Made better

Drew naps on Matt's bed with Pasha and other cuddly critters, December 2006

Drew naps on Matt’s bed with Pasha and other cuddly critters, December 2006

“No day is so bad that it can’t be made better with a nap.”Carrie Snow

It always amazed me how Jeff would never, ever want to nap.  While he was taking his first course of chemotherapy this past winter, he took more naps in a few weeks than he had taken in the rest of his adult life put together.  But I love napping.  Before our children were born, snoozing for an hour or two (or even three) on Sunday afternoons was one of my favorite pastimes.

I rarely ever have time for a nap anymore, but the older I get, the more I think I might take up the practice again.  I’ve read several studies that indicate napping is good for us, as long as we don’t overdo it.  And I certainly find the idea appealing.  Apparently, if I do decide to start indulging in the occasional nap, I’ll be in good company.*

Napping on Monday might be especially appealing, but any day you are having a bad day, maybe a nap would help.  Do you ever indulge in a quick afternoon doze?  If so, do you awaken feeling refreshed, or groggy?  Any words of wisdom about catching winks?  Share your siesta secrets with us!
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*one really interesting bit of information provided by Jackie Kennedy in the recently released tapes of her interviews with Schlesinger was that JFK would always change into his pajamas for a nap, even if he would only be sleeping for 45 minutes.  I find that very endearing.  Makes me wonder if he had a teddy bear.

72 Comments

  1. I always do better with a short nap…20-30 minutes. They seem to always help, whereas long ones leave me feeling yucky! I rarely have time for naps,but firmly believe in their benefit. This is especially true if you’ve had a rough or short night the night before.

    • Yes, I’ve found that if I sleep more than an hour during the day, I awaken feeling VERY disoriented and can’t seem to get back in the swing of things. I think the “power nap” concept is valid. I just need to learn how to keep the naps short – once I go to sleep, I rarely want to wake up!

      • Thomas Edison’s famous “cat naps”, taken closed up under a staircase, in his Menlo Park laboratoryr, were rarely over 20 minutes. Today, we call them “power naps”. But let me hasten to add that taking one over the St. Elias Mountains, at 42,000 feet, is not a good practice (that is, if you are in that front, left seat, with 233 people seated behind you 🙂

        • Can’t immediate recall what incident you are referring to (which I hope was an incident and not a crash) but I can readily agree with your advice! Even though “them airplanes today can jest land themselfs.”

  2. I love to nap but rarely have time. Maybe one of these days. Happy Monday nap to you. Love, A. I love this photo.

    • Amy, one thing we have in common is a long list of “one of these days” things with many if not most of the same items on it! Glad you like the photo- for obvious reasons, it’s a special one for me.

  3. That’s a cute picture!
    I don’t have the habit of taking naps because after the nap I feel guilty (for wasting my precious day time) and tired. But sometimes when I so tired I fall only to spoil my day. Thanks for sharing those interesting links.

    • Hi Bindu, I’m glad you like the photo! It’s hard NOT to feel guilty for taking naps, isn’t it? And if I sleep longer than an hour, it just seems that much harder to get up. I need to master the art of the quick nap. Hope you are doing well and enjoying the new school year!

  4. Hi Julia, All your posts speak to me and I don’t comment often enough. But I have to say, I LOVE to nap. I think I might have the gift of napping. I nap every day (that its possible) for about 15 minutes. Last week, one day at work I was so tired, I knew a nap would perk me up, so I closed my blinds, locked my door and napped on the floor for 15 minutes… I woke refreshed. Love and prayers, Faith

    • Faith, that settles it – I really MUST cultivate the art of the 15-minute nap! Years ago Jeff was afraid I might have narcolepsy because I would fall asleep in the car literally within seconds, even while driving. I’m not joking, I would fall asleep at stoplights. When I knocked the car mirror off from one such incident of nodding off and coming too close to another vehicle, I finally started drinking coffee before driving in the afternoon. I also noted that these incidents seemed to go with the nights (then in the majority) when I got 5 hours of sleep or less. When I started getting serious about trying to sleep more, the nodding off incidents decreased, but it’s still a problem. Perhaps learning to sleep for 15 minutes — and ONLY 15 minutes — might be just the ticket! Thanks for being here today; I always enjoy hearing from you, and hope you will come to the birthday party on Saturday! (See “You’re Invited!” at the top of the page.)

