The rules of the lupus game - Coulda done it later, Woulda done it better, Shoulda rested instead!




This time of year always puts my daily afternoon nap to the test. With dozens of things to get done, and just four (make that now three) short weeks to do them in, I always think about how productive I could be if I didn't nap.

Just think of those two precious hours, when I could be crossing dozens of things off my list! Instead, I'm holed up in bed, sawing logs with Darwin the Pug. Of course, I am getting SOMETHING done (and that is a big something), but it's not always what I want to be getting done.

The good news is that these days, I never consider skipping my daily nap. Ever. When I wake up each morning, the one thing I know is that in 7-8 hours, I'll be back in bed for my afternoon siesta. Guaranteed.

So it's not that I resist going to bed. It's that once I'm there, I resent not being somewhere else. Like in the kitchen baking a batch of cookies for the girls' school parties. Or at the computer, ordering gifts online. Or stocking up on party supplies for our upcoming neighborhood shindig. Or picking photos for the Christmas card. Or [insert holiday to-do here]...all of which I could tackle, if I weren't napping.

But as I lay in bed, lamenting the fact that I have to sleep instead of "do", I try to keep in mind the Could/Would/Should principal:

COULD I actually tackle the items on my long list of to-do's at a later time?

Of course I can. None of my tasks are so pressing that they have to be completed during this small two-hour window of time. In fact,  I can always make time to bake cookies while the girls are playing before dinner. I can usually find time before bed to shop online. And I can always plan my days when the girls are in school to run around town as needed. It just takes a little preparedness on my part. And I'm always willing to come up with a type-A approach, especially if I'm rested!

WOULD I actually be more productive/successful/effective if I was rested when I tackled "X"?

Online shopping while I'm tired? Forget about it. Picking photos for the annual Christmas card when I'm bleary-eyed? It would be the worst! I've always been most productive between 4-6 pm, which conveniently coincides with the hours immediately following my afternoon nap. There's no question that recharging my battery mid-day makes for a very efficient late afternoon and evening. When I have a good nap under my belt, it's as if I work twice as fast. My mind is sharp and my decision-making ability is at its peak. Why not capitalize on my time of highest productivity, and put the time when I'm feeling sluggish and drowsy to good use? Lupus or not, I think the time after lunch is a tough one to power through!

SHOULD I actually be recharging, instead of depleting?

I can't deny it. The most important thing during the holidays is to take care of myself. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If I need a nap, I should take it. If I need to fit in an extra run during the week to keep me focused and stress-free, that's what I need to do. The best present I can give to my family is to be healthy and able, come December 31st. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get through the next few weeks, flare free. I'm currently feeling great and making good choices. So instead of harrumphing when I flop into bed next to Darwin, I should feel vindicated that I'm doing something to help, rather than hinder, my chances for a successful holiday season. Let the lists pile up. Santa Sara's taking a nap!

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