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My Favorite Time of Day (29/30)
The superior quiet hours
I love being awake late at night.
This is partly for the same reasons that others love being up early. It’s quiet. The phone isn’t buzzing with texts and emails, the street isn’t buzzing with cars and horns, and the mind isn’t buzzing with the immediacy of responsibility. This absence of noise from the outside world has a way of eliminating noise in the inside world, bringing about a uniquely calm focus. The often frantic and volatile nature of being immersed in daily life is replaced with an evenness that enables a distinctive flavor of thinking, working, and existing which cannot be replicated. Both bookends of the day share this special quietude.
However, I’m of the opinion that the later hours are more special than the early ones — and that’s not just because I hate mornings.
In my experience, the quiet of the morning hours can be clouded by the day that lies directly ahead. Without the separation between the solitude and the day that sleep provides, the nature of the early morning feels a bit more serious and utilitarian. You are consciously or subconsciously preparing for what lies ahead. I think this contaminates the quiet.
Nighttime, on the other hand, seems to carry with it a feeling of infinite potential. Not the kind of potential that a morning might bring, which is more immediate and localized, but a grander, more existential potential. The combination of the stillness, the reflective feeling from a day having recently ended, and the slightly lowered inhibition that comes from being sleepy creates a sense of imagination and possibility that can produce life-altering insights and decisions.
In addition to solitude, these same conditions make for an uncommon experience with others. There’s something uniquely special about the kinds of conversations that happen late at night. The absence of distraction and inhibition adds a profound layer of depth and intimacy, and we’re able to connect on a more meaningful level. We’ve all had the experience of truly getting to know someone through a late night heart-to-heart.
I understand the appeal of the morning, and it’s certainly special in its own way. But the late night hours will always have my heart.