INFJ Ni-Ti Fatigue and Emotional Turbulence


I’ve not experienced that before though I see why you might feel the urge, like actually maybe you’d prefer to stay and sort yourself out before you can be ready to be on form for others. Tidy house tidy mind and all that. And actually maybe you’d rather not go out at all, lol and you see lots of things you could/should be doing instead. You see it clearly now you can’t really engage.

I use a trick like this to get me motivated into action doing something I don’t want to do. The ‘Would you rather…?’ game. I ask myself ‘Would you rather go out in the rain to post this parcel now and have it arrive on time, or wait until it’s a sunny day and have the parcel arrive late?’

Or the 5minute game. ‘You have five minutes before the taxi comes, what useful thing can you do in that time?’

I basically talk to myself like I’m a 5 year old.


I tend to be most overwhelmed by people and expectations, and the result is me digging my heels in on the one hand, often wanting to do nothing of the sort, putting off as long as I can, and then swinging to knowing I need to and doing what I can… but sometimes only just.
Why do I? Sometimes it seems the right thing to do, sometimes the loving thing to do and I do love and want to do sometimes, and sometimes it is easier than refusing, sometimes just so I can know I did the decent thing, sometimes guilt.

I am also overwhelmed by too much to do in too short of time, which when you procrastinate, voila! And my too much is an embarrassingly small amount. Everyone runs productive circles around me. I sometimes feel proud if I can say I did three things in a day and one of them was a proper dinner. But I don’t like people watching me do things. I want to do them alone and unobserved.
Even just having to make a phone call where I know there is going to be tension can take weeks of procrastinating and trying to work myself up to it. Have to have conversations about it in my head first, many.

You were saying your daughter won’t leave anything on the table. Mine won’t take anything off it without somebody growling. So much gets put on the coffee table things start falling off. things sit on the kitchen table for weeks [don’t mean food, just notebooks, this or that]. I have four kids, though one has moved out and married. We still see a lot of them and they are having a baby soon. They lived with us for a couple months this winter/spring while their house was being repaired, with their cats and dog in the guest room. Now my MIL and BIL are living with us since end of June. If all goes well, it will only be two more weeks. My brother was here for for like six weeks this summer too. We seem to have a revolving door.

Anyhow, what I meant to say was that when they were all young, we went through a time where we had to kick a path through toys and whatnot. This lasted quite some time. It drove my husband to distraction. I think by then most hope for anything ever staying as you cleaned it had left me.

I am clearly not willing to put shit away every day that is coming back out as soon as they wake. And a new attitude struck. This too shall pass. And my relationship with chaos became one of tolerance. I tell myself it is temporary and ignore it. If someone wants it different, they are welcome to do it.
I knew I had lost it when I not only started matching socks by type and ignoring color but when I started wearing mismatched socks myself and wanting to cry as I stood there trying to fudge enough pairs to get us through the school week. I wish sometimes I could just happily go about cleaning without thinking! Actually, when I can be alone and turn on music, it can be a good time.

When I was a kid, I would clean by putting everything in the center of my room and slowly starting over putting things in their place. For days my parents would try to bite their tongue until finally maybe a week later everything was as it should be and I’d sweep the last dust in the center of the room into the bin.
People look at my chaos now, not realizing it is my white flag and wonder why I believe myself to be a perfectionist… but for me it doesn’t come out in forever chores that will never stay done, but in art, projects, writing, editing, editing, editing, or making the best possible choice, occasionally in organizing, though I would much rather feed my brain than fret over the very lived in house. In all cases it is more what matters to me, my aesthetics, something made or done or gathered with consuming care. Wanting to get the perfect gifts even.
My friend used to laugh because I would straighten the art on her walls but care nothing of the toys scattered everywhere or a pile of dishes. I like arranging things that will stay longer, like the mantle or books or art on the walls, so of late piles of things are everywhere and I am just too overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated to get to them. And to be honest I think I refuse because I feel stuck in never ending servitude and it is a freedom to watch it pile and not do it till I am good and ready. Not till I have the space and privacy I need. it is a little bit of a leave me the fuck alone, if you don’t like it, leave. A little bit of open your eyes and see that I am not alright and I can’t tell you. But probably mostly a lot of I can’t be bothered with the perpetual mundane.

