Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Afternoon delight

I often take a nap in the afternoon. Should I be ashamed?
When my husband pops home during work hours to pick something up and finds me installed in my lovely comfy bed in the middle of the afternoon, indulging in forty or so winks, he is horrified. His reaction would lead most people to believe that he had discovered me in bed with another man!
I have told him, many times, that napping is a form of therapy. I nap so that I can do all the things that I need to do for the rest of the day without flaking out. I have mentioned that sleep experts in the US have scientifically proven that a power nap boosts alertness, memory, learning and mood. There is even a company in New York that provides sleep pods for stressed out executives to go and have a power nap. Customers are queuing up for a twenty- minute lie down, after which they return to their desks alert, revived and invigorated.
Despite my protestations, he thinks I’m lazy.
Sometimes, I wonder if he should have joined some strict, sado-masochistic cult whose members rise before the crack of dawn, work like a ferret-on-the-edge-of-a-nervous-breakdown for anything between eight and fifteen hours a day, go home and eat gruel then give themselves twenty lashes before lying down on a concrete slab for the night.
I suppose I can blame the filtering down of the protestant work ethic for his low opinion of me. Once upon a time people believed that hard work received a place in heaven. As he doesn’t believe in God, I’m wondering where he’s expecting to go.
I have told him countless times to chill out. He might feel guilty about my snoozing, but I don’t. I come from a long line of afternoon nappers. As long as I can remember, the words ‘I’m just going for a nap’ have been heard as frequently as ‘Coronation Street is just about to start’. Everything that was supposed to be done, was done – and usually with a cheery disposition.
Unfortunately, most employees in this country would tend to agree with my husband, believing that every hour spent at the desk is just as productive as the last.
We ought to take a leaf out of our Mediterranean cousins’ book and have daily siestas. When global warming results in sweltering English summers, we’ll have little choice.

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