  5. What an endearing photo. So restful and calm. I also love the way the dog is so expertly tucked into your son. Animals have a knack for getting comfortable, don’t they?

    I’m not a very good napper. I wake up feeling out of sorts and rarely refreshed. I took power naps in my car when I was pregnant. I would drive somewhere for lunch, eat in ten minutes then nap. All I had to do was settle my head against the window and I was out.

    I love the idea of napping, and when I do succumb its because I can’t function otherwise.

    I’m glad you sorted out your sleepy driving. I’ve been tired at the wheel too and it is scary. That’s how I reintroduced my bad habit of drinking Diet Pepsi, since I never acquired a taste for coffee.

    Seeing this photo reminds me of something. My son has a weighted blanket on this bed, made by a woman in Montana. She used to farm, but gave over her home to this business. Her son is Autistic, so it works for her on many levels. We also purchased and donated weighted lap pads to his school in an effort to support all kids that needed that calming pressure and weight. The blanket weighs about 8 pounds and brings him tremendous comfort, applying pressure to the joints.

    Anyway…just a thought.

    • Hi Alys, thanks for your comments! Matt’s OT in high school frequently mentioned using weighted vests for him; in my memory, this is one of those things they wrote into the IEP to be “explored” but never got around to…from infancy, Matt loved the comfort of being swaddled. We don’t have a weighted blanket per se, but we got a heavy down comforter in a queen size (he sleeps in a twin bed) that hangs to the floor on both sides and sort of accomplishes the same thing. He loves it, but of course, we can’t use it in the summer time. He always wants a blanket, even in summer, but he gets so hot we have to tell him not to use one; he doesn’t sleep as well when he’s hot. However, your comment made me wonder why we never tried sewing weights into his topsheet for summer time? I do sew pockets into them so they will stay tightly tucked in up to his knees, but I think maybe the weights might be a better idea. It would be fairly inexpensive and easy to try it (assuming I can get my 35 year old Singer to work again – I’ve been having trouble with the tension hooks).

      I’m surprised Boomdee has not yet convinced you to go for the coffee! I surely hope “they” (Dr. Oz or whoever) don’t change their minds about coffee being good for you, because I seem to be drinking more and more of it :-). Thanks for being here! P.S. just less than one chapter to go on The Hoarder in You – comments to follow!

      • Here is her website. We’ve spoken by phone as well. http://www.weightedblanket.net/

        Our son sleeps with an ice pack year round, but likes the weight of the blankets too. It’s a nice combination for him. Another product to look at is a Chillow. It’s a cooled pillow.

        Great idea with the heavy comforter.

        Can’t wait to ready about your organizing experience.

        • Wow, what an interesting site! I had no idea so many different products were available. And I’ve never heard of a Chillow, either, but I’d like to have one to take to the beach! I have picked up some helpful tips from the book on “hoarding tendencies” (the author is very careful to clarify that she is writing to people who aren’t bad enough to show up on TV ;-)). What I like about the book is the way it approaches the problem from a cognitive-behavioral standpoint. I guess everyone is different in terms of what works for them, but I’m so analytical it helps me to take a problem apart in order to see how to put it back together again a bit better than it was before. One thing I really connected with is her description of some people being prone to save things because they represent a potential or a hoped-for point in their future — and I know I tend to hoard books and reading material because I like to dream (however unrealistically) that “someday” I’ll have time to sit and read to my heart’s content. Or I keep more craft supplies than I ever use because I dream of having hours to sit and do crafts. All this may be old news to people who watch the TV show, but for me it’s been an interesting read.

          • Julia, it sounds like you’ve gotten a lot out of the book! And on the subject of books, I know it is hard for a lot of people to let them go. They are treasures. I used to keep more books than I do now, then realized it gave me more pleasure to pass them on. Most of the books I have are used over and over again: gardening, home repairs, cooking, organizing. I read fiction once and then donate it or pass it on to my sister or a friend.