And there is always so much thinking to be done, musings, searchings, internal conversations, so much to make me move so slowly. I think I may hold the record for longest to get dishes done when I was a kid. I am not much faster now. I prefer laundry for the meditative sorting and folding. Many times it just sits on the dryer folded though, for days… until someone goes looking for it.

At any rate, too much thinking to lay still and breathe. I have been trying to breath for a count of twenty per someone’s suggestion. It is a laugh. I count to two, then get lost in thoughts, then start over, then get to four, then go on some piecing together venture for about who knows how many breaths and have to go back to five, repeating till I have counted to twenty finally but probably taken fifty or more deep breaths cause I keep starting over with the last number I can remember. Sometimes I try to put my body to sleep and keep my mind awake. Often by the time I am almost there, I have to pee or there is this terrible itch.

I actually find watching documentaries to be much more meditative if I am needing space and time in amongst everyone. The Se visuals and interesting information tends to shut my brain up in a way laying there trying to be calm does the opposite. And the escapism to the past, to dinosaurs or saber tooth cats or the last ice age and Neanderthals or some such relaxes me better. I feel no need to remember exact details, the gists soak in anyhow, and it is mostly just to be quiet and peaceful and alone [computer/headphones] with the amazing world. I also think it just feel good because I used to do it with my dad. My brother does this too.
However, illogical assumptions or unnecessary drama can pull me right out and send me into a scathing inner dialogue, so it doesn’t always work.
I also like to watch foreign films with subtitles as a way to focus elsewhere so my mind can’t interrupt… as much… but those are often more intense and not meditative, but just to get my mind off other things, to escape from looping.

Lastly I will say I spent a month eating very cleanly recently, drinking a lot of water and no longer drinking black tea and only sips of husbands coffee sometimes… and my emotional up and downs evened out quite a bit. It could also be that my period seems to have stopped and that has always had me rollercoastering, so who knows. It could also be that I put myself into a kind of insular pupa to get myself through.
I fear my relating is overmuch, but you asked about overwhelm and it is hard to explain without giving a sort of picture of the struggle.
You know when imagining the peace of solitary confinement you are beyond overdone.

My best recommendation and where I feel the best in the world is to get out and walk in nature. Any place, the wilder the better. Walk barefoot at the beach. Hike. These ground me and put a smile on my face, brings me back and makes everything better, at least while I am doing it, and often for a bit beyond. It is great for kids and the messes they make will be of twigs that can be left where they drop them. When I go I see the chaos of trees fallen and decomposing and plants growing this way and that, a jumble, not neat, not controlled but profuse and striving, I can relax and let be.
This probably could have been edited more, so less, but it ran the risk of never showing up, so…


I’m glad you posted this, your paint a good picture. I will probably read over a few times. Helps to know others go through similar patterns.

I’m left reminded how much help nature can be - a warm sun shining on my face with a gentle soft coastal breeze is one of the best mood lifters ever.


This post was wonderful! I think it beautifully demonstrates the struggles I’ve dealt with for as long as I remember. No apologies needed!

I think a lot of the issues I have (and others) mirror the pattern of the Ni-Ti loop; when I become overwhelmed, I procrastinate getting things done. But then things build up because I procrastinate and create more overwhelm.

I wouldn’t describe my procrastination as intentional; my perception of time doesn’t seem to match the rest of society’s definition. Where everybody else sees time as a continuous linear flow, I usually feel as though events are all stacked on top of each other in random order. My short term memory is awful, but my long term memory is excellent. So something that happened 3 or 4 weeks ago may feel like it was a few days ago. Or something that happened a couple days ago seems like it was well over a week ago. Time just gets confusing. Thus why I start something and the day is almost gone and I’ve barely started anything. I get discouraged because I lose hope. I begin to think that there is no point trying if I have so little control over the outcome.

