Today, I attempted to nap with my girl because: I am tired. I never nap with her, but this afternoon I slither under the tangled sheets of our unmade bed. It seems strange to be resting while it’s light out. I struggle to settle my mind and quiet the voices that attempt to convince me I am wasting time, that there are so many more productive things I could be doing, that busy moms should be chucking a second load of laundry in the dryer at 2:42 p.m., not resting. The voices that tell me to go clean the spare bathroom are not winning today. I justify the argument in my mind with the declaration that I don't watch soap operas, or spend hours a week neglecting the house in order to partake in some other nonsensical hobby, and somehow this unrelated piece of information convinces me that I’ve earned the right to recline in the daylight. And so I lie on my back and smile as I hear Addiston humm while sucking her pacifier, trying to keep herself entertained as she slides off into dream land.
The rustle of body to sheets as Addy shifts her position several times, struggling to get comfortable, the tick-tick-tick of the second hand on the tiny clock that sits on the bathroom counter, the distant hum of a lawn mower several yards over. Soon, she's asleep, her chest rising and falling slowly, her body heavy and still. I wish I could join her, but my mind is wild, racing along the to-do lists, stuck on, "on."
Eventually I give up, pah-lease I haven't napped since I was in pre-school. I envied my college roomates that could climb into their top bunk beds mid morning and sleep for forty or so minutes and wake refreshed and energized. I on the other hand would lay there in my blacked out bottom bunk tossing and turning only to hear the little chirp of my cell phone alarm clock half an hour later leaving me feeling frustrated and even more exhausted.
I’m learning to brush it off—to accept the “off” periods as necessary hibernations that allow the “on” times to be more productive. You cannot force inspiration. The best kind comes when it finds you, not the other way around. While I thrive on “on”—having projects, taking pictures, feeling like there’s a hundred thousand ideas brewing at once in my mind, I’m learning to use my discomfort with “off” to my advantage.
She cut a second tooth.
And if you ignore the crazy I'm going to catch the cat expression you can see the first one sprouting and the new one just cutting through the gums.
I wrote the beginning of this post yesterday afternoon (after I gave up on napping) and today the zesty dose of energy is back and, yes, I’m thinking I want to paint something , try my hand at homemade, hand kneaded, bread, experiment with backlit photography, start a new project. I'm cleaning out the closets, throwing in that second load of laundry, re-organizing the pantry, and figuring out the schedule for Jared and I's new insane fitness routine.
But, even though I love the "on" times, the joy I feel when I can look at my to-do list before bed and every singe item is crossed out. I also want to nap with my girl more, leave my phone turned off, and welcome the stillness that comes from not a single idea percolating in my mind.