The art of the nap is one I developed late in life. From the age of 3 to, oh, 40 or so, I could no more take a nap than I could sing lead at the Metropolitan Opera. (Trust me, folks, I cannot sing.)
Naps are a gift most wondrous.
The best ones are the ones that sneak up on you. Planning a nap sucks the essence out of it – like planning a laugh. The pleasure of the nap is inversely related to the intention to nap. Conducting one’s day in productivity mode and then suddenly finding oneself in bed drowsy with increasing lethargy is oh so good.
Even though I’ve discovered the joy of naps, I am still unable to sleep anywhere other than in a bed – preferably my bed.
Winter naps differ significantly from summer naps. Both are pleasant. The winter nap, however, also serves as a body warmer. Recently, and particularly, I’ve enjoyed the dichotomy of being snuggled in my bed while gazing at the frozen tundra which is my yard outside the French doors. Listening to the wind cause the barn to grown and creak has been a nice backdrop to puppy snores and the hum of the nonstop furnace.
Since I haven’t, for the most part, worn anything but pajamas for days, I’ve enjoyed the feel of thick silk against my sinfully high thread count sheets. We hedonists enjoy such pleasures. There have been incidents of crawling into bed in jeans and a sweatshirt. There’s something somewhat illicit about burrowing into the bed clothed in something other than nightwear. Napwear?
I’ve been running at full tilt for months. I knew I was exhausted, but I’d underestimated the extent of it. When downtime hit, I had a number of ambitious projects lined up. I knew I’d need a couple of days of R&R before launching said projects, so I did plan naps.
I’m not sure you could call them naps. I woke in the morning, drank a half a pot of coffee, went upstairs to change clothes and, instead, ended up crawling back in bed where, with some resemblance to a coma, I clocked another 3 or 4 hours of deep, drool on the pillow sleep. I’d get back up, drink the second half of the pot of coffee and end up back in bed for another 3 or 4 hours of sleep before giving up on it all and just going to bed for the night. I reckon that I slept 18 hours a day for a week or so.
I should be well and thoroughly caught up on sleep by now, but it appears maybe not. [The first order of business tomorrow is to make arrangements to have my thyroid re-tested – even if exhausted this is an insane amount of sleep.]
If not for the impending arrival of the houseguest and Chef Boy ‘R Mine’s arrival, I think there’s a good chance that absolutely nothing of those ambitious plans would have been accomplished. Mind you, I didn’t make a dent in any of them, but some order has been restored in my living environment which is a great comfort.
Today is my last day, for sure, of downtime. Last Sunday should have been, but snow storms, car problems, plumbing problems, and electrical problems kept me home much of this week. These problems allowed me good time with Chef Boy ‘R Mine and Girlfriend O’His, but the New Normal is knocking on the door and it’s time to get my stick shift out of neutral and rev the engine.
While I’m not planning a nap, I think one is likely.
The puppies are champion nappers and if I do succumb to one, I’ll put them in bed with me where Trudy will serve as a foot warmer, Willy as a stuffed animal to clutch as I snooze, and Babette slumbering on top of the covers while completing the tableau of the Still Life with Snoring.
A normal nap does involve street clothes unless it’s summer and I’ve been gardening. In such cases, I strip down and really wallow in the texture of the bed linens. But it is winter. Most likely, this afternoon will find me in jeans, sweatshirt and accompanied by puppies snoozing (and drooling on the pillow) away a couple of hours. (A pox on the power nap! Anything less than a couple hours can’t properly be called a nap.)
It’s all good. While the past ten days have been anything but Total Zen in 2010, I’m feeling pretty grounded and centered. Restored, if you will. The renewal of the New Normal schedule of my life seems doable. A couple of weeks ago, I was ready to wave the white flag of surrender. The opportunity to nap has made all the difference.