Like most children, I dreaded taking afternoon naps when I was young. I imagined all kinds of thrilling fun that adults had while I slumbered away. I couldn’t wait until I turned 5, that magical year when my mother freed me and all the kids she’s ever taken care of from our daily drudgery.
Then, as a college student, my attitude turned an about-face. I came to cherish naptime, whether it was mid-morning, after lunch, or early evening – and sometimes all three. When I began working after college, one thing I sorely missed was that freedom to lie down and steal a half-hour snooze whenever I wanted. Still today, many moons later, I miss that freedom and love when I can indulge in the bliss of a wink or two.
On the days I am not working, I always set aside time to rest. Whether I actually fall asleep isn’t the point. It’s th act of lying down, curling up with a mom-made afghan, closing my eyes, and letting myself think or dream of anything I want. I don’t have to do any figuring or complex thinking. I can listen to music, turn on a daytime talk show, or count the sparkles in my ceiling if I want to. I can even imagine the thrilling fun other adults are having as I lie there at peace with myself.
That afternoon nap is the one time of my day when I can be private and keep to myself – and remind myself what good company I am.
By Jennifer S. Kushnier