            I’ve not joined the e-reader bandwagon. I still cling to paper.

            • Alys, I have been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed my e-reader, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up my books. I too tend to keep the nonfiction and pass the fiction on. One reason I love the paperback swap (link posted on the right side of this page) is that it allows me to send books to people who specifically request that particular title. It’s a lot more satisfying than just donating them by the bag full and not knowing if they will ever be used. Sometimes the older, out-of-print titles are the first to be requested! And then of course, I for every book I send out, I can request another one. Although, I have far, far more unused credits, which means I’m sending out more books than I’m requesting…maybe that’s a good sign :-).

              • That is an excellent sign!

                I just hired a friend to build our Little Free Library. I can’t wait. My husband was going to build it. We found (then lost out) on a free book case for altering. He is so busy, we both decided this would be the better option. Are you familiar with the Little Free Library movement/non-profit? I just love the idea.

                • Oh, I do too! I think it is so, so cool. I’ve never seen one in person but supposedly there are over 12,000 of them and counting. I think they look so charming and would love to see them everywhere. Hopefully someday I will be able to have one. Are you going to have one that is open, or will you put a clear “window/door” on it to prevent stuff from blowing in? Where you live, you don’t need to worry about rain or weather except for a few months each year. But I think one in Virginia would get mildew in it quite easily. I’m not sure how to solve that except to put stuff that will circulate fast! Before I got into the Paperback Swap, I used to do BookCrossing too and I really liked that idea.

                  • I was just on the site last week, and they are struggling to keep up with the listings on Google maps with over 2 million hits! Isn’t that great?

                    We will definitely put plexiglass on ours. Even here, we have morning dew and overnight moisture, so the door is important. It will also discourage bugs from taking up residence.

                    I wrote about a LFL that we spotted earlier this year. My husband and son just spotted another one not that far away and took me to see it over the weekend. It’s been painted bright orange. Quite cheerful. I love the creativity people put in to it.

                    I’ll have to go check out Book Crossing. Thanks for the link.

                    • If I ever make a LFL I will have great fun choosing the style and decorating it. I’d be tempted to make a chalet and have gnomes and fairies “guarding” it! I would want mine to be colorful. If it weren’t for the visibility problem I’d like it to be in our little woodland (but then who would see it but illiterate “critters?”) Keep me posted on how yours goes!

                  • Oh yes! Now I remember. I love this idea too.

          • Ok, now I know we are alike. This rings so true for me. Oh dear! My name is Marlene and I am a hoarder of books, craft supplies, magazines and fabric. What are the 12 steps for this? It’s all nice and tidy and well organized but still, oh dear! 😦

            • Marlene, about books I finally figured out that I get enjoyment and comfort just from having them there, even if I’ll never get around to reading all of them. To a lesser degree, the same goes for magazines, crafts, stationary, postage stamps and other paper goods. On a rainy night in summer or a freezing day in winter, there’s nothing more fun than to browse through my books, scanning a few pages of poetry or skimming through a chapter here or there…or playing around with my craft supplies, finishing one little project and starting another, or sorting through my stationary to find just the right note, seal or stamp to put on a letter to a friend. I think what makes me happy about any of these activities is that the possibilities are truly endless, and my mind is wandering around in a wonderful place. When I realize that this makes me happier than I would feel dropping a lot of money on an expensive meal or new habit, it doesn’t seem so bad. The trick is to keep it within limits, tidy and well organized so that it doesn’t interfere with the rest of life. If you’re doing that, then I say you are lucky. 🙂

              • I am indeed exceedingly lucky. For all the reasons you listed above. I could have written this. Everything is where I can find it and use it. Clear bins for all. I read a LOT and if the book is good I may by more to loan. Most of my friends consider me their library. You’ve hit on the perfect word to describe why I do this collecting of craft material. Possibilities! I think I wrote a whole post on it and could write more. Maybe I shall when I get time to breathe. 🙂 I love my books. And the list goes on. 🙂 Enjoy your collection. Like me, you will never experience the word “bored”

                • Marlene, so true! Just yesterday someone wrote a card to Jeff and me that said, among other things, that they were bored by retirement. I could not help but think that I have never visited the planet this person lives on. Speaking of possibilities, don’t get me started on the public library…for me it’s like Alice down the rabbit hole!

