I had the best lunch break yesterday, and I wanted to share it with you. I’ve been really busy lately, getting ready to move and doing tons of errands. During lunch I sometimes try to get more items knocked off my chore list. Other days I like to read. Yesterday I did neither. Yesterday I brought a sandwich for lunch, and ate it while I worked. This freed up my lunch time for something really wonderful—a nap.
The building I work in has a large lounge with sofas and I took my rest there. If that hadn’t been available I would have stayed at my desk. It’s amazing how refreshing even twenty minutes of sleep can be when you are tired. I got about forty-five yesterday, and it changed my outlook for the day. Some workplaces, like Amazon, even offer sleeping areas for their employees. I think more employers should consider this healthy practice. I think it would raise morale.
In a perfect world I wouldn’t have needed that nap, because I would have been well-rested already. Mine is not a perfect world, and I doubt that yours is, either. I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, but this is one area in which I need to do better. I’m a night person who has to be in to work early—I find it very difficult to fall asleep at ten o’clock when I should be in bed. Many nights I go to bed and lie awake for hours.
I’m working towards the day when my job will suit my natural rhythms better, but until that time I’m going to grab a few naps a week. It really helps me. Naps are also better than caffeine, because I don’t feel all strung out after a nap the way I do when I have too much coffee. I quit caffeine a while back, and when I do sleep I find it more restful than before. I also find that I’m more alert than I was when I needed caffeine to give a sudden jolt to my system. Your experience may vary from mine, but I encourage you to experiment. How will you know unless you try?
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
123. Are you feeling tired? Take a short nap. Did it refresh you?
I didn’t get anything done last night. I’d planned to have a quick dinner, read a few chapters from my current book and then work on packing for a few hours. Instead, I ate dinner, started reading, and fell asleep. When I awoke in the middle of the night I set my alarms and went back to bed.
It was just the rest I needed, and I feel refreshed today. I know that I’ll have time tonight to work on my tasks. I had three other places to be last night and similar opportunities for this evening, but I’m not going to any of those engagements. I would have, but a few years ago I learned a magical word. I’m going to teach it to you right now, and then you can spread the gospel for me. The word is “no” and it’s right up there with “please” as one of the most useful words in the English language.
I would have had fun doing those other things, but not as much fun as I had taking that nap. I used to automatically agree to go to parties and social meetings. I’d always volunteer to help out at things, and I added obligations to my calendar at a breakneck pace. “No” saved my sanity. Now I have some time in my schedule to take care of things that need to be done. I also need to have days where I can do absolutely nothing so that I don’t get overwhelmed.
There is a helpful concept that I learned from the teachings of Abraham, as recorded by Esther and Jerry Hicks. The philosophy states that if you are considering doing something and you can’t answer “Hell yes!” to the possibility then you should answer “Hell no!” This little test serves me well when I remember to implement it. There are some things that must be done, regardless of the joy involved—I’d rather be elsewhere than at work, for example—but most things I’m considering can be decided by this one question. Once I’ve know whether I really want or need to do something, than I can use my magical “no” and my happily-granted “yes” to best effect. The nap last night was definitely a “Hell yes!” I feel relaxed and raring to go.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
113. What do you have coming up on your calendar? Apply the scheduling test to it and see what you can remove.
Today I am going to tell you one of my most potent fantasies. No need to click off the page in a panic—this is not that kind of site! I do not know you that well! My vision has to do with crisp clean sheets, velvety comforters, and dozens of feather pillows. A purring cat or two is somewhere atop the pile. An ocean breeze blows through the shutters. The sound of the waves whispers in my ears, and I am comfortably ensconced, safe from the orcs and black riders that have been pursuing me for days.
I drifted into Tolkien for a moment, my mind wandering as I lust for sleep. This is a joy I notice most in its absence, and I am resolved to fix that. Rest feeds the brain, keeps us well, and tames the beastly child inside all of us who needs a nap right now. I don’t make enough time for it. Duties press upon me. The orcs and trolls really are at my door, telling me I have to go to the day job to feed myself. The dragon makes me pay the rent. The black riders ensure that the laundry gets done, and they stab me with guilt swords when I forget to replace the eggs.
These terrible creatures of necessity have a certain power to compel, but I sometimes forget the strength within myself. My spells increase in power with every joyful act. When I give myself what I need, my energy soars. I cannot forget this ancient wisdom, a secret passed down through the generations. I am one of the guardians of this knowledge, and it must not be forgotten.
Tonight I will work my magic in the dark, seeking the healing that can only be found in the depths of slumber. I need no companions in this quest, but I will try to engage the assistance of a certain orange tabby. Every sorceress needs a familiar. He and I will face the wilds of the land of Nod without so much as a pocket handkerchief, and I think we can keep the orcs from finding us if we hide deep beneath the covers. The dream goes ever ever on, down from the nap where it began . . . .
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it:
13. Take a nap when you feel you should be doing something else. Revel in the luxury of it!