Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Long Winter's Nap

Or, in the case of Ken, no winter's nap.  Tomorrow he starts back to pre-school.  Finally.  You are reading the words of a *very* happy mama.

I love the boy, really I do, but he has my ability to sleep and Dwight's need for sleep.  That translates into a very sleepy little boy that won't admit what he is.  Have I talked about this before?  It's on ongoing theme in our household, so I apologize if it's a re-run here.  Anyway, his last day of pre-school before the holidays was December 19th.  To my knowledge, his last nap was on December 19th.  Can you say "terror"?  It'll be good to get back into some semblance of a routine.

Physiologically, organisms need to rest, whether they're a four year old Homo sapien or a perennial grass.  For most things, there's a period of dormancy, slowed growth, lower metabolic activity, etc.  Usually it's associated with the cold or dry season, depending on its native range and climate.  Psychologically, humans need regular rest/relaxation/sleep.  As a biologist with an extraneous psychology degree and a mama, I know all this.  But knowing something doesn't necessarily translate well into following that same knowledge.  No one ever said humans were rational.  Given the standard 24-hour day, I can manage to fill said day with 30 hours worth of things that I need/want to do.  And then wonder why I don't get it all done.  Oops. 

Part of me likes it like this.  I enjoy being busy.  Life's too short to waste time doing nothing.  I'm able to stay active in my community even with my regular obligations.  My life is filled with interesting moments and tasks.  But every so often, it gets a bit too busy, even for me.  I'm sure you've done this too, I'm pretty sure it's a common thread among western society.  When those moments come along, it's really hard to slow down for a couple of reasons.  One, the inertia of life just keeps pulling me along.  I'm used to a certain activity level, and slower than that seems boring.  Two, all those obligations make it logistically difficult to slack off.  People are expecting me to get done what I've said I'd do, and I don't like to let them down.  It's a dance between staying busy and active, and still having time to rest.  A dance that in my nearly 29 years I have yet to master.  And probably won't any time soon.

Because the fact of the matter is, my dad had a lot of the same tendencies, and he died at the age of 42.  The rational thing to do would be to try and avoid some of his more destructive habits, as they may have contributed to his early demise.  But the irrational and human thing to do (or at least what I've found myself doing) is not to learn how to avoid early death but to to live as though it's a certainty and still try to get in a full life's work before that happens.  We all have our quirks, right?

On a lighter note- I need ideas for a birthday cake.  What can you suggest?

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