                  • I don’t go to the library anymore. They want their darned books back! What’s up with that?? :))

                    • You really made me laugh here! You could try doing what I do — just keep rechecking them (our local library has a loan period of three weeks with THREE re-checks allowed). After 12 weeks with a book, I know it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy it. Actually I love it that the library wants their books back; it’s probably the only thing that keeps my home from being engulfed in books…plus with the ease of inter-library loan that has come with online catalogs, I can request almost anything I want and read it for free. Libraries are great for that huge classification of “books I find interesting, but don’t want to own.” As a librarian who may eventually return to work in that capacity, at least part time, I will always love libraries. BTW — some public libraries have WONDERFUL book sales where you can get great bargains!

                    • I’m glad I made you laugh. That was my intent. The first thing I do when I move to a new area is get my library card. Already had my son get his. We can borrow digital books as well. Since I don’t drive often, that works best for me. Libraries were my sacred space growing up. Books saved me from the depths of despair that was my life. Had I been able to go to college, I would have been a teacher or librarian. A most admirable profession if there ever was one. Hope you get to do that again.

                    • Marlene, you would just love library school; I know you would! Even if I had never worked a day as a librarian, it would have been worth that very tough two years of graduate school that it took to become one. Pretty much everything I learned there has been useful in everyday life, and it was a fantastic experience just going. I remember that it was much more difficult and demanding than I expected, but I thrived on it. One of the greatest things about it was being surrounded by kindred spirits for whom libraries were an essential part of life. The library students were remarkably diverse in background (especially so, being located in Hawaii, where we had many students from Indonesia, China and other Pacific countries) but there was this underlying bond that connected us to each other. It was partly because our faculty KNEW how to teach us to learn TOGETHER. Since it’s easy for library types to be solitary and introverted, it was really crucial to have that atmosphere of camaraderie and community. I don’t know if all library schools are that way, but UH certainly was. As Raynard likes to say, I digress… 😀

                    • Sounds like a wonderful experience. Nothing learned is ever wasted. I would have enjoyed being a perpetual student. Maybe in a way I am. Always finding ways to learn something though now more than ever, it must be at my own slow pace. I didn’t even know there was a library school. 🙂

                    • I used to tell my kids that I expected only about a fourth or half of what they learned to come from school, the rest from their outside experiences. YES you are a perpetual student, as are all who love to learn. I used to love the way Ray Bradbury would talk about having graduated from the public library. Re: library schools, there is at least one in most states, though many of them have been combined into the computer and information technology departments at the universities where they are based. At U of Hawaii the library school was its own separate school with its own dean while I was there, but a year or two after I graduated in 1996, they combined with the information technology school. They had already converted their library degrees to include technology; my degree is the MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies) whereas most library schools for years awarded the MLS. Technology certainly changed the field forever, and I was lucky to be in school while most of the seismic changes were taking hold.

                    • You were lucky indeed. My kids father said they would learn only basics in school and it was up to us to make sure they got the rest, including the love of learning. I think we succeeded. I’ve learned a lot today. 🙂

                    • I would guess you learn a lot every day! I agree about schools; I think we expect far too much from them these days. Just teaching the basics is a big enough job and we shouldn’t expect more, but they are trying to fill a lot of gaps these days, and I admire those who do the heavy lifting to keep the system going. Happy weekend!

              • Oops, after you said you could have written this, I just re-read it…Freudian slip…where I said “new habit” I had meant to say “new outfit” — WOW, how did that happen? Hee-hee! For the record, I don’t have any expensive habits, unless you count TEA….

  6. Connie Reed

    There is definitely something to be said regarding and afternoon siesta. There is nothing like a 30 minute or even an hour’s nap to ramp up your energy for a more productive afternoon and evening!!!

