One of the interesting aspects of the teaching profession is time off in the summer. Suddenly, after months of extremely hard work and intense planning, the time hits like a waterfall, and the days are open to do as I please.
Still, even though the summer months are relaxing and carefree, they always present a dilemma. I call this problem one of my guilty pleasures — naps.
People have different views on naps. Some never take naps, and the idea of a nap is foreign to them, something they would only do if they were ill. Others think naps are ridiculous because they believe one should just go to bed earlier.
I am a firm practicer of naps. I enjoy enormously all naps, a morning, mid-morning or afternoon, and sometimes evening nap. Yes, to me, naps are appropriate at any time of the day. I have even been known to take a nap at 8 p.m. knowing that I will be preparing for bed a couple of hours later.
It is difficult to determine why I like naps so much. I know that it is not out of boredom, since my naps tend to occur when my to-do list has more than five items. And it is not necessarily laziness but, since the to-do list is a factor, this might be something that I need to look into.
Perhaps my biggest reason for loving naps is the peace and relaxation it brings. There is nothing quite like the sun shining through the blinds, the soft air of a ceiling fan or an open window, and letting your body and mind settle while the rest of the world is alive and active.
Ironically, napping has given me many moments of stress, not because of the actual act itself, but because I do it too often. I worry about the many hours that have been wasted by napping. I could have been doing so many more things instead of sleeping. Writing this column even influenced me to take a nap. I think of how I could have completed it so much earlier.
I haven’t found a way to solve this dilemma. And I am still not sure if naps are bad. They allow me moments of rest, but perhaps there are better forms of relaxation, events and activities that would still keep me engaged in the world. There is just something so irresistible about being able to turn my mind off, and perhaps having the time to nap is what I really love.
I do find myself going to bed earlier on days that I don’t nap, and I generally feel a bit more like a normal person. Sometimes I even experience a sense of accomplishment when I have avoided the pillow.
Hopefully I can find some sort of solution for the internal battle with my napping tendencies. When I start to feel the pull of slumber, I could go for a walk, or take a bike ride. My biggest solution might even be reflecting on and planning for the busy-ness of the school year.
Now I want to take another nap.
Contact Corin Harpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.