Pacific Time Zone Night Owl

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

When we were spending our days and nights—mostly nights—making music for people, we kept rather late hours. Especially me, I’d say, but also our family as a whole, kids included.

This followed several years of campus ministry, which involved many late nights as well. (Our weekly meeting started at 9:45pm!)

I always joked that we lived on “west coast time”, though it wasn’t really much of a joke! Bedtime was usually after 1:00am; 9:00am was an early wake-up time!

And, for the most part that does continue today, even several years after our full-time touring days have ceased. Those who know us often have a good laugh about our later-than-most schedule.

You’d think this just means we are all “night people” rather than “morning people”. This might be true, except in the case of our sons Alex and Cameron. Maybe throw Emma in there, too. Those two or three can just pop right out of bed and be at 100% first thing in the morning, no matter how early that may be. The rest of us Campbells would likely fall more into the more-productive-at-night category. (Thus my writing often occurs after the hour of 11pm ET.)

Somehow, when I really want to, I have been able to exist on a morning person’s schedule. This past summer I was up most mornings in the 5 o’clock hour to get out for a 2-3 mile walk before the sun was able to roast me. And often on those days, the early start tricks me into feeling “more productive”—only because I technically am more productive (get more things done) since I worked more hours before lunch time!

So, it can be done… but lately…

I have been a Pacific Time Zone night owl!

Really. Since our family vacation week in October I haven’t gone to bed much before 2:00am. After we got home from our vacation, I stayed up very late most nights working on a home improvement project while Jen was in California—which also gave me a reason to stay up late, so I could talk with her after her days were over. Subsequently, I have a hard time rising much before eight o’clock in the morning!

The good thing is, I have never needed much sleep. I still don’t, even in my advanced age. 😉 But, I do need some sleep, so getting late starts to the day can put some extra pressure on. When I am working with other people (partners/fellow collaborators, or clients), they are often two or three hours into their days when I am just getting started. AND, when I am still in full-swing, they are winding down or completely gone.

My kids, though they sleep late, also sometimes suffer from my ultra-late-nightness. When I am up till 3 or 4am—and they are up at 8 or 9am—there’s a good chunk of time for them to get into mischief! And my then-later working schedule means dinners come a bit later, too, pushing into the evening and into bedtimes—even though our bedtimes are 9 and 10-10:30pm.

So I’ve got to try to adjust to my own time zone! I’m not very confident this is going to happen, but I figured maybe writing about it publicly … gives me a better shot?

I’ll have to find another time to read (at length) and write… maybe earlier mornings? (See, the problem with going with the reverse option—trying to be a “morning person”—is then I am tired on the other end of the day! So what to do?!)

For now, I am feeling like this is not working, so I think I’m going to try and shift to a sensible Pacific time zone schedule. Maybe a 10pm PT bedtime? It’s a start… since right now it’s closer to midnight.

If I could ever get adjusted to a true Eastern time zone schedule … well, that would be impressive! For now, I’m gonna stick to some smaller goals.

Drop the “night owl” part, but stay on the west coast.

So… good night!

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