It was an odd weekend. I napped twice in the span of three days. I do not nap; it’s something I try to avoid at all costs, all thoughts of napping forbidden! (Though, I’ll admit, I think longingly of leisurely afternoons spent napping more often than I should.) If I do nap, if I cannot keep up my defenses and I go down, I wake up a monster. I despise my weakness, I lament my lost time, I am worse for the wear. But sometimes, sometimes, I cannot help myself…
The first nap, circa Friday late afternoon, was expected. I was exhausted from the graduation trip and had hardly slept the previous two nights. This nap occurred on the couch, with the lights on, so you could say I was not fully committed to the nap itself. I was waiting for someone to say, “Are you napping?” at which I would shoot up and deny it. When I woke up, maybe an hour or so later, I shook it off and pretended it never happened. The first nap was a little hiccup in my otherwise motivated weekend existence. No one would know any better.
Saturday the writing project found itself completed a day ahead of schedule, which meant I had all of Sunday, an entire day!, for my own writing, for anything at all that I wanted, a day, a whole day. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t decide what to work on. On Sunday I woke late—another hiccup, but I ignored it—I spent an hour reading at the coffee shop, and then I went to my weekend writing spot.
…Where I got progressively more and more tired, until, come 4:30 in the afternoon, I found myself at home, in the loft bed, out cold. The nap itself was light. I was aware that I was napping, I was angry at myself for napping, but then this faded, the awareness, the anger, and I was just gliding through a faint sleep, not feeling much of anything. I woke from this nap easily, feeling—what is the word?—refreshed.
That’s right; the nap worked. I was somehow less tired, less grumpy, and less stressed out.
So I ask myself: why the hatred of naps? Was I forced to have daily shut-eye at certain times of the day as a child? Not that I recall; my mother didn’t even give me a bedtime. Did I nap through an important event in my life and regret it ever since? I will never know. Does this have something to do with that month I had mono? Perhaps.
I’m not saying that napping will become a regular part of my weekend. I don’t want a nap habit. But if I’m tired next Sunday, you might just find my head down for an hour, maybe two. If anyone asks me outright if I’m napping I will obviously deny it—but you and I will know the truth.