Early birds

House finch enjoying birdseed at my Bird Buddy.

The early birds I’m talking about aren’t these gorgeous creatures in my backyard. I’m talking about me and my hubby.

We’ve become the couple we used to laugh at. You know, the ones who have dinner at 4:30 or 5 p.m. to save money. Now, when we go out, we go early to take advantage of early bird prices that end at 6 p.m. Only these days, it’s no longer called “early bird specials” but “happy hour.”

A neighborhood couple invited us to dinner for restaurant week that features three-course meals at reduced prices. We declined because their reservation was too late for us! It was at the wee hour at night of 6:30 p.m. To be fair, my husband works in the financial world and he’s on east coast time. His work day begins three hours earlier than most people out west.

This is the state bird of Arizona, the cactus wren.

It’s gotten hotter the past couple weeks. I began setting my alarm so that I’m up before sunrise. We’ve changed our walking schedule to avoid the heat. We are heading out the door before 6 a.m. — which also makes us early birds.

One of our neighbors told us her method for walking. (Who knew you needed a method?) She turns right out of her driveway and continues to walk on the right side of the road. By doing that, she said she hits every road and cul-de-sac in the neighborhood — and ends back at her front door. My husband and I have been random walkers, going whichever way our whims take us. But this week, we tried it and not only does it add a little distance to our walk, we’re seeing streets we were previously missing.

I wrote about successful people who are early birds HERE.

What are your thoughts about early bird specials and getting up early?

A video of a juvenile Cardinal.

Who are these people?

sunrise in Arizona

Sunrise view from our bedroom.

Yesterday I went to the post office to mail a package to my son. I waited in line between two people who were sending certified letters. I figured out they were sending their tax returns! On January 11.

What the heck? Who are these people? How can they have their taxes done already? I was mailing pillow cases to go with the sheets I gave my son (I forgot the pillow cases at home) and these other people are done with their taxes?

We don’t have a W-2 yet. I guess I can start organizing what I need. I may get started earlier this year. I usually get them to the CPA in March. I’ll shoot for February this year.

Are you an early tax filer? Or do you wait until the end?

When I can’t sleep

Saguaro across the street on the nature’s preserve.

If I wake up in the middle of the night, I often turn on a podcast or a radio station and find myself falling back to sleep quickly.

Last night I listened to someone talking about circadian rhythms and something they called “midnight brain.” I fell asleep so of course I only remember a little bit. They were talking about how more crimes happen late at night.

I read an article today on Healthline called Why the Human Mind Is ‘Not Designed’ to Stay Awake Past Midnight.

Here’s an excerpt:

Most people have been tempted to stay up late at some point in their lives. Others may have to work late, often past midnight, due to the nature of their job.

But a new research review, recently published in the journal Frontiers in Network Psychology, suggests that staying awake past midnight may have implications that stem beyond needing an extra cup of coffee the next day. In fact, the study authors suggest that the mind simply isn’t “designed” to be awake into the wee hours of the night.

While prior studies have explored the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition, the new research focuses more specifically on what happens to the human brain when it’s awake past midnight.

The resulting “Mind After Midnight” hypothesis states that the mind isn’t set up to operate as it does in the daytime, and as a result, we’re more likely to make impulsive and even “risky” decisions.


The authors of the study said these four things can happen to those staying up past midnight:

  • suicide and self-harm
  • engaging in violent behaviors
  • use of alcohol and illicit substances
  • higher food intake

The article also mentioned that some people are night owls and are more creative at night. They don’t experience any of the downsides most people do.

My husband has said for years that nothing good happens late at night. I stayed up late as a teenager. Friends and I would try to stay up until the birds sang. It was a badge of honor.

But the older I get, the earlier I fall asleep. In fact, I go to bed so early it causes me to wake up in the middle of the night!

What are your thoughts about circadian rhythms and midnight brain? Are you an early to bed early to rise? Or are you a night owl?