Early Bird Gets the Worm, but Night Hawks Play with Vampires

I used to be a night hawk, but now I’m an early bird…though not happily so. And I’ve changed since I made this switch too. I think there’s a difference between early birds and night hawks.


In my previous life, I worked in the research division of the Correctional Service of Canada which runs all federal penitientiaries and parole offices across the country.

We had two sets of staff: the statisticians and the researchers. The statisticians were all early birds — in and working by 7 a.m. The researchers, the ones who studied criminal behaviour, were night hawks — in by 9:30 a.m. but often still at their desks until 9 p.m.

The statisticians, a.k.a early birds, were a conservative bunch. They didn’t like change. They were good at planning their jobs and executed those plans extremely well. But they didn’t like deviations from the plan.


The researchers, a.k.a. night hawks, rocked and rolled. They loved taking risks (no kidding – they’re studying criminal behaviour), they loved change, they flew by the seat of their pants sometimes, they were storms of creativity…but they still got the job done. Maybe not exactly as planned, but they got it done.

I used to be a night hawk when I worked in research. And I had so much fun. It was exciting and brilliant and creative and rewarding.

Now that I’m a mom of two boys, I’ve become an early bird. And I’m stodgier than I used to be. It just doesn’t feel like me.

But if I go back to being a night hawk, I’ll lose sleep and become a bear and what good would that do? Or I’ll sleep in and miss getting my boys up for the day with our usual hugs and kisses, miss making their breakfasts, miss getting them out the door with (mostly) smiles on their faces.

How about you? Are you a night hawk? Or an early bird? Are you very creative and enjoy taking risks? Or are you a planner extraordinaire and even better at executing them? Or are you both?!!