Although, just as everything else, I’m either devoting 110% of my energy to something or ignoring it completely. The multitasking is what kills me. Can’t devote 110% to 10 things at once.

I plan to take advantage of the techniques everybody has suggested here.

Do you typically struggle less with motivation when splitting larger tasks into smaller pieces? Do you feel like you have less that is unaccomplished at the end of the day?


I feel like I’m not quite in step with people around me, off beat somehow, always one step behind. Slightly off centre like I’m watching things and not quite there. But not spaced out necessarily or ungrounded, just in the periphery, in a parallel dimension, overlayed like tracing paper on this one.

I feel very pleased with myself when I get an itty bitty job done.
I subscribe to the Joey Tribiani way (have I already mentioned this in an earlier post?) of one job/day is a productive day no matter how small.

I don’t have kids or anything so my time is mine essentially which makes me feel more guilty for not cramming in as much as I’ve been brought up to believe I ought to. At the same time I’m not a complete couch potato letting the world crumble around me. I’ve ditched the to do lists but there’s still a drive to move get something done.

But I use external parameters to keep me in line. That’s one good thing about work, you just get things done. But it’s too much emphasis on getting your head down. I think school worked for me because of the way the school day was structured and broken up. Variety of subject, people and pace with a consistent thread running through the day and year. 40min-80min learning/ then a walk and a chat to your next class. All the Te minimum requirements done for you. I was horrible at homework though, as soon as I got home it was tv or in my room with puzzles, listening to music, journaling about my day.

I hardly know what to do with myself on holiday without my things around me!

I use this to my advantage too and will use someone else’s energy slipstream. Use other people as motivators to get going on something. Someone in line with your objective, with higher energy, enthusiasm and general oomph. I do well in partnerships and it sounds lame but I’ve had a best friend at every stage of my life who keeps me connected to the ‘real world’. Someone more extroverted, firey (sp?)


Having that duality yet common thread in a best friend is important. It’s good for mutual and personal growth


haha, aw dunno why but that made me smile, that read very sweetly, brotherly indeed.


So … I managed to give morning pages a shot. First few days went great. The following few days I was in a cycle of waking up too close to the time I needed to leave for work, so I wasn’t able to get my pages in. It’s been a little spotty ever since. But the days that I did get to write were very revealing. It brought some feelings to light that I think maybe I had been hiding from myself. I don’t know how to explain it. I felt an incredible surge of motivation and insight, meanwhile I also felt

inclined to go back to the drawing board on my career and life goals. I discovered that much of my disconnected emotional state has to do with feeling a general lack of purpose. Like, I’m stressing myself out and working hard but not really getting anywhere. Feeling the weight of the world, pressure, expectations … looking to succeed without having any clear direction as to what success looks like. Or, perhaps running a race with no finish line.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of trying alternate sleep cycles; probably the Everyman sleep cycle. The idea of splitting my days into more manageable segments could really help with focusing my energy on the right things for the right times. It’s much easier to go to bed late, but much harder to wake up early. So, if I am able to turn the night time into project/creativity time and still manage proper family time and not fall behind at my job, that would be the ideal.

Definitely; I tend to have a much easier time at the office than I do at home, but there are some days at the office where I’m not extremely busy. When my mind starts to wander on those days, I usually have to run a few miles to catch up with it.

I’m constantly looking for people that I can share ideas with to create this type of dynamic. Unfortunately, it seems that people with passion are in short supply. I have a few people in mind that I may be able to start scheduled meet-ups with though. We could all share ideas and help motivate each other.

My wife can be very helpful as a motivator if I can get her excited about an idea. But sometimes my idealism doesn’t deal in enough fact and that can create blockages in understanding. Not that I dream TOO big, but I like to make a lot of assumptions based on my understanding of how the world works and how people tend to behave.

