Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


T'aint So T'is Too

Jackie Spinks




I’m a napper.  Not that I’m able to conk out in the middle of the day, as I’d like to, but I lie there and give it a try.  I was told writing a chapter on naps is hitting a new low, so be aware you won’t be reading anything that will elicit an epiphany here.

As I’ve been in a big funk lately, my nights have been on an alert.  I keep trying to catch some Zs, but little luck, so I try it with naps.  Can’t figure out why I’m in a funk probably guilt over my laziness or maybe something deep like regret over not amounting to something, Mom could brag about to the relatives, or maybe it’s being a crappy spouse or oh Hell, just depression like why did I waste so much of my time? 

But at times I’m in such a gigantic dump a bulldozer couldn’t dig me out.  Maybe some of you have been down there, too. Anyhow, that’s the reason I try to sack out with naps.  Not a lot can be said.  I lie down read, want to stay awake to finish my reading, but usually doze off for maybe ten minutes and wake up with a cramp in my leg.

Statistical studies show if you want to live a long time—and what 80 plus-er doesn’t want to live a long time, you take a nap.  Of course, the guys doing the study may be looking for an excuse to take a nap themselves and may be putting out a set of statistics, that will enable them to tell their wives:
“Do you want me around for a few more years or not?” 

And his wife, after a brief hesitation, scary in itself, will answer, “Of course, I want you around.”

Well then?”

“Oh, go take your nap and hey, when are you going to fix the washing machine?” But now he’s so wrought up, puzzling over what’s wrong with the washing machine agitator, he can only lie there thinking about the problem and wondering what kind of wife would think a washing machine was more important than a statistical study. And so there went one more lost nap.

I find I get my best naps while watching TV. The commercials come on.  I hit the mute button and tell myself I will not fall asleep and miss the ending, but will only rest my eyes for a couple of minutes and when the commercial is over I’ll snap to and see the ending.  Without fail I always miss the ending.  When I don’t want to fall asleep I’m out like a light.

Do I have some innate desire for self-punishment.  Am I a masochist?  A born schnook?  Was I punished so much as a kid—remember this was the “spare the rod and spoil the child,” era-- that I feel comfortable only when I’m penalizing myself for something. And why do I have to dive into some heavy self-analysis when I’m trying to have some fun watching TV.

When I flake out on the sofa with a magazine—I used to read any magazine I could get my hands on, but now most of the stuff  is so boring, it’s about as interesting as my first Dick and Jane reader, although I’ll have to admit I read the Nation, Newsweek and Time when I get one, although lately they have been losing their edge too.  Is it me, or the magazines?”

My textbooks, which I always enjoy are too heavy to hold while lying down, so I have a hard time reading them.  And as I said before there’s some Depression era conservatism that only allows me to nap ten minutes.  But oh, what dreams is those ten minutes.

I often dream of  botching some big enterprise, like buying a car, than trying this or that to rectify it and only get out of it by waking myself up. I also dream of being chased.  The chased dream probably goes back a couple of million years ago, when we were chased by lions and tigers.  And the failing dream is probably cultural or Mom.

All my dreams consist of trying to do something, like trying to put a string through something and failing at it and the only way to un-trap myself from this emotional cul-de-sac is to wake myself up so I can cease this continual frustration.  Whew!  Maybe the dream makes waking up nice.  Why can’t I fall asleep and divorce myself from this inane string?

But on the other hand what a relief I don’t have to deal with that string in real life. All I’ve got to do now is get up or rather stagger up and get the water on to heat and dump in a little instant coffee.  Another point about instant coffee   I was born a Mormon household and I’m not supposed to drink coffee.  Nevertheless I spoon a smidgen into a cup ( with a smidgen of guilt about it) and taking my coffee collapse back down on the sofa.

And what do you know I had a pleasant dream and an epiphany.  That string dream that was driving me nuts, was because I’ve been having trouble threading my sewing machine.  Whew!  What an insight.  I’m not getting senile after all.



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