A short piece that I wrote for CT Out and About.com


 I was not born with the “napping gene”.

The rest of my family was. My Mom was the best napper I ever saw; she could lie down for 20 minutes, get up and be totally rejuvenated. Not me. If I napped – and I had to be convinced that I needed to – it was never for less than an hour and when I got up from my nap I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I was a nap resistor. The nap “hangover” for me was enough to keep me from ever taking a nap.

And besides I always felt that if I napped during the day I would miss something.

Somehow over the past year or two I have discovered, in middle-age, the delights of napping. And with this discovery, have come to understand what I’ve been missing all these years.

Especially enjoyable is the sunny afternoon nap.   We have a skylight over our bed that allows the sun to stream down and it’s just so…WARM and COZY.

However, napping on a dark, rainy afternoon is also pleasurable.   The rain tapping on the skylight, it’s just so WARM and COZY under those covers.

There are, in fact, many weekends where I get up in the morning and can hardly wait to take an afternoon nap.

My sudden fondness and appreciation for napping may be linked to not sleeping well at night. Though I have been known to not sleep well because of anxiety about the future, my principle reason for not sleeping well at night is a black cat named Shea.   Nearly every night she visits our bed sometime between, say, two and four a.m. She wants petting. Unlike many animals, Shea is not food driven…she is LOVE driven.   And if she doesn’t wake me up when she jumps on the bed she taps me on the face with her paw. Okay I’m awake now and she’s way too cute to ignore. So I pet her and try to keep her from waking up my husband (and there are plenty of times when she wakes him up and leaves me alone).   Eventually she will settle on my legs. That’s her thing…to sleep on our legs…not next to us: ON us.

But maybe it’s not Shea’s fault.   Perhaps I have just come to realize what I have been missing all these years by resisting the nap.   I am making up for lost naptime.

My napping characteristics, however, have remained largely unchanged. I still can’t take a nap that is less than an hour. And when I wake up I am as groggy as hell and usually wonder if I should even get up at all or just keep sleeping.

The part of napping that HAS changed for me is that I no longer feel that I might miss something if I take an afternoon nap. I have come to like missing things and have found that, by taking a nap, I usually miss absolutely nothing. At least nothing good.

Very seldom will I nap during the week. Since I currently am working only part-time, I could nap often. Weekday napping makes me feel guilty and so my naps are largely confined to weekends and holidays.

If our cats (we have two) had any say in the matter, I would be napping more. In fact, if it was up to Shea I would never get out of bed. Cats are expert nappers.   I observe and learn. For cats, napping is an art form.

I write this on a rainy October Saturday afternoon.   You know what that means. Don’t expect to reach me for at least the next hour. I must go now and hone my craft.





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