Although, I discovered an interesting way that my wife (INTJ) and I differ on how we see the world. She has always seen me as somebody who overworks myself, and I’ve always seen myself as somebody who can’t seem to get started on anything/doesn’t work enough. She apparently sees the thought process (even if it doesn’t produce results) as time spent plotting or working towards an end-goal. I, on the other hand, am analyzing the output and wondering why there isn’t any. To her, a project makes progress when you figure out the details. To me, a project makes progress when I have something I demonstrate.


People are a huge distraction; I don’t get too involved in their lives if I can help it – I already have too much going on in my head and I hate to add another source of stress to it. But there is often a point when I start feeling what other people are feeling and suddenly I feel an obligation to help. If they are on the VIP list (close friends), it’s harder because I’m already involved in their lives and can’t really avoid it.

Night time is usually great for this. I am less involved with the rest of the world during the late hours, and therefore more focused.


I have been told by several people in the last months about needing sleep and circadian sleep cycle stuff. My life circumstances, i.e., kids having to be up at 6:30 am is kind of enforcing this for the next months, but I have always been a night owl and can easily work into the early morning hours given the freedom to do so. Like not having to wake early during certain periods in my life, or just burning the candle at both ends at times, which I am sure is definitely not good for my health, though seems great for creativity… So for now, I am trying this sleep during the sleep hours thing and will see if I see improvements.
They say get up earlier. I’d have to go to bed at a ridiculous hour to do this though and as I’ve been a night owl and my husband is too, so we’ve taught our children, so things are still going on late night here regardless of what I might try to do. Makes it very easy to fall back into old habits.
I have to go look at the Everyman… I don’t know what that is.


personally, I recommend you sleeping at your natural circadian rhythm that’s already installed in your system. I’ve tried over ten years to change my sleep schedule so that I have a normal sleep cycle like everyone else.
my overall health deteriorated when I was forcing myself to sleep at the “normal” time.
it’s a luxury for night owls to stay up at night and sleep in the noon of the circumstance allows it.

i found a forum for nocturnal people and they all said their overall health(psychological and physical) got so much better just by sleeping at their natural rhythm. (with proper amount of course)

and I think the doctors are accepting the fact that there are natural night owls and they don’t see it as a problem as long as you get proper amount of sleep rather than the time you go to bed.
it’s now a myth that the best time to sleep is around 10pm.
studies on night owls are still very lacking. not much established yet. sort of like vegan diet but worse.

my main concern is that you get a decent amount of sleep whenever it may be.
but again, it’s a luxury if that’s even possible in anyone’s circumstances.


Interesting read about folks with ADHD and having sleep problems: They claim that the body releases melatonin about 90 minutes later than most other people, and that rather than the 2 hours it would normally take to fall asleep, most ADHD folks can take up to 3 hours. I’m not sure if ADHD (inattentive type) goes hand-in-hand with INFJ personality type or if some people deal with it while others don’t, but this totally makes sense to me. It’s ingrained in me to go to sleep around 12-1pm. And I naturally wake around 9am (or sometimes later, depending on what time I go to bed). If I didn’t need to get up in the morning at a specific time, I’d probably be in bed closer to 2am, honestly.

I don’t claim to be an expert, but adjusting to alternate sleep schedules seems like it could be very beneficial. I got used to more of a bi-phasic schedule about 2 years ago – but the hospital stay when our daughter was born threw everything off. But I definitely had more success with learning and having time for creative projects late at night.

The interesting thing about alternate sleep schedules is that they tend to use circadian rhythms to their advantage. If you’ve ever used phone apps such as Pillow or Sleep Cycle, they try to optimize your wake times according to what stage of sleep you are in. This all ties into circadian rhythms and ~90 minute cycles.

