The Napping Defense

Often I find I am brimming with new ideas of things I want to do, but before I start any of them I think, first I’ll take a nap. Seriously, I have this idea of a book I want to start writing (after I take a nap) and there’s the exercising I’m going to start (apres nap). I need to clean my bathrooms (nap), write thank you notes (nap), shop for healthy food (nap).

Sometimes even just making a To Do list, I think, warrants a quickie. Making the bed, straightening the sheets gets me all lusty and tempted. Inhaling my pillow makes my toes curl. There are days my husband will come home from work and ask what I did today, and I’ll find myself pretending I didn’t hear the question while quickly checking my cheek for drool. It’s a bad habit, this napping.

Really, what is my problem? Am I that tired by my own procrastination? Daunted by possibilities? Lazy because I can be? When do I stop napping and start doing? Is the nap – or the sheer idea of a nap – the only thing that stands between me and living a fuller life?

Last night I was reading Nora Ephron’s essay “Considering the Alternative” (I Feel Bad About my Neck). In it she writes this: “When you cross into your sixties, your odds of dying – or merely getting horribly sick on your way to dying – spike.” I would have bawled my eyes out were I not soaking in a hot, bubble bath, which makes everything feel better.

But still, I’ll be in my sixties in 15 years. Fifteen years. Just what am I waiting for? This book I want to write. This body I want to have. This relationship with my kids, reconciliation with my dad, place I want to see, thing I want to learn…is that what’s standing in the way of my getting started? The Nap?

Still, napping – cold sheets, the whirl of a fan, eyes closed, body sinking – everything seems totally doable, easy even, once you’re finished. And truly, fifteen years is a lot of time. Time for at least one or two more.

17 thoughts on “The Napping Defense

  1. I have the opposite problem: I yearn for a nap but I cannot have one. So I exercise using toothpicks to prop open my eyelids. I perform many household chores with my eyes closed. Who says you need your eyes to vacuum? Ask the cat. Yesterday I fell asleep at the library. I awoke suddenly to find another mom sitting on the opposite couch staring at me. Yeah, like she’s never done that.

    1. Yeah – that mom. I’m sure she never vacuumed with her eye closed either (poor Kitty). Tell you what, since you can’t nap, how about I nap for the both of us.

  2. naps are the nectar of life. you nap, you wake up, it’s like a new day. brilliant. sometimes I pick out clothes to wear that day that are specifically comfortable to nap in. I strategize about naps. no one should judge a napper. naps are awesome.

  3. I have a love/hate relationship with naps. When I sit and put my feet up and close my eyes (just for a minute) it feels soooo
    good. But I don’t really want to sleep because I am trying to watch something on TV. I plan to just close my eyes during the commercials – and you guessed it – I wake up after it’s all over. I hate that!

  4. You always find a way to make me laugh! You are so gifted with your choice of words–I meant to tell you that after I read your first installment of “writing class” [gnawing on my spoon] and now again–[the sheets making you lusty and your pillow making your toes curl]. I’m cheerleading you on to work on your book!!…and I’ll be in line at Barnes and Noble to have it signed when it comes out 🙂

  5. I am not a big napper generally, but I procrastinate through the internet or some Puritan need to do ridiculous chores. I have the best idea for that story that’s always in my head, but first let me check my e-mail again…

    Or: I really should sit down and think through that business I’d like to start, but before I do that it’s critically important to unload the dishwasher and bake bread…

    We are our own worst enemies.

    1. Yes, well, at least you got some good bread and clean dishes out of it. Me? Drool, wrinkled sheets and a whole lot of nothing getting done.

  6. I have a love/hate relationship with napping. I love to nap, but hate the way I feel when I wake up. All groggy and disoriented. I wish I had the ability to nap for 30 or 45 minutes, but alas, once my body shifts into “sleep” mode, it isn’t doing anything else for 2-3 hours. So, while sometimes it’s necessary (like after my second or third 6am shift), I try to avoid it. Once I submit, my whole day is over.

    I have a bigger problem with reading. When I start thinking of all the things I’d like to get done, I always wind up thinking “okay, but just a few pages first.”

    1. Yes – I’ve read about you…a few pages, a few volumes of Twilight. You, my friend, have a problem (she says self-righteously).

      Re: the right nap length. I get that. That’s why I set the alarm – though it doesn’t always work.

  7. I was hoping to find another post, I read this before. I am worried about you and all that napping. You sound depressed to me. There I said it out loud. One nap, ok. Many naps – NO! I hope you’re ok.

    1. I’m okay. I’m well-rested and not at all depressed. If I was, you’d all be hearing about it. Still, thanks for checking on me.

  8. If I could stay in bed or curled up in the chair in front of the fireplace until the weather warms up, I would. I’m not sure if it’s the hibernation factor or something more serious like Seasonal Affective Disorder. Whatever it is, I’ve got it bad. I think the answer is just to give into it! Why else would God make pillow-top mattresses, incredibly soft fleece blankets and down comfortors?

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