Absolute bliss. Total and absolute paradigm shifting happiness that will fly me to the moon. I am feeling it today, y’all. FEELING IT!
Why? Why am I so happy?! So get this… I napped.
I’ve been writing a lot about the big picture lately. “You need to find a way to enjoy your life,” I put in a post. “You have to take every chance you get to make your life the way you dream it to be,” I wrote. And I believe those things. Life is short. Dream, dream all the time, then do something to get you closer to that dream, even if it’s super small.
Today I did a super small thing, I lived out a moment that was exactly the way I dreamed my life would be.
I used to take naps all the time. Then I turned into a working adult person, and somehow working adult persons don’t take naps. I can’t remember the last time I did it – just walked into a room in the middle of the day, laid down, and drifted into unconsciousness.
I loved naps. I thought about this after I woke up for the second time today. When I was in high school I went to church every Sunday. Our Bible class had a small group format, and the teacher, Mr. Stevens would ask us about our highs and lows of the week. Each high schooler shared, one by one around the circle. When it was my turn, I’d say –
“I took a really awesome nap yesterday.”
I meant it. Yeah, I was being funny. But I was also being absolutely genuine. I loved napping. I loved sleeping in my new sunny bedroom (my parent’s remodeled the house my junior year). I loved my fluffy blue comforter, my new mattress, the comforting whirr of the box fan.
And I remember the feeling of waking up on a Saturday afternoon, my parents in the kitchen, sisters reading or watching TV, and the impending night of heading to a favorite restaurant then over to the video rental store. Then popcorn, lights out, laying on the floor, surrounded by family and often friends.
I was happy. I was so happy I could nap. I could sleep peacefully in the afternoon, and wake up smiling. That’s why the naps were so good. I wasn’t simply happy waking up because I was no longer tired. I was waking up to the best days of my life. I was 18. My family was beautiful, sweet, full of love. I had great friends and movie nights and snow cones and local bands playing in local church halls and meeting my friends at coffee shops for game nights and so much to look forward to in the years to come.
My recent napless years were amazing years, hard years, with a different kind of happiness. These last few years I have been working so hard, taking big risks in my career, shooting for the moon. And at home, my sweet man and I have been working like crazy to create a beautiful life together, to garden and clean and build and clean some more and save money to have a baby. A free afternoon has been a great time to get through a project I’ve wanted to do. And I’ve loved all of it. But I didn’t know I was missing that Great Nap Feeling.
And then… this morning she was cranky.
I had just put away all the baby laundry in the nursery, and our sweet baby girl was not having it. Screeches from the crib, wide accusing eyes. “Pick me up,” she was saying in pterodactyl. So I did. I needed to get to the laundry in our bedroom.
Then I laid her down in the middle of our bed. Suddenly the pterodactyl screeches were replaced by a smile. A simple toothless smile.
I sang to her, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” And then, suddenly, she fell asleep.
I kept singing, softly, “You’ll always know dear, how much I love you, because I’ll tell you every day.”
My eyes started to drift. I could have gotten up to the pile of laundry. I didn’t. I closed my eyes and shuffled a pillow under my head.
Over an hour later, she stirred. Or I stirred. I opened my eyes. The box fan was whirring. And there she was, our tiny girl, looking up at me, studying my face. She stretched her long neck out to look me squarely in the face. Then, when she could tell I was looking at her, too, her face fell into a smile.
My heart burst into a million pieces. Happiness washed over me like a wave. I woke up from this unplanned nap feeling so, so good, not just because I had overcome fatigue, but because I woke up to the realization that right now I’m living the best days of my life.