See here:
Everyman is just one of many “polyphasic” sleep methods. Rather than sleeping for one long phase for a 24 hour period, this and other similar sleep patterns aim to break up sleep into several segments in effort to either correct sleep problems or to supplement busy lives with a more manageable sleep schedule. In my case, I would sleep about 3-4 hours starting between 11pm and 12pm, and then take 3 ~20 minute naps during the day spaced out an equal number of hours apart; typically ~7:00am, ~12:30, and ~5:30. The downside is that the adjustment may take a couple weeks to even out.

I don’t mean to sell you on the idea right off the bat; definitely do lots of research to see if it would fit in with your needs.


I’m glad you managed to snatch some time to do some pages and that it helped you get some insights. It just gets the hall rolling you know.

Want to respond to some other stuff but currently on holiday (sun & sea type) and the troops have returned with food stuffs. So.


Sun and sea? Where?


Yeah, a small Greek island. Beautiful vistas, secluded beaches & clear turquoise water. Will get a good pic tmrw. :blush:


Oooh, sounds lovely! I can almost see it without the pic, but I still want the pic!


I may or may not be slightly jealous.



I relate to practically all of your posts here. Like you, I’m also in a high-Ti job (science PhD student), and I have the same sort of Ti and Te problems as you. We must be the same INFJ subtype.

I was a huge perfectionist during my teenage years, and I’d always constantly plan my days with an impossible schedule or “list of things to do,” but never really followed them (for obvious reasons). It was a terrible distraction from me living in the moment. I was always worried, always thinking of what to do next. It was awful. But I was flying high as a student back in those days. I don’t think I could ever think or imagine or intuit the shit I did when I was a teenager. At some point a huge mental block decided to sit on my head, and I felt like I could not think as clearly or as “high and far” as I did before. Like a big impasse in my mental processes. To be honest, I think this is Ti. Maybe. In my earlier years, despite all the paranoia, and the fear, and the anxiety, and the torment, I might have still been very tuned into Fe, and I had proper outlets for Fe - lots of friends, drama classes, singing, up to 3-4 hours of practicing two different instruments every day…Of course, all that is gone now.

I’ve relaxed a lot after my teenage years. At some point, I’ve practically forsaken planning. The reason why was because I went bonkers in the past, controlling my diet and eating and things like that. I think I was really living at the edge of insanity at that point. And of course, due to lack of Se, this was a huge issue for me. How far could I really exert myself in that direction? I was planning and scheming like a truly insane person, but at the same time, I never felt like I could follow through and at some point I really couldn’t. After that experience, I threw down planning and scheming down the toilet. Go the opposite direction. Be completely chaotic! But I didn’t really know how to live chaotically either. On the outside was a chaos (in my eyes at least), but inside was more like ambivalence. No real commitment to chaos or flying high in the skies. Desiring one or the either, but not truly decided, and not interested at all in a compromise (aka living on “earth”). So yes, I felt caught in a sea of torment. All stuck in abstraction and conflicting thoughts. Then many different abstract solutions to “solve” my little problems, but none manifesting into actual actions.

Basically there was no consistent daily effort or progress. And perhaps this has more to do with the fact that I was all on my own at that point, left with this inhuman, intangible idea of success but with no concrete vision of REAL and achievable steps to make progress. No one was telling me to consistently meet this short deadline or see this music teacher for weekly lessons, etc. Pretty easy to fulfill Te Libran superego back then, aided by Fe-motivated desire to show off a little and please people I respect. But once I entered university, it was all down to me. And I couldn’t quite see what path to take. Too many paths to take. And the extent to which you want to achieve was also limitless; it’s totally up to the person to choose how far they want to go. I didn’t know how far to strive anymore, the freedom almost felt binding. And any path could lead to failure…and I didn’t want failure…I didn’t want to bear it, so I basically didn’t do anything at all. All those fears were particularly heightened after the weird eating disorder phase I had. I’ve seen myself get entrapped, suffer physically and mentally, go into really terrible and unhealthy extremes, and then fail again and again no matter what solutions I tried to take. I became cynical about choosing to take initiative or make a real consistent effort in anything. Nobody really talks about it, but eating disorders…that stuff is not all about just food or weight. It’s like a weird abstract struggle of inner problems, whatever they are depends on the person. The sufferer simply chooses to let eating rituals stand as a symbol for whatever issues they have. ANYWAYS.

