The above is a (poor quality) photo of my favourite spot on the sofa. And that is important because I am speaking out in favour of naps today. Yes I have recently discovered that I am strongly Pro Nap. And that is kind of a surprise for me because I was not raised in a nap-taking family. The only naps that were approved were if you were under the age of 5 or had a high fever which effectively rendered you unconscious. Otherwise, if the sun was up, you were expected to be up too. "Only lazy people sleep during the day, and this family is not lazy" was what I was raised to believe.
I come from a long line of very hard workers and there ain't nothin' wrong with that. In fact, a good work ethic should be applauded. And since that is the culture in which I was raised, it was a perfectly normal thing to always be productive, always be busy, always movin' and groovin', getting stuff done. Which isn't hard to do because there is always so much that needs to be done!
I remember when my boys were babies and then toddlers, which means constantly being sleep deprived, and hearing people tell me that I should sleep when they were sleeping. I thought that was hilarious. The only time I was really getting anything done was when they were sleeping. If I slept too, nothing would ever be accomplished. Besides, remember, in my family, if the sun is up, we are up and working. Crazy people and their crazy advice :) hah!
You know how it is when you have children and you work full time, it feels as if you are always racing around top speed. Weekdays were about basic survival, getting the kids off to school and yourselves out the door to work, running errands on lunch hours and on the way home and between chauffering kids from point A to point B. The weekends were crammed top to bottom with housework and yard work and kids stuff, Always rushing and running from one thing to another. There are never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Frankly, it's exhausting. Now add in being a chronic insomniac. Yeah. That's me. I have spent most of my life being tired. And honestly, after awhile, you just get used to it and it's a normal state of being. But even if there were the occasional quiet moment when I suppose I could have just laid down for a few moments to catch a few winks it would never have dawned on me to do so. In fact, if you had suggested it, I would have thought you were crazy. In our family, we work, remember? And if you are tired, well that's just how it is.
Fast Forward to now. The kids are long since grown and gone and out in the world with their own families. It's just Tim and I now. We don't even have any pets to be furry "children". Tim is still working full time but I am retired. My time is my own. Our house is small and doesn't require nearly as much time to take care of. Both Tim and I are fairly neat and clean people so nothing gets too dirty, or too messy, not really. I still don't sleep well, but taking nap never dawned on me as a solution. In my family we are workers, not sleepers! Even though I am no longer working with a house full of kids, I still manage to fill every moment of every day and feel useful and productive.
But about a year ago, maybe a little less, I noticed that every once in awhile, usually late afternoon, I would have maybe a half hour before it was time to start dinner and everything else on my gotta-do list was done. So I would sit down for a few minutes to read. I would grab a book, sit down on my favourite corner of the sofa and, with every intention of reading, promptly fall fast asleep, book in hand, still unopened.
The first time it happened, it really rattled me. I woke up disoriented. Dang! What the heck? My little snooze was brief. Not more than 15 or 20 minutes, plenty of time to still get dinner underway, but I still felt so incredibly guilty. Oh My Gracious! Red-faced, I leapt to my feet and hustled my bustle into the kitchen to get back to work. That's what we do in the daytime, we work!
I assumed it was an anomaly, a one-off. Was I getting sick perhaps? Did I have a fever? Nope. I was perfectly fine. Although I was mystified by why it happened, after awhile, I stopped berating myself over it and moved on. Until it happened again. And again.
Well as it turns out, nothing was going on. I was just tired. And my body was tired of being tired. So the instant I stopped, as soon as I stopped go go going all day, zooming around like a crazy person, the second I relaxed, my body said, "Enough! It's time to sleep." And so I did. I was guilt racked for the longest time. "Anyone who sleeps in the daytime is lazy" was what I heard in my head. My stupid head.
I'm over it now. Now, I adore naps. I embrace them. I invite them. My body is so much smarter than I am. It's so logical. If you are tired, you should sleep. It's a normal thing to sleep and if you aren't going to sleep at night (that part hasn't changed) then grab a few ZZ's whenever you can. It's sensible, it's logical, it's reasonable, it's rational, it's lovely.
I don't go to bed to sleep, I haven't gotten that far in my evolution. But I will lay down on the sofa, in my favourite spot, close my eyes and then as if someone flipped a switch, I am out like a light. It doesn't happen every day. It doesn't even happen every week. But every now and again, usually late afternoon, if there is nothing immediately needed of me for a little bit, I take advantage of a quiet moment and have a nap. And what's more, I no longer feel one smidgeon of guilt about it.
In our family we are hard workers. That's still true. I still work hard. But occasionally, when we are very tired, we also take naps. It's not a new family motto, just an amendment.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.