"I'm a night owl" = "I'm afraid of death"?

My default setting is to stay up late. Go to bed around midnight to 3 a.m. No matter how many grown-up years pass that teach the hard lessons and wisdom of getting 8 hours of sleep, I petulantly stay up late.

Part of me still thinks: "Woo-hoo! I'm not a kid anymore. I can make up my OWN rules!" This may be the same instinct that causes me to see a colored bead or wayward Lego block or hair barrette on the floor of my house and think: "That's not MY mess. Leave it to whomever dropped it there." I have to reflect, realize: "Oh, yeah. I'm the adult now and if I don't pick that up someone will step on it and I'll feel badly." Then pick that bauble up.

As soon as Friday night the habit reverts. Doesn't matter that I wake up first with the kids 6 of 7 mornings each week. Doesn't matter what my activity is: writing, reading, watching tv, reading on the internet about what I just watched on tv, listening to music. There I sit/lay/slouch/stretch. Brain glazing over. Yet I will not budge until exhausted.

Rationally, 8 hours of sleep is important, daylight is important. But I can't (usually) bring myself to put cause and effect together: go to sleep at a decent hour, get decent sleep, all for a more decent day tomorrow.

Why, then, rage, RAGE against the dying of the day as if I could wait out and defeat (or at least stalemate) the rotation of the planet?

I don't think it's an inherent trait. People say "I'm not a morning person" and "I'm a night owl" like sharing they have brown hair and that's just the way it is. I think it's fear of missing something. Of making the most of good health and mind right now because tomorrow may not bring this solitude (and it is always solitude - I don't hang out late anywhere since my mid-20s) and this ability to browse and mentally meander.

The headline to this is a little dramatic. I sleep easily. My dreams are very simple and fond. I get out of bed quickly. But even on weekends, the mornings start with tasks. Making breakfast. Pets. Read the paper. Clean house. Plan the day. Not bad, all necessary and often delightful, but not as much fun as traipsing around, or standing still, in a marsh of mental confections and the occasional alligator easily dismissed with a FLICK on the snout. [Shout out, Fanny!]