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.