a plethora of cultural events be they theatre, concerts and a glorious array of festivals. And most of them happen at night finishing well after my bedtime. When time permits, I attend the writers and food festivals. Most events are scheduled during the day. But the comedy festival is at night. Theatre is mostly at night. Concerts are all on at night.
Young (morning) people have recognised a gap in the market and filled it. Morning Gloryville is a dance party that starts at 6.30am. It’s alcohol and drug free and focuses upon offering great music, organic coffee and smoothie bars. Its catch cries are to “rave your way into the day” and “transform mornings into something truly remarkable”.
About 10% of us are morning people, raring to go as the sun comes up. Research shows that as we age, the more inclined we are to wake early and hence retire early. Just think how much your day would improve if before the work day started, you could attend the theatre, a concert or see a stand-up comedian? You would arrive at work, your mind already challenged by a provocative play, your soul transposed by a riveting piece of music, your mood lightened by witty comedy. No more resentment dragging yourself from the warm, comfort of your lounge room to the clogged streets and rancid smells of a full day’s work.
Think how liberating it would be to leave your children (probably aged 10 and over) to make their own breakfast and be responsible to get themselves going to school while you trot off to immerse yourself in culture.
If the twenty somethings can pull it off, surely Gen X and the Baby Boomers can too. This is an untapped market! Think of the night shift workers who would finally have somewhere interesting to go after a full night’s work.
I concede a minor blip may be that the performers are themselves night people, but surely not all of them. Some of them may be thrilled that their work day finishes at 9am.
I’m not suggesting a wholesale switch of night time to morning activities. And I acknowledge not all activities are suited to early in the day. But where it is apt, how about adding some additional session times at dawn? You could employ an evening and a morning cast – think of the added employment opportunities for artists!
Australia (and the rest of the civilised world) – it’s time you woke up (early) and realised the fun can start before the sun comes up. Just think of those delicious additional hours snuggled under your doona as the sun goes down.