Like voting in Florida, napping is an activity to be pursued early and often.
However, to call napping an activity perhaps may be a misnomer. Napping is to activity as atheism is to faith or NASCAR is to contemplation, that is, something defined by its absence.
Friends and valued family members label me a nap master, a compliment I accept with both humility and pride. For me, a nap is critical to good health and happiness. Furthermore, napping promotes the general welfare. Because it acts directly to reduce hostility, I believe there is patriotism in napping.
America’s Protestant forebears extolled the value of industry, by which they meant labor. (Pilgrims were a little fuzzy on economic theory.) They placed equal value on ideas of rugged individualism, “Don’t Tread on Me,” taming the wild frontier, winning the West, and so on. In America you’ve got to be your own man, by jiminy, follow a different drum, plant a seed, and stand on the shoulders of giants.
Speaking from personal experience, I would argue that every one of these tasks causes backache, which is easily remedied by a nap.
Accordingly, here is my napping Book of Rule.
- Find a hiding place far from your significant other. What she doesn’t know won’t create a rankling in her breast.
- Remove garments with elastic at the waist. The belly is the seat of repose, or very near to it.
- Cover the eyes and ears with a dense, soft, old piece of clothing, known in my household as “the head rag.”
- Place a bolster under your knees. Aching legs and feet cause crankiness, marital discord, and varicose veins.
- Elevate the head so as not to interfere with digestion. Tuck another bolster pillow under your chin so that while sleeping you don’t go slack-jawed like a mummy.
- Since it is never easy to free the bonds of consciousness, you must focus the mind on some object of transcendent beauty, something ethereal, perfect and pure, for example, a page from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
- Breathe slowly and deeply into your belly (unfettered by elastic).
- Do not move for at least 20 minutes – for far longer if you can get away with it.