Take a nap!

Why is it that kids and older folks can take a nap and everyone accepts it, but as soon as anyone else does s/he is lazy and ought to be doing something?

Okay, I know that’s not true of everyone, but seriously: When was the last time you indulged yourself by taking a short nap in the afternoon? I hope it was lately! My favorite is curling up on the loveseat in the living room or on the bed with Lucy and Dillon (our cats, who are great napping experts!) and a nice throw. Aren’t throws and afghans just the nicest, most comforting thing? I especially like my Winnie the Pooh and Friends throw or the crocheted afghan my Grandma Esther gave me several years before she passed on.

The problem that often stifles a nap is our modern, techno, multi-tasking daily lives. if we allow ourselves to get caught up in that. I remember when I was a child hearing the futurists tell us that computers and robots would save us so much time that we’d only have three-day work weeks. Instead, we’ve adopted 50-, 60-, 70- or more hour work schedules using computers and other devices to double our output.

Ever been to Spain? I have. Lovely, civilized nation (like most of Europe) where everyone shuts down at noon, has a meal together and then sacks out for a couple of hours. Now that’s a culture that knows what it’s doing. I’ve read that a ten-minute nap can make us more cheerful; twenty minutes and our senses are sharpened; nap for thirty minutes and it promotes well-being.

I hope you live with loving people like I do who value rest time and encourage napping. If not, it’s time you gave yourself permission for a short revitalization period, as in a nap. Turn off your mobile devices, close the door and enjoy the peace and quiet of resting. At work all day? Some people crawl under their desk. I know a woman takes refuge in the ladies room. You could go out to your car if you drive to work. Napping outside is also an option and you can connect with nature as well. Lean my back up against a tree overlooking the Susquehanna River here in Harrisburg? Heaven. I don’t even notice the traffic noise on Front Street. Well, not much anyway.

You get the idea! Take time for you and nap your way into a more productive, peaceful and worthwhile day!

“I’m Just the Kid that Waters the Plants”

Yesterday I overheard a conversation between an employee and customer while I was at Home Depot picking out flowers for our gardens and getting mulch. It got me thinking about how we can so easily devalue ourselves and at the same time stay stuck in the space we’ve accepted for ourselves.

The customer asked the employee watering the flowers if he could help her to put some heavy mulch bags into her trunk. “I’m sorry I’m just the kid that waters the plants. Let me see if I can find someone else to help you.” (To his credit he at least offered that!)

Are we “Just the (fill in the blank) who does (whatever we do)?” This young man was not only stifling his experience, but he’s also buying into his title. When we allow our titles and responsibilities to constrict our expression of who we are and what we can do we rob ourselves of experiences that might enlighten us further on our spiritual path or give us joy. When we buy into our limitations we also rob the rest of the world of the unique expression of God that we are. Helping someone is a sacred act. The root word for “work” is linked to “worship”. What if we looked at everything we did as an act of worship, a holy expression of ourselves?

I recently attended an academic celebration for high school students. The keynote speaker talked about being “ordinary people”. I thought to myself, Wow – she’s inspiring these kids to be nothing more than others expect them to be. I was pleasantly surprised (and a little ashamed of my judgmental attitude!) when she wrapped up her talk by saying that what looks like an ordinary life to others can actually be an extraordinary life. We don’t all have to be superstars on the cover of grocery store gossip rags to be “extraordinary”.

Out of these two experiences I’ve recommitted to being extraordinary in every ordinary act I accomplish – whether or not anyone else is aware of it. I will also be willing to catch myself in being “just” anything. Join me in being proud of all you do and have a wondermous day!