Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taking a Nap

Miss Mom: Taking a nap

October 19, 2010
By Sylvie Galloway

Isaiah Napping
There is a activity common among the very old and the very young that those of us in the middle partake in all that often, even though it would benefit us greatly. I took the rare opportunity to enjoy this little activity and I had a really good reason to do so.

I took a nap.

There is little doubt that lives like mine are fairly typical of most of us in modern Western societies. We are busy, and counter our business with more activities. Then we add stresses, worries and not enough sleep to the mix, along with just not quite enough exercise and too many french fries and then are surprised that our bodies feel so damned tired all the time.

I am no exception.

I’ve been once again burning through my energy candle at a rapid rate. My blow torch keeps running out of propane as I have tried to get to everything that I’ve needed to get done. Today I hit a wall. I got up tired, tossed in some laundry and stumbled through breakfast. After running a few errands, I came home and face planted right into my bed where I stayed for over an hour.

It was glorious.

I didn’t sleep the entire hour, but instead simply dozed off and on, with at least one cat snoozing alongside me. I decided right then and there, that there is plenty that can wait a day or two and I’ll get to it all eventually. Making time for physical rest from my labors was a priority today and I was bound and determined to check that off my list.

I need to keep adding that simple task called “nap” to my constantly evolving to do list.

I just love when my grandson Isaiah gets sleepy. At first he is a little cranky, then he just sticks a thumb into his mouth and cuddles up to sleep. He is a champion cat napper, and has no problems what so ever with catching ten minutes of sleep when he needs it. Yesterday we were visiting with my sister and her family and my nephews were playing guitar and drums, loudly in another room. Isaiah fell asleep through all the noise.

I need a dark room, a fan running, and complete quiet.

Maybe I’ll start adding naps to my life more often, Lord knows that I can sure use them. But I first need to reteach myself that, taking time to rest is not being wasteful or lazy. That is difficult mindset to break, and its one I’ve maintained most of my adult life. Still, breaking that mindset is likely quite healthy. Then maybe I won’t feel like an extra in a zombie movie all the time. Maybe I should work at trying, more often, to lie down on a soft surface in a quiet room while closing my eyes. The last time I was able to enjoy a daily nap was when I was recovering from surgery. That was two years ago. I sometimes still miss that 2 o’clock siesta.

I doubt I am alone there.

Maybe slowing down just a tad is something we can all do. It must be, because I do return to this very topic every now and then. It is partially a reminder to myself that I need to stop trying so hard to stay busy, feeling like I’m not productive if I am idle. But I think also we all could use a collective nap, just taking some short periods of time in the day to sit back, turn off all the things that would keep us busy for just 30 minutes. We could use that time, not to catch our breaths before jumping back into the fray, but instead purposely deciding that, for now, the fray can wait. For now we are tuning out, and turning off. Things can wait just a bit, as we do a physical and often mental recharge. We can decide not to worry about the bills, the kid’s dentist appointments, how the boss feels about an upcoming project, how the country is “going to hell in a handbasket, and that damned handbasket’s weave is coming undone”, whether we can lose those ten pounds, drop that cholesterol level, or why an extended family member insists on ruining Thanksgiving every single year. We can instead, say no, all that is totally off limits for the next half hour.

Sounds rather nice, doesn’t it?

One of these days, a few decades from now I will be retired and have the capability that I once enjoyed when I was very young, the ability to take a nap whenever I felt like it. Until then I keep trying to balance out my life while I rush headlong into the things I feel I must accomplish. When I do reach that stage in my life, and you catch me napping, please just cover me up and let me be. I do need my rest. you know.