I have long known the title for my biography: Debra Naps. Of course Scarlett Johansson will play me in the movie version.
Sleeping is my favorite hobby--not nighttime sleeping, marred by worries about tomorrow, and next month--but napping.
Naps are indulgent moments stolen from laundry or paperwork, escapes from worry and pain. Even before RA hit, my weekend and occasional afternoon naps were sacred time. My husband and children have always let me enjoy escapist sleep.
During the fifteen years I taught with RA, naps kept me alive. Bad weeks consisted of little more than teach and sleep. Sometimes napping was the only way to reboot and start again with a little less pain. There were many days that a nap during lunch and/or a nap during my preparation period made teaching the next class period possible. A new administration unsympathetic to that need was one reason I had to retire early.
But it's harder than it sounds. RA and fibromyalgia have effected all of my hobbies. I knit more slowly and crochet only rarely and under protest. My hands also object to writing. I can type, but taking a notebook out into the sunlight and working out poems just isn't happening anymore. Reading is harder too. It sometimes feels like a lot of effort.
Napping should never require effort, except that it does. When I lie still in a quiet place, my body starts to yell at me. I'll put on podcasts for distraction and sometimes lose consciousness, but rarely as often or for as long as I would like.
I don't fall asleep quickly at night either. I'll often give up shortly after my husband seems to be sleeping deeply. I'll go into another room and look at British farms on Twitter for a couple hours (literally counting sheep) until I am truly sleepy.
I've almost come to accept the fact that trekking in Nepal is no longer an option in my life, but I'm not willing to give up on napping.