I was still flying high…surprisingly enough…but I was ridden with guilt, because I was maximally aware of the chaos inside of me. The chaos of thoughts. The chaos of indecision. Combined with the aftermath of whatever I just had and some other majorly traumatic events in my life that I won’t specify. It’s like a flood of Ni and Fi and Ti that failed to materialize and hence began to rot, left uncleared. What does that turn into? Well I became completely off the earth, like I’ve forged this mental barrier between my formless, wordless, sea of thoughts and emotions and actual reality. People were talking to me. I couldn’t hear or understand or register what they were saying. I was staring at a page of words. They couldn’t compute. I was trying to speak, but I couldn’t, because my thoughts have lost their form even. I was literally stuck in a sea of thoughts.

But now I’m better. I’ve probably haven’t been this well since the past 5-6 years. There are times when intensity and clarity of thought finally return to life in very brief, fleeting moments. I feel more in control of what I do. I don’t really have advice because I think the desire to actually take some action and have some minimal control over what you do has to come naturally…at least for me. Living in torment and chaos was perhaps necessary for me. Because I do not like to follow arbitrary rules in the long run. If I want to avoid sin, then I must know what is sin and do it again and again until the novelty wears off and I fully understand why it is that I must stop what I am doing, that knowing all the pros and cons, I wholeheartedly do not want to indulge in X sin anymore…Of course, this advice does not apply for certain situations. Some things could really be beyond the person’s control.


I think short term deadlines are also good for the INFJ. My days are always most productive when I instinctively choose - I need to focus on X aspect of my project or X experiment. It needs to come really easy. If I’m overthinking or I feel uncomfortable, anxious, or uptight, then something has gone awry and I have lost hold of the big picture. But if the easy answer arrives, I plan accordingly. I have weeks when I’m SUPER productive. 9 o’clock do this, 11 o’clock do this. Bam, bam, bam. But then there are weeks when I really don’t feel like doing anything at all, so then I respect my physical limitations and be a lot more lax (don’t plan, more freewheeling). For some reason, this has worked for me. And it seems to follow my feminine cycles…I really think I’m half man, half woman, and what I am depends on where I am along the cycle.

Fe-ing is probably very important, and could singly be the best solution to your problem. But like you, it’s something I struggle with. I hardly have time or energy to do morning pages most of the time in a high-stress, no life/all work lifestyle. Not to the mention the ENTJish/xSTPish mood of my close work environment. Simply unpleasant as fuck. All work, no community feeling, no consideration for others, no room for breathing or enjoying, all competence, but very shallow in terms of intellectual depth, too concrete, “discussion” disguised as bullying and blathering off like a peacock, no interest in others’ work, too business-like and strategic, bling-like “creativity” but not refreshing and truly inspiring creativity…Which all left me too tired at the end of the day or the start of the day to open up and Fe a little in my notebook…But in terms of Fe needs, a romantic relationship plus talking to a few good friends helps…Despite my high Ti/Te/Se job, and the unpleasant ENTJ/xSTPish mood of my environment, I have been pushed over time to assert myself MORE, try to say something than nothing at all, and go talk to brilliant people elsewhere to get help and advice. I often like talking to ENTPs to bounce off on ideas. INFPs are also fun and open my mind a bit more. I also try to explain and discuss concepts with others; this helps organize my thoughts. Basically I try not to just sit there thinking alone all by myself. To me, Ni-Ti is completely wordless and formless. I cannot truly think or organize my thoughts into anything unless I write or speak. This was incredibly difficult for me to do in the beginning, but I’ve been pushing myself to do this more recently, and I feel like it will only become a more positive reinforcement loop.

