A Time-Managment Paradox: Why I Can Never Plan for a Nap

napping man_optAhh, how I long for the guilty pleasure of a really good nap. I think I’ve been waiting for this magical moment my whole life. Since I can remember, I’ve watched many men in my life, asleep on the sofa, casually napping (and snoring, I must add) in the middle of an ordinary day. Lights could be on, TV volume blasting, and lively chatter abound, but they nap like babies.  Frankly, I’m a little jealous that they have perfected the art. It can’t be just me. Honestly, I’ve never seen a women napping on a couch in the middle of the day, ever. Do you think that this is just a “man” thing?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my chances. There have been countless opportunities for me to plan for the nap, but it never happens.  How many dreary winter days did I devote to scheduling it to happen? But it never came, because I learned you can’t force it.  Napping is instantaneous.  For me, it’s less about having the time for it to happen, I think it’s more about my inability to relax; to be still enough to shut down all the programs running in my head.

This past weekend, on a most glorious sunny day, I took my Kindle, pen and paper in hand (I’m a little old school), and scheduled some “me” time.  To me, that means lounging in my backyard, reading for pleasure, and jotting down thoughts that may inspire a forthcoming blog. I was thoroughly enjoying my surroundings, and while my mind was engaged in reading, the natural and serene setting was slowly hypnotizing me. The day was so spectacular, one had to pay attention. I was more aware of the birds chirping, the wind chime blowing soft melodies in the wind, and captivated by the dance of butterfly. I was in my happy place.  I read for about an hour and paused every now and then when a new little creature interrupted me.  It was as if Mother Nature was flirting with me. So I stopped to embrace the moment (for literally a moment), then fought to finish the next chapter, but my eyes were getting heavy. I was so relaxed with both my body and mind, that I gave into the fatigue and relinquished control.  I closed both my Kindle and my eyes, and drifted off into stillness. I knew too well if I didn’t grab this chance, I would lose the moment forever. The last thing I recall thinking was, “COULD THIS BE THE PERFECT NAP I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR?”

Oh yes, my friends, it was indeed. The joy of the power nap!  It didn’t make a difference whether it was an hour or a mere 15 minutes, the fact that I could drift off to an altered state of consciousness was the letting go I was yearning for.  It felt more like a daydream sleep.  When I awoke, I was startled and had to get my bearings.  What had happened? OMG, I napped!

As I came out of the slumber, I realized that I had used time as a “gift,” to myself. Artful Time-management is building in some time for just “being,” not filling every moment with “doing.” 

The nap is not always a time-waster, it’s an energy preserver. Time to recalculate the body, take a personal and physical “time-out.”  For me, it didn’t mean I necessarily shut down, rather I allowed my thoughts to flow freely.  Hence, this nap-inspired blog came to be!

Now I have a new and improved time-management theory;  A time to work.  A time to play.  Maybe time to take a nap?

Hey, some people can impose a nap on command, lucky for them. I for one, will never know if it will ever happen again.