While not scientifically identified, I believe that there is a “nap gene.”
For most of my life, I’ve maintained a smug, morally superior attitude towards my siblings – they have the gene; I don’t. Waxing eloquent about the evils of sleeping one's life away, I had long chalked up my ongoing energy, ambition and constant motion to workouts, clean living, big city influences. While they languished in smaller towns, I’ve been out pressing the flesh. Upon reflection, I'll have to admit that I have been rather intolerant of the more sleepy among us.
At least that’s what I thought until very recently…”recently” being November.
November was a pivotal month: I fully embraced retirement (i.e. no more unending consulting “projects”), my Bride and I took a trip to China, I was co-teaching an Evening at Emory class…throw in Thanksgiving, getting ready for Christmas, a bout with some kind of Asian flu bug, and you’ve got a recipe for the activation of a recessive Nap Gene.
Additional proof (as if any is really needed) that “God don’t like ugly.”
Suddenly, I can’t stay awake for more than six hours at a time. Up at 5:30, nap at noon. Dinner at six, short siesta following. To bed by 10:00.
What’s going on here?
Perhaps more than a couple of things: with the winding down of my consulting business, I’ve significantly increased my exercise, which requires additional rest time; the consequent “free time” has permitted me a little more runway for getting bored with reading, the internet, TV, laundry, etc.; I have rediscovered a certain blue sofa in the front room of our house which, along with a homemade quilt, has a particularly anesthetic effect.
And by anesthetic effect, I’m not talking about a catnap. I’m talking about a full-fledged, deep-dark-hidden recesses of the somnolent mind coma. The kind of “nap” which, upon awakening, you have no idea where you are, how long you’ve been out or why you can’t focus on any particular item in the room. A stupid nap. A nap, that under different circumstances, might be mistaken for a stroke.
It appears as though there is an environmental conspiracy bent on my consuming massive amounts of crow. Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my sixty revolutions around the sun, it’s that when you’re confronted with a new reality, the wise course of action is to embrace it. Therefore, I am allowing as how I might have a latent Nap Gene that needs to be factored into my now not-so-busy schedule. Like so many other things I’ve encountered as I’ve matured, I’m okay with that. I figure I’ll welcome this Nap Gene thing until it runs its course.
Please pass the crow.
Who knows? I might be on the verge of a genetic research epiphany…