    • I usually find myself sleepy or at least groggy sometime between 1 and 5, but I rarely allow myself to nap until I start actually nodding off. It’s so much easier to go for the tea (or coffee, if I have to drive). Maybe I should start by sitting in the recliner in a quiet room every day around 3 pm and just see what happens! 🙂 I’m so happy to have you visit us here and tickled pink to be back in touch with you after all these years!

  7. Sheila

    Oh, Julia, I do love a nap so much! I think I’ve shared before that I consider them a luxury and named my siestas “Princess Naps”. My family respects my special time, so they talk softly, but even their quietest voices awaken me when I hear, “Where’s Mimi?” Nothing quite as special as grandchildren inquiring of your whereabouts! Thinking of you, fondly.

    • Are you ever able to talk the little ones into napping with you, or would that make it impossible to sleep? I’ve always been a fairly light sleeper and I seem to be getting more so the older I get. I’d have to plan to nap when nobody else was around, I’m guessing. Something about the car puts me to sleep instantly, but at home there is always so much to distract me. I do agree that sleep feels luxurious anytime! That’s one reason insomnia is so frustrating. It’s like starving to death while looking at food through an impenetrable glass window. Hope you SLEEP WELL tonight! (And tomorrow during “Princess Nap” time!)

      • Sheila

        I love the photo of Pasha resting while Drew sleeps. For whatever reason,Salty would never get on a bed. He was always lying close by though, where he could see me.The grandchildren outgrew naps so long ago. I often wonder if they even sleep at night! 🙂

        • They very well may not sleep at night! How do you think the legends of leprechauns and Menehune got started? Pasha was never allowed on any furniture except on our laps or a bedspread or throw, and then only if we said “you are invited up.” If Jeff was around he would always look to him for confirmation since he knew the Alpha was much less tolerant of dogs on the furniture. But when Jeff wasn’t around he loved to hop up onto the bed with us if we used the magic “invited up” phrase. He always, always, always spend the night in his crate, though (or later in the bathroom that was “his” room, after he let us know the crate was for younger dogs). Salty may have considered beds as beneath his dignity. Pasha used to love to lie on the floor vents for the a/c in summer or heat in winter!

  8. Raynard

    I usually nap after church just before I take my wife to work. Trying to sleep extra on Saturday and Sunday mornings don’t cut the mustard. First Monday of daylight savings time have me going Co Co for Cocoa Puffs lol. Going to bed a hour earlier with finding a snooze button on my tablet so the voices in my head won’t tell me to”see if there is a little man in the fridge who turns off the light lol.Sorry I had to stop and brush my dog who I gave a bath.And they now are remaking that old Danny Kaye The secret life of Waldo Mitty go figgure

    • Believe it or not I never even saw the first Walter Mitty film. My brother had to explain to me who he was awhile back. I thought everybody had imaginary friends :-).

  9. Raynard

    You never saw Walter sorry Middy time to turn in your library and discount supermarket cards.Please don’t tell us you never bobbed for apples or roasted marshmallows.I’ll let you off the hook repeat after me,You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, You don’t spit into the wind, You don’t take the mask off the ole Lone ranger .fill in the blank lol lol

    • And you don’t mess around with Jim! Hey, if you were to start with “Romper, thomper, stomper, boo” I could finish the whole verse. If you can’t, check about 1:03 into this clip. After growing up with this, no wonder I thought Fred Rogers was a genius!!!

  10. Raynard

    Don’t tell nooobody I never cared for Captain Kangaroo or Scooby Doo. at work today us old timers were taking about the Gong Show. One of my guys went Huh so we told him its like your American Idol lol

    • I never watched Scooby but I loved Captain Kangaroo. Mr. Green Jeans and the Dancing Bear and Grandfather Clock. My roommate’s boyfriend was a really hunky tough-looking guy who looked like Terry Bradshaw and worked as a lifeguard in Nashville, but he had the sweetest most innocent personality. He came in from work really excited one day and said “GUESS WHO I SAW AT THE POOL TODAY???” I figured it was maybe Dolly Parton or at least Loretta Lynn or Bob Dylan or somebody like that. Instead he said (in genuine excitement) “CAPTAIN KANGAROO!” That is one of my favorite memories.