And don’t just sit there thinking about what steps to take or what’s the better method to pursue. Ask experienced people. Make a list of options, or a list of priorities, then consult the boss…or someone you trust…I tend to talk to INTJs…even ISTJs for advice. They are very good at simplifying things and identifying their priorities. IxTJs tend to never take complicated steps towards anything. The simpler the better. Even if it won’t tackle every minute detail or variable to consider…They know what are the important variables. Whenever an INTJ says “NO. Don’t do that. That’s too much. Just DO THIS.” I feel great. But I tend not to go to INTJs for discussions or ideas…only sometimes, since they can be very profound and logical…But INTJs tend to mute INFJs innocent and naive way of thinking, which can make our Ti-obsessions and insecurities even worse.

Finally. I don’t listen to music anymore. NO headphones. If it’s very late at night at work, I put it on speakers if I’m alone (which is a different experience from headphones) and I do not stop and choose which songs to listen to. I just let it roll and ride on the song order of the album or whatever the radio chooses to play. The thing is, I was fucking deaf in one of my ears for about 1 month recently. I’m fine now, but I’m not wearing that shit again because being half deaf was awful. I felt even more alienated from people simply by the loss of half my hearing, no thanks. Now that I’ve kicked the habit, the burdens of people I don’t even know are off my shoulders during work. Listening to music at work is like going to work on drugs for me. So I go listen to sad/angry/happy shit when I go home, get high on the feelings, and then sleep it off. I don’t bring that shit to work. My clarity of thought improved tremendously from then on.

Finally, I’m going to start taking action by trying to write more about my work. Organize my thoughts and ideas and action plans by writing entries. Read papers with the motivation to write about them. Draw out ideas. Helps me tap into my actual mental abilities, I think, and not get lost in an endless list of things to do without considering the big picture.


Just catching up with this fascinating INFJ thread. @TinyYellowTree, as I’ve mentioned here before, I am also a natural night owl, as is my ENTP partner, and everything you wrote that I’ve quoted applies exactly to us as well. My ISFP brother arrived at the beginning of last week for an extended NZ holiday and this has only served to highlight my night owl tendencies, as he is the opposite: able to wake up bright and early each day, but falls asleep in his chair past 10pm in the evening, just as I am at my most wide awake and alert!

Maybe there’s a genetic component involved (I have read some recent scientific research that seemed to confirm this). In my family we seem to be equally split between larks and owls, as Dad is usually awake ridiculously early by my standards whereas Mum is even worse than me at functioning in any meaningful capacity before mid-day.

I remember one period when I was still at school and took on a paper delivery round to earn some spare cash (I can get up at any time if there is a specific and scheduled need to do so, even tho’ I don’t enjoy doing so!). I had finished my deliveries by 7am and had plenty of time to grab a decent breakfast and mucho caffeinated beverages before school. Mum had a full-time job at that time, and knowing her all-too-well, I would kindly make her a cup of tea and breakfast to enjoy while still in bed (and gently ease her into the day).

What usually happened is that 30 minutes later I’d check in, only to find her fast asleep again, so I’d remove the untouched (and stone-cold) breakfast and hastily prepare a second warm drink and snack for her. This time I would shake her gently until she seemed awake and warn her that she was risking being late for work (again). She’d thank me groggily and take a few sips of tea, so all seemed well.

But twenty minutes later, after I’d finished my own three-strong-cuppas-caffeine-fix-for-the-day-ahead and was heading out the door, there would be an almighty banshee-wail from my parents bedroom, followed by the thunder of feet down the staircase signalling the impending arrival of an appalling female apparition bearing only a passing resemblance to my usually gentle and easy-going mother. Think of the Harpy from ancient Greek legend, with hair all tangled and disheveled, tattered rags for clothing and a wild look in her eyes that would freeze the soul of the mightiest warrior, and you’ll begin to get the picture!

I would hastily make my exit at this stage, trying not to laugh too hard at the concerned faces of our neighbours as unearthly howls of outrage followed me down the street: