Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Slept Thirteen Hours...and I liked it

A few years ago, maybe three or four of them, I was a nap snob. It wasn’t my fault really because I grew up in a family of nap snobs. I don’t recall ever seeing my mother take a nap. My father only took naps when he worked two jobs and needed some sleep in between them.

My father instilled a great work ethic in his children, and that ethic did not involve sleeping on the job. Or sleeping when there were dishes to be done or bathrooms to be cleaned or a piece of string on the carpet to be picked up. In fact, if my father came home from work and found one of us taking a nap, he would invent a chore for the sleeper to do. A chore that meant getting up immediately. We soon learned that sleeping just meant extra work, so why bother?

In 2004 I married into a family of nap gluttons. Computer Geek and his children were consummate nappers. Because of my upbringing, I sometimes seethed inside when they dozed, assuming that they were napping to GET OUT OF WORK. Did I consciously think this? No. It was left over from childhood when it was assumed that if you were sleeping during daylight hours then you must be stricken with pneumonia and laryngitis and have a massive earache with proof that you had vomited. An absence of a fever might just mean you would be called upon to clean floorboards with a toothbrush.

I inadvertently passed this faulty thought pattern on to my son, who is now twelve years old and vehemently says, “I’m not lazy!” if I suggest that he take a nap after a low-sleep Scout camp-out.

Enter old age. It was right around my fiftieth birthday when the nap gods got revenge. They were sick and tired (did I mention that nap gods are always tired?) of my snobbery. Suddenly, napping became an involuntary activity for me.  We might sit down for a family movie and two hours later I would open my eyes and say, “What happened?”

Or, I would be sitting at my computer, preparing a lesson for class the next day, and would wake up at 1:00 A.M. with my head tilted at an uncomfortable angle and a line of sahkjsdhfjkdhfyywuiuweyruiyiu strung across my monitor.

I have fallen asleep while listening to Weston say his prayers, while reading him a story, and even while watching Dancing With the Stars. (That one always makes me mad. I wait all night to see Derek dance and then I sleep through it.)

It could be because of my flouting the rules of sleep which say, “You must sleep eight hours a night.”   Or “You must go to bed at the same time every night.”  I’m really bad at both of those.

For example, last Wednesday night, or should I say Thursday morning, I didn’t go to bed until 4:35 A.M.  That’s pretty silly for someone whose alarm was set for 6:00 A.M.  I had a good excuse—I was grading lots of papers. (Did I mention that in November I had my students write novels? Was I insane? Did I forget that someday I would have to grade their efforts? )  At 4:35 I had a choice to make---just stay up all night, finish grading, and go teach school, or go to bed for an hour and a half? 

I made the decision to go to bed, hit the snooze button until 6:30 and then got up. At 7:00 A.M. Computer Geek demanded that I sleep one more hour, and said he would teach my first two classes for me so I could get grades done. (Big advantage to having a husband without a job.)

All day, I had a vision in my mind of going to bed at 9:00 P.M. that night.  Didn’t happen. Now that grades were done, I had Friday’s party to plan!  After I got out of school, I worked on awards, certificates and an agenda for our post novel-writing party.  Didn’t go to bed until 1:00.  Still flouting those rules.

Taught all day Friday, came home from school to make some last minutes preparations for the NaNoWriMo is Over party, went to Grandson Avatar’s seventh birthday, and made it to the school party on time. Got home from the party at 10:00 P.M. and went immediately to bed. Ha ha! Just kidding!  I stayed up until midnight.

And guess what I did?  I slept. And slept. And slept. I slept until 12:30 in the afternoon the next day. I woke up, went to Weston’s room where he was creating an empire, sat on his bed and woke up an hour later. Yup—1:30 P.M. is when I finally decided that maybe I would get up and enjoy what was left of Saturday.

Thirteen and a half hours of blissful sleep. Don’t tell my dad, but I liked it.

(P.S. I have absolutely no regret over having my students write novels. I am very proud of them.)


  1. If I go beyond midnight, life becomes a dull drone; a zombified existence for the following day...a gritty-eyed nightmare of a day. I really don't know how you managed it, Randi.
    Did I read correctly about Computer Geek? Surely not! Are things as bad in the States as they are in the UK?

  2. Ken: The thought of you walking around like a zombie made me laugh--you described it so well! I loved "a gritty-eyed nightmare of a day."

    Yes, it's true. Computer Geek lost his job right before Christmas. The company that he worked for, and that my daughter managed, went out of business. Now our small rural area is flooded with unemployed people. He may have quite a commute when he does find something.

  3. I've never been a napper (blue moon, if I happen to). Spouse naps, a lot, and talks about napping when he isn't napping. I've seen days when he has three naps, morning, afternoon, after dinner before going to bed at about nine. He sleeps his life away. At my age, I don't want to do that.
    How are those novels?

  4. Randi -

    Well me & my pups love naps. They will come up to me in the middle of the day & just tap me with those paws looking at me like "C'mon Pops its nap time". Sundays after church are the best times for naps.

    Sorry to hear about CG job loss, I am a week behind on your local paper so by the time any big news hits I am usually caught off guard.

    I wish I were in a position to help, but I've been out of work for about 9 months now & am just coming to the first tier of my extension benefits, so would like to find something before the 1 year mark so I can keep going back to school & such.

    Commuting is the way to go though, even when I am done with school to live where I want to live that is probably what it will take for me too.

    God Bless,

  5. Auntie M: I share those feelings. There just seems to be so much to do, to see, to write! to spend the day sleeping. Yet, I suppose until I discipline myself enough to go to bed at a decent hour I'll be an unwilling napper. Maybe that should be one of my NY resolutions.

    The novels are coming along. We are in editing stage now. I'm not grading the actual novel content. They got graded on their workbooks (that were full of writing exercises,)word count,participation on the website, attitude, and goal achievement. I'm not grading on content because I wanted them to be able, for the first time in their lives, to write with abandon. I wanted them to know the joy of writing something that no one will ever read, unless they want it read. Some have asked me to read theirs, others are waiting until they feel confident in what they have edited. What I have read so far has been impressive.

  6. Adam: Puppy naps are exquisitely cute. :) Amazingly enough, I have not seen anything in the local paper about the business closing. Thanks for your kind thoughts about the job. We are not at desperation point yet. If we watch our expenditures I think we'll be fine. Luckily we were frugal people to begin with and don't believe in running up a lot of debt.

  7. Randi -

    Well Tim should have at least 99 weeks. I am not sure how much education he has, but Utah will probably pay for part of job related training.

    He could always teaching programming at the RBS, just what you need a handful of 14 year old hackers :)

    At least right now I am paid up through the Spring with school, I just have to find something to work around my school schedule (2 days a week) & I should be ok. I live in a fairly convenient metro area so no one is really hiring right now, it says 10% unemployment but I think its closer to 15-20% with the real numbers,

    Peri & Chuck have been out of work for about a year now too, so tell Tim not to feel bad. Just do more "volunteer work" & stuff..

    God Bless,

  8. I broke my own record a few months ago and fell asleep at the dinner table after a meal. My husband had to force me to go and take a nap.

    The most awful thing about my age is that I've not had an unbroken night's sleep for nearly a year now, one of the many reasons I've had to take a break from my blog. Everything just takes so much LONGER when I'm sleep deprived and feeling like I've permanently got flu.

    Just read your Merry Christmas post and you are wealthy beyond words - what a beautiful family! I'll make a Scot out of Weston yet!

  9. Lol, as you know I'm a huge advocate of naps. I'm glad you are coming over to the "dark side" dun dun dun...

  10. Janice: I totally identify with falling asleep at dinner! My husband knows that if I say, "I'm going to take a five minute nap," I can fall asleep immediately and in five minutes, he will wake me up again. I blame it on age because I can't go a whole night without getting up every one and a half hours or so. UGH. And Weston is loving the thought of being a Scot! He so adores you, you know, and loves wearing his shirt to school.

    Juliegoose:I am definitely a convert to the dark side--although unwillingly. My body is a traitor. It now tells me when I will take a nap and when I won't. :)

  11. I don't know mom, I quite vividly remember you taking very long naps on Sunday and leaving me and Kay no choice but to color our entire faces with washable markers, oh and did I mention that is also when we invented Fat Chung and Chung Fat.

  12. Levizmom: Ah yes, the days of unbearable migraines. So glad those days have abated. See how I allowed you to develop your creativity though? :)


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