Sunday, May 30, 2010

Return of The Nap (Monday, 24 May 2010)

Monday the 24th, after my Songs and Nieces day Sunday, launched my week well.

I put in five hours of work taking care of Oroville Hospital for my nonprofit. One of the hard things about my job is how many things I have to keep track of as executive director, engagement manager, and project manager (not to mention programmer). I spent four and a half hours just reviewing where I left things when I left for my vacation, and another half hour reviewing the progress of our work on Oroville's Pharmacy package.

Beverly, Linda, and I ate sushi from Sam's Sushi in Ballard (well, I suspect Linda ate teriyaki; and I ate salmon teriyaki, salmon shioyaki, seaweed salad, and agedashi tofu; but I think Beverly had some sushi).

After lunch and after the Pharmacy call, Linda and I walked around Green Lake together to keep our exercise program on track and discussed Elizabeth and Wyatt (yes, we talk about you when you're not around). I told Linda earlier this year that any day I don't exercise when I should is a failure regardless of what else happens, and any day I do exercise is a success regardless of other events. With this in mind, we were pretty happy with ourselves when we stumbled up the stairs to the porch at my house.

When we returned home I planned to resume work, but life happened instead. What I didn't realize was that my work day was over and the next two hours would be spent on my body's needs, specifically, to accelerate its rebuilding in light of my ongoing higher exercise level.

When we got home, I sat down at my computer and did nothing productive for the next hour. I vaguely remember reading e-mail, Facebook, and other webpages, but I'm not entirely sure what all I looked at because I was semi-sleep-walking through the process. You see, my body needed to recover after the walk and it wanted me to take a nap, but I'd planned to work so I resisted. The end result, a groggy hour at the computer, made neither my brain nor my body happy. These are not the kind of hours you get to bill for as a contractor, since nothing of value takes place.

In the end, my body won, as bodies always do. After an hour at the computer futilely resisting a nap, I finally dozed off and slept for an hour. I felt vastly better afterward. If I only had a brain, I would have remembered then what I finally remembered this morning, that when I ramp up my exercise level I also need to ramp up my sleep - I don't know why, and I'm sure plenty of other people don't need to do this, but I've always had to do so, so I really should have remembered. But no, no brain, so I didn't figure it out then, which led to Wednesday's grogginess and Thursday's illness. It is not, in fact the thought that counts, since the road to Hell is paved with good intentions; the things we do or fail to do have consequences, such as my failure to increase my sleep leading to the return of The Nap as well as to a rocky and comparatively unproductive work week.

Your Aunt Beverly woke me up (with a start) at 5:22. My first thought was alarm that I'd slept away the rest of my work day, followed by the realization that I felt vastly better, but not the further realization I should have drawn, though I was looking right at it. I believe I may have made it as far as thinking "Wow! I feel great. I have to remember that I like naps," but otherwise my brain just did not follow that logical train to the important station with the big neon sign. I have a reputation for being a very smart person, but I'm saved from excessive pride by my overfamiliarity with incidents just like this one, in which I walk right up to an important realization and then stop just before it, sometimes repeatedly, before much later eventually realizing the big truth and that I've been staring blindly at it for weeks or months or years. The word "Duh" comes to mind.

Beverly reminded me I said I would review chapters seven (Skylands) and eight (Reunion) of Sunflowers, the Bella Sara book she's writing, so I spent the next hour reading and giving her feedback. A year ago Beverly made the change from being an editor, which she'd done all her career until then, to becoming a writer, something she'd played at being as a child but abandoned in her professional life until then. As an adult she'd always felt more comfortable making writing better than creating it from scratch. The empty page oppressed her, as it does so many writers. But now she's a writer and determined to learn as quickly as she can how to be good at it. One of my jobs at home is to be her training wheels, to review her chapters and help her find ways to improve it before she submits it to her editor. Chapters seven and eight were much better balanced than her early chapters. She's improving. The first five chapters of her book are published online as a free download here:

After the review we fended for dinner. I don't remember what she ate, but I'm pretty sure I ate breakfast: soy yogurt, and granola in soy milk. We watched TV, continuing our way through the backlog of shows that piled up during my vacation in the Southwest.

While we ate and watched TV, on Facebook I chatted with Wyatt for forty-five minutes. When I mentioned that I was reviewing Beverly's chapters, Wyatt wrote that she hoped to become a writer. I pointed her at this journal, which at the time was still published on my Verbal Medicine blog ( and she directed me to Ruby Moonlight, a wolf role-playing website where she's been prolifically writing for two years (

After dinner I browsed Ruby Moonlight and began to realize just how much Wyatt had written there. I quickly shifted tactics from looking for her stories, to scanning them, to cataloging them, which is mainly what I spent the next two hours doing. She's interested in feedback, which is commendable, but to do justice to her writing I'll have to study it and think about it a while.

That reminded me I hadn't journaled yet, so I spent the last two hours of Monday writing "Bipolar Judo" before going to bed and falling asleep around midnight.

I went to bed feeling good about returning to work, and about walking Green Lake, and about journaling, and about getting more involved in Wyatt's life, all of which are good things no doubt, which is partly why I failed to realize that the most important thing about Monday was the post-walk nap.

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