The Wide Angle: Even as adults, nap time rules

Published 7:51 am Sunday, August 14, 2016

I tweeted on my Twitter account not long ago that going home for lunch wasn’t so much about getting something to eat as it was getting the opportunity to take a nap.

That’s right people — a full column on napping. Gird yourself, it doesn’t get much better than this.

It’s true though, which is indicative on how far we come from when we were kids.

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Often times when the image of napping is invoked, it usually is somebody’s grandpa, legs kicked up in an easy chair, head lolled to one side with what sounds like a chainsaw emanating from their chest. Usually there is a sporting event playing in the background.

Show of hands of everybody who just thought about Thanksgiving.

But napping can hardly be defined as that. I’ve been a champion napper since college when I learned that it’s awesome. High schoolers are even getting into the sway of the nap. Case in point one my teen followers on Twitter was the first to favorite the tweet. Thumbs up to you.

And teens really aren’t that far removed from the perceived reality of the horrors of napping.

I don’t remember if we ever got naps in preschool or kindergarten. I would like to think we did, but honestly if something that great happened I would like to think I would remember that. After all I remember being fairly familiar with the corner and that wasn’t that great.

I do remember my mom imposing nap time on me, though only when I was pretty young. I hated it.

I was a man about town in little ole Lake Wilson. I had things to do, trees to climb, bikes to jump, raspberries to pilfer. I couldn’t afford losing chunks of my afternoon to napping. What if I missed something? Whole parts of my youth could be lost to my mother’s need to put me down for a nap.

Fast forward and things change. Like I said earlier, I believe the first time I realized I loved napping was college and I’m pretty sure that evolved from necessity. You see, you discover a lot of other things in college. I discovered I had freedom and with that freedom came poor choices. No drugs thankfully, but … um, yeah, I think you get the point.

Needless to say, days after could be rough so those times between 2 and 4 p.m. Some classes were sacrificed others were not … the point being I learned to appreciate naps for what they were — fantastic escapes from the stress of real life. Granted puzzles are too, I guess, but that requires thinking and sometimes — thinking is really hard.

Then the challenge grew to where could I get the naps in — unintentionally or not.

My talents grew exponentially as I grew older, which was helped along by a growing work load. My first job out of college was in Huron, South Dakota, and the Huron Plainsman. As my time moved along I found myself changing jobs from a sports reporter to photographer. During the conference basketball tournament I was parked at one end of Huron Arena, much like you see me these days, photographing — if memory serves — Huron and Mitchell or maybe Huron and Watertown. Either way Huron was involved and I know this for fact because of what I’m going to tell you now.

Please reserve judgment.

When Huron was playing I usually had to share space with the cheerleaders who were off to the other side gathered and talking. Normally they had their side and I had mine and for the most part we co-existed with out any Sharks vs. Jets finger-snap off. This night though they had more than their usual assortment of girls so they had to stretch out on my side. I was gracious as I stated my very firm stance of not getting kicked in the face.

I find it’s better when we set boundaries.

I had had a long week. Tournaments in Huron tended to run long because we hosted a lot of them. We were centrally located so it made it easy for conferences and even some state tournaments. That week was no different and during a timeout I put my camera down and sprawled out just to stretch.

The legends differ on how long I was like that, but what I do remember is play had kicked back up and standing above me was one cheerleader not cheering with the rest and staring down at me, very politely abiding by the “don’t kick me in the face” rule. As we both realized the clarity of the situation — being awake — she smiled and gave me a little wave.

That my friends is the power of a good power nap. Epic naps will take place at any time. Don’t be afraid of appearing lazy. You grab that blanket, you splay out on that couch or that gym floor and let the sleep overtake you.