Aug. 15 was an important day for those who of us recognize the importance of taking a break. It was National Relaxation Day, and to mark the occasion I took a nap. But then, my Saturdays normally include a little siesta.
Napping is a skill I acquired years ago while working the night shift at a daily newspaper, which is called the “lobster shift.” How did it get that name, you ask? I have no idea. It’s just one of those quaint newspaper things that have disappeared along with press badges in hat bands. I would research “lobster shift”, but it would even more of a digression from my topic, which is, oh yes, naps.
Afternoon naps were essential to stay somewhat alert deep into the newspaper nights. Most coworkers had a habit of sleeping until noon, but I preferred an early walk on the beach and a nap later.
Weekly newspapers, such as the one you’re holding, do not have a night shift, unless a writer is trying to finish a column for the next day’s deadline. But I still retain the old napping habit.
The true star in the world of napping is the ordinary housecat, if there is such a thing as an ordinary cat. Cats sleep 16 to 20 hours per day. They are my heroes.
I watch in admiration as they curl up and drift off to a warm sleep whenever they have a spare moment between licking themselves and jumping up onto the cabinets.
I enjoy many contributions from cultures from south of the border, including the margarita, enchilada, margarita, salsa music, and the occasional margarita. But one thing that has not taken hold in the work-frenzied U.S. is the siesta, one of the great innovations of mankind. If a politician would come along and build his whole campaign around starting a siesta tradition in the country, he’d get my full support.
You say I’m sleeping my life away? I see it more as the ultimate form of meditation. Those practicing some of the Eastern arts seek to clear their mind and reach higher levels of consciousness. I just take it a step further: complete unconsciousness.
You can’t reach the unconscious state unless you’re releasing tensions and concerns. It’s an ability not everyone has. It’s hard to turn off the mind after receiving constant, highly important messages from the TV, computer, phone, etc. Of course there are many problems that we should be stressed about, but most can wait awhile. That’s my key thought. Everything can wait for an hour.
I promise to start worrying again after my nap, if you promise not to slam doors.