      • Raynard

        During my first tour in Germany the cast of Happy Days came over appearing for the USO. The only one I remember seeing is Ron Howard.Didn’t know he was height challenged lol..I still remember when Sonny and Cher had a TV show.Is it time to break out in a chorus of The Village People YMCA or maybe Love American Style lol

        • It seems like a whole lot of Hollywood stars are “height challenged” – I think Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone and others who appear big onscreen are actually pretty short. Hmmm, wonder if there is a lesson in that somewhere…here’s one for you: “Da plane! Da plane!” (If you remember Love American Style, you should remember who said that!) Maybe the reason I never watch TV anymore is because I apparently got my quota early in life…

          • Raynard

            De plane that was tattoo from Fantasy Island.I believed Friday nights watching ABC was the thing for me. I also remember The After School Specials, the 4:30 movie, Sunday night Columbo, Mcmillian and Wife, McCloud.(NBC) I was talking to me about seeing the old movie, Cannonball Run and I asked him did he see it’s a mad mad mad world?(so he googled it and was amazed at all the stars who appeared in it.I use to be good at trivia pursuit. I research old stuff to connect to the younger generation. Is that why they invented YouTube? I watch more old shows online and why am I paying for cable again. As Eliza DoLittle sang All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air.. With one enormous chair, how wouldn’t it be lovely… Lol

            • I didn’t watch any of the shows you mention and have never seen Cannonball Run, but do remember it’s a Mad x 4 World and how many famous people were in it. I don’t think I ever saw it, just heard about it mainly from my brother. The movies that stand out in my mind from childhood are The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, the Sound of Music, and Shenandoah, a four-hankie picture if ever there was one. It was the first movie that ever made me cry. I cry every time I watch it. I start crying when Gabriel first realizes he is free and leaves without quite knowing where to go, and then I cry through pretty much the entire movie after that. As a kid watching that movie I never dreamed I would one day live in Virginia.

  11. merry

    Hi Julia….I’m late on commenting about taking naps. I’ve been a believer in naps since birth of my first child. My doctor told me to put him down for a nap and to take one too.
    I continue to nap after lunch each day…in my recliner in my bedroom…with a book. I nap for about 15-30 minutes…read rest of time. 🙂

    • Merry, that sounds like the recipe for a happy, healthy and contented life! When I have insomnia, I have learned that a good book will almost always get me back to sleep. Takes my mind off my own worries. I’ll have to try that for napping too!

  12. Oh, yes! I do nap! I’m a big fan of napping! My preference is to take power naps of about 20 minutes or I find I just can’t seem to wake up.

    • Yes, I’m the same way. Maybe it’s inertia, but when I’m asleep, I don’t like to wake up, and when I’m awake, I’m not ready for sleep unless I’m in the car or really, really sleep-deprived. When I nap longer than an hour, I wake up grouchier than a hibernating bear (or so I imagine) and disoriented too. My new health goal is to master the art of power napping – and then make some space in my day for it! Thanks for the recommendation.

  13. Lot’s of interesting comments here Julia from other visitors. I don’t nap or feel the need to nap really. I seem to get enough sleep, even though it’s only around 5-6 hours. I did work for a dear man for a number of years that brought a bag lunch EVERY day. He then closed his door, set his watch to alarm, put his head down on his arm and took a 15 minute nap in his office. All the other executives seemed to go out for lunch or out for smokes (eck). But George was a special guy. He never felt the need to fit in and was the best guy to work for. My hubby is struggling with nodding off after supper since it messes up his sleep at bedtime. He wakes very early for work and works out before supper. By the time I clean the kitchen, he’s already nodding off. I guess I should wake him in 15 minutes 😀 The list of napping celebs were very interesting too. We visited Napoleons tomb in Paris and they have his coat and hat in glass, he was surprisingly little.

