I’ve recently found myself with the desire to take naps. This is something that has never happened to me before. I could never work with naps - I would wake up more tired and I would be especially frustrated that I had to get up and still be awake. My conclusion, therefore, was it was not beneficial to give my body a little extra rest if I condemned myself to being an unpleasant zombie the rest of the afternoon. Since I’ve made this move, however, I’m not only finding extra time in my life that I didn’t remember existed, but I’m wanting to spend some of that time taking naps. They still don’t feel as though they give me a store of energy that will last me another 12 hours, but my body is certainly thankful.
The distress I’m feeling is in relation to laziness. Given that naps aren’t historically in my schedule, and since taking a nap can’t involve checking e-mails or running errands, the critical voice in my head is yelling at me that I’m going to become excessively lazy. So I’m feeling guilty that I’ve accepted the Way of the Nap. The way I’ve been living has involved taking bags of clothes/shoes/books/papers/computer/toiletries with me when I leave my house in the morning because I’m going from work to the gym to a meeting to rehearsal and then back home by 11, midnight, if it’s an early night. Then when I’m home, if I’m lucky I’ll get a chance to read for 5 minutes before I pass out from exhaustion. Then I wake up the next morning and do it all over again. It’s finally becoming fully clear that wasn’t healthy either.
So I’m looking for the balance, as we look for a balance in most everything in ourselves. Moderation, harmony. I have pretty good physical balance. Too bad I can’t just transfer that skill over into my mental faculties. And stressing about taking naps kind of defeats the purpose that my body is calling for - to relax my body.
I’m good at holding my body up, keeping it going when it feels like it’s going to fall. I started that in school, when classes were so dull and I had to fight to stay awake. I’m sure everyone’s experienced this - it’s extremely unpleasant. Then, I had a job in sales where I had to drive an hour and a half to my territory every morning quite early - so I had to drink caffeine or other energy beverages and was still fighting not to fall asleep at the wheel. And of course on the weekends I would get a migrane from Red Bull withdrawl. This intensity of trying to do something every minute of every day continued and I made a habit out of being the warrior who could do as much as possible and keep her eyes open. Aside from my sales job I have only had short bouts of energy supplement dependencies - normally I go it alone, without caffeine. So there was a sense of pride in that, too.
Taking pride in squeezing activity into every moment, when it wasn’t necessarily creative or useful to my life in any way, wasn’t really worth it. Or that impressive. It brings up the issue of my pride in general. Naps? Caffeine? Ha! They are for the weak. I will stay up FOREVER and the only thing to aide me will be my WILL.
Not sure who’s impressed by that, but I’m realizing I’m not.
So I’m thinking I’ll make a commitment to work very hard when I’m in work mode, but also allow myself to have rest mode and creative mode. Creative mode didn’t exist for awhile either, but I seem to have found it - or at least I’m scraping at the door.
In between lazy and crazy, there seems to be space.