Friday, February 17, 2012

The Sin of Not Being Awake -- Writer's Poke #366



Yesterday my wife and I picked up our daughter before the preschool’s scheduled naptime. She was so happy to see us because she absolutely hates naps. We didn’t have any plans which required us to get her earlier than normal, but as my wife explains it, going to preschool is Tavi’s job, and everyone deserves an afternoon off now and then.

When we arrived home, Tavi was ready to take on her day; her mom and I were ready to take a nap. And we did. I used to be very anti-nap myself. I considered it a complete waste of an afternoon. How can I sleep when there’s so much that needs to be done? Recently, however, I’ve reconsidered my position on napping.

Joseph Campbell writes, “illumination cannot be communicated.” For years, my wife tried to convince me that sleeping away the afternoon actually increased her productivity. After all, she said, a successful nap allows a person to reboot. Waking up from a nap is like a second opportunity to seize the day. No matter. She couldn’t convince me. I had to make this realization for myself. I couldn’t understand until I was ready to understand.

Now I know, or at least I think I do, that being truly awake requires the willingness to sleep.

When are you most awake?

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.” – William James

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