Read an Excerpt
"I wasn't always a morning person. And only former night people can understand how difficult it is to change. Although, if anything can change a night person into a morning person, it's dairy farming.
Ideally, cows should be milked every twelve hours. When we bought our farm, Ron continued the existing routine - milking at four in the morning and three in the afternoon. (Ron's timing varied only slightly depending on the season.) This schedule allowed time for daily work, such as gardening, haying, spreading manure and repairing equipment. It also left time for supper and evening activities. Other farmers have their own schedules. We knew one old-timer who milked his cows at noon and midnight. He was a night person for sure.
I was born into a night family. We stayed up late - reading, studying, watching TV, knitting, sewing or playing cards. Ron was always a morning person and doesn't understand night people, so we had to make many adjustments over the years. In winter, when he arose at three o'clock (as opposed to three-thirty during the summer) to milk the cows, he was happy and often hummed, anticipating the day's activities. Right from the start, I discouraged the humming, as well as turning on the light at that hour. I considered three o'clock the middle of the night, not morning. At 5:00 a.m., I arose grudgingly to feed calves, sweep cribs and wash milking equipment. I didn't speak to anyone for at least an hour, and that was a good thing.
When I agreed to become a farmer, no one mentioned feeding calves at that hour of the morning. I wondered why calves must be fed exactly at five-thirty. It soon became obvious: completing the morning barn chores as soon as possibleleft more time during the day for additional work.
Physically, it didn't take many weeks of this routine to change me into a morning person. I simply had to go to bed early.
I also discovered that starting the day early had its advantages. Soon, I felt cheated if I didn't see the sunrise. It's the most peaceful time of day. The phone has yet to ring, traffic is at a minimum, and the air is usually fresh, cool, and clear. I actually started to converse with the other workers. Rising early kept my bodily functions in sync, toned my muscles and enhanced my appetite. By the time I had worked three or four hours in the barn, I looked forward to breakfast. When I was a night person, I never had an appetite in the morning.
I napped every chance I got, even if it was for only fifteen minutes. I used to think that any nap of less than two hours wasn't worth it. Forget that."