    • I agree that I get some really interesting discussion on this blog! Beats TV talk shows any day, at least for me. The man you describe reminds me of Jeff about the bag lunch. His fellow residents used to tease him about his habit of eating apples every day. (Now I wonder whether he washed the pesticides off those apples! :-() Jeff avoids naps for the same reason you describe for Mr. B – he says it interferes with sleep, and until he started chemotherapy, he was a champion sleeper. Try waking him up after 15, it might help. Although they look so cute when they’re sleeping, it’s hard to do that :-). Yes, Napoleon was quite small, which some have speculated explains a great deal. I was rather astounded at the ornate, immense and almost reverent display of his tomb. Such a huge casket for such a small physique! Perhaps Pasha should have been named “Napoleon.” If we ever get another Schipperke, I’ll have to consider that!

      • LOL, Napoleon would be a funny thing to call at the dog park!
        I never have the TV on during the day…OMGosh, I just can’t take all the yammering. I only record Ellen and even at that, I zip past a lot of the screaming, it’s too unsettling when I sit down to relax in the evening. Soon there’ll be no reason to have TV on at all 😀

        I’m very anal when it comes to washing fruit and vegetables, no so much for pesticides but for the many hands that have touched it before I bought it. Did you ever watch ‘Monk’ ? He was a detective with very low tolerance to germs. Well that is me to a tee. I can’t even put groceries in the filthy carts (ours are wheeled thru, muck and slush and eck). I go several times a week to buy only what I can carry and shop with my own personal bag, never their baskets. Or I take a big laundry hamper from home and fill that up. I’m sure
        they are shaking their heads. They should CSI those things, I bet they’re crawling with all kinds of nasty stuff. :/

        • Did you read all those truly horrifying news stories about the hidden cameras as hotel rooms were being “cleaned?” (e.g., drinking glasses “washed” with the cleaning rags, OOOOHHHHHH NOOOOOOO! I haven’t used a hotel glass since without washing it first. Although hmmm, I’m not sure I did before either!) I totally agree about washing everything. You don’t even want to hear about my 3 step process for washing/soaking strawberries. The thing is, strawberries taste MUCH MUCH better if you get them really clean. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it :-). And while we’re at it, don’t forget this or this or this. OOOPS I’m supposed to be defeating despair here, not creating it! Wash your hands kiddies, and remember – you never know WHERE that hotel remote has been!

          • Oh CRAP, Literally and figuratively, LOL….Julia I am struggling with social cleanliness anxiety already 😀 Those links were just frightening.
            Once, after work, a bunch of us went to a pub to watch a hockey game. I had the mis-fortune of facing the mens washroom when we first arrived. I had a clear view of who was just walking past the sink when the door opened and was shocked at how many guys didn’t stop at the sink AT ALL, let alone 15-20 seconds with soap. I looked at a guy I worked with and said, “Men are disgusting, trade me seats”….”He laughed and then said. “what? I didn’t do anything”..LOL. When I told him about what I was watching, he said, “Listen up, you’re hear to watch the game” LOL. I bet he washed his hands that day 😀

            • Uh-oh! Maybe I shouldn’t have showed you those links! I am definitely going to start doing a “bleach cycle” on my empty washing machine now and then! Seriously, I hope those links will have the same paradoxical effect on you as they have on me; to make me understand that the causes for “germ anxiety” (or really any sort of anxiety) are truly endless, and at some point we have to accept that control is an illusion; we do what is prudent and don’t get wrapped around the axle. I’ve never been particularly germ-phobic except about my dishes; I don’t ever even think about things like shaking hands or using public library books or using utensils at a community buffet, until someone points out to me how germ-ridden such things can be. I have a few “EEEWWWWW” moments and then just make a mental note to wash my hands well before eating or after being in a potentially infections situation. (We always get some instructions about it when Matt is in the cardiac ICU after surgery! And those lessons have pretty well stuck with me.) Living with guys who seem mostly immune to such concerns can be a sort of “sink or swim” experience in lightening up on that! 🙂

              • It’s good to be educated and then adopt the things you can do. Like open door handles with my sleeve and take my own bags and baskets to the market.

