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.
Americaâ€™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, â€œDonâ€™t Tread on Me,â€ taming the wild frontier, winning the West, and so on. In America youâ€™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 wonâ€™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 â€œthe head rag.â€
- 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 donâ€™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 â€“ for far longer if you can get away with it.