                The other night, I gave my plastic bangle to an 18 month old who fancied it and then chewed on it for a good long while, Then left it on a hotel room floor. I even put that back on my wrist, LOL Maybe having kids make you a lot more tolerant of these things,….plus he was oh so cute 😀

                • Yes, having kids (much like having dogs and even cats) does tend to throw us into “survival” mode if we are afraid of germs! When I would scratch Pasha behind the ears I used to never allow him to lick my hands, although I read that dogs like to do that as a sort of reciprocal gesture – so he learned early on to make a tiny little “token” doggie kiss which I learned to tolerate, as it was so cute how he knew to keep it brief and neat. Being cute probably has a sort of antiseptic effect, at least psychologically, don’t you think? When we moved to Ohio Drew was just over 4 months old and we didn’t know he could crawl. The day all of our boxes and stuff was moved into our house, we just left everything in disarray and fell asleep, exhausted, for a “quick”nap — we left him sleeping on a blanket on the floor in our bedroom. I woke up to a mysterious rustling sound and to my panic found he was NOT ON THE BLANKET ANYMORE! After a short search I found him – I am not making this up – in our closet, CHEWING ON THE TOILET PLUNGER. When he survived that (and I survived the acute psychological trauma of it) I realized I needed to lighten up about the germs and pay more attention to the fact that we can never assume anything about what kids are not capable of getting into!!! 🙂 The anxiety remains, it just shifts targets somewhat.

                  • That made me laugh like mad…hahaha, of all the nasty things to find and chew on, THE PLUNGER without a doubt is unthinkable, gag! hahaha. Maybe a gold plunger would make a nice house warming gift for Drew in the future 😉 OH man, great family story.
                    That really puts thing’s in perspective doesn’t it? I know pets are not germ free, but I embrace their germs because I love them so much, ‘Dog germs’ are the best I think 😀

                    • Yes, I took this as evidence of some sort of divine sense of humor, giving me a bit of “Oh, LIGHTEN UP already, will you?!!” 🙂 I have come to believe that dog germs may actually be therapeutic…perhaps research should be done…

  14. I’m an avid fan of napping and have been for many years. 20 minutes used to be enough. Sometimes it still is. But if I feel like someone put lead in my blood, I may sleep for an hour and have another morning fresh start to my day. Napping is good for the heart, according to many studies. a little coffee is good for you. Moderation in all things. I bet you are like me and run full tilt all day. Rest is when the body heals everything. Even the psyche. The photo is endearing.

    • Thank you Marlene, I really need to read this comment today. I do run full tilt most days, but yesterday I hurt my back when changing bed linens, and felt awful. I had to lie down for a nap when Jeff got home from chemo, and when I woke up, I felt like a different person. Jeff tells me that he thinks I would feel better if I got more sleep, or at least got it more consistently. Maybe the trick for me is to take naps, since I can never seem to get in bed early enough to get in 8 hours before rising at 6:00 am.

      • I think naps are under rated. My 47 year old son takes them when he can. We put in long hard days and that siesta in the middle makes the rest of the work so much easier. They are so good for the heart. Even my heart doctor said so. I trust her. Maybe because I want to. 🙂

        • Marlene, I think you are right on target. I’ve read articles about a lot of famous and successful people who took naps. I listened to the recently-released tapes of Jacqueline Kennedy being interviewed shortly after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and it was so endearing how she described his naps. According to her, he would always change into pajamas even though it was just for 30-45 minutes. I loved that.

          • If I’ve lost something or need to remember something or work out something puzzling like a project, as soon as I hit that drifty part of the nap, the problem resolves itself. It’s amazing. It’s like we cross the veil at that moment and everything can be resolved. Just my take on it.

            • I think that’s true, and I’ve actually read research that seems to indicate there is some neurological reason why that happens. It’s like our subconscious mind works out the knots. My problem is, sometimes I’ll be reading or doing something else, and start nodding off. Then when I finally give up and lie down to take a quick nap, I can’t go to sleep. That happened to me yesterday afternoon. Perhaps my habit of reading myself to sleep is too established. But I do intend to start cultivating the ability to take power naps. I’m feeling sleepy just thinking of it! 🙂

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  2. Wake up fresh | Defeat Despair

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