Sometimes rest and relaxation are found in the most unlikely places. Like under a paper napkin.
Yesterday, I woke up tired.
And it just hung on, like an unwanted sunburn that lets you know it’s there every time your clothes rub your irritated skin.
I thought about crawling back into my warm comfy bed when I passed by it to take a shower. It beckoned when I was putting on my walking shoes. I could almost imagine a good nap on it right before I wrenched the sheets off for a washing, leaving it sitting undressed in its white undergarments.
Naps are addictive. Delicious. And something I don’t usually do. I keep thinking that when I retire, I will have the time and lack of energy to pursue naps as a hobby. Until then, I take just enough so I keep in practice and don’t lose the skill of taking a restful nap. Not too long and not too short. Twenty minutes is about the perfect time period for me.
I never did take a nap.
At 3:00 I checked in at the gynecologist office. I know, joys of delight for my annual exam.
I sat in the waiting room, with a mainly pregnant women, and edited some writing. Then I read my email. Then I asked if the doctor was running behind. I was trying to be polite, as it was now 50 minutes past my appointment time.
“Yes, but only by a little bit,” the receptionist said.
Her definition of a ‘little bit’ is totally different than my definition, but I didn’t quibble over our conflicting word definitions.
When she said that the nurse would be calling me back soon, I decided it wasn’t worth my effort to quiz her about what she really meant when she used the term ‘soon.’
Clearly their ‘soon’ and ‘little bit’ were based on a clock different from mine.
Twenty minutes later, I was called back by the nurse and deposited into a waiting room with the assurance that I was the next person the doctor would see.
There I was, naked from the waist down, sitting on an exam table with a large paper napkin draped across my lap. Waiting.
I hoped this visit would not be a repeat of my last visit. Halfway through my last visit, during the how-do-you-do and ask questions part of the visit, a nurse poked her head into the room and said the doctor had a delivery.
Before if I could ask if it was from UPS, the United States Postal Service, or Fed-Ex, the doctor was gone, and I was left sitting bottom half undressed on the edge of the exam table. A half-ply white paper napkin sheet was all I had for warmth and modesty.
As I sat there wondering how important this delivery was that called the doctor from my side, a nurse poked her head in and told me the doctor was delivering a baby and would be back in a few minutes.
This had my head spinning with questions, but the nurse popped back out before I could ascertain even what to ask.
I knew the hospital was almost next door, but if memory served me right, none of my children arrived in ‘just a few minutes.’ And most of the stories I had heard from the I-survived-labor-and-delivery club, didn’t have babies popping out in a ‘few minutes.’
Once again, the definition of a period-of-time was in question. A ‘few minutes’ painfully turned into an hour. I kept wondering if I should get dressed, or keep sitting there in my all together nothing, topped with a white and now torn flimsy peep-show paper napkin (they just don’t survive movement of any kind).
About the time I was going to hop off the table to just leave and make another appointment, the doctor popped back in and finished the exam.
I refocused my thought on the here and now. Today was a new day. I was hoping for a quick visit (no deliveries, please), at least during the half naked period of the visit.
I adjusted the white napkin to modestly cover me and provide the most warmth for my bare skin. Which I am sad to inform, is not much. Then I found myself lying back on the exam table. Stretching my legs straight, resting my heels in the stirrups, and closing my eyes.
In my horizontal state, a nap was calling me.
I wasn’t expecting to find rest under a large barely-there paper napkin on top of an exam table, but I did. My mind slowed. My thoughts became liquid. Good thoughts filled my mind. I even dosed.
About 30 minutes later my brain heard the door opening.
“I’m not running so late that you have time for a nap,” the doctor laughed, as she entered the room.
I let her comment go, and just stretched and sat up.
It was exam time.
This time she was not called away for a ‘few minutes’ to deliver a baby. So, I counted my blessings.
#1. No baby arriving in the middle of my exam.
#2. 365 days until my next visit.
#3. Finding rest on an exam table under a large, fragile paper napkin.
Sometimes rest and relaxation come in unexpected places.
Because as I drove home, I realized that I felt lighter, less weighed down, and my tiredness was gone.
Thanks for stopping by.
Remember the importance of rest,
Join the discussion: In what unlikely places have you found rest?
May link up at Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), Anita Ojeda (#inspirememonday), InstaEncouagements ((IE Link-Up), and Jeanne Takenaka (#tellhisstory).
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When I was young, I used to crawl into the smallest places I could find and nap. A bookcase shelf, in a small cupboard, back of a small closet. I would curl up into a ball in these tiny spaces and be alone to not be found until I decided to come out. (There were 6 of us kids and finding a place by myself was fabulous!)
A couple years ago, I was so tired at work I decided to nap on my desk. So, I laid my forehead down on the back of my hand, and my hand on the desk. 15 Minutes later I shot straight up thinking someone had come in my office! Nope. But I did have 4 red finger marks on my forehead that would have told me off. Note to self; if sleeping on the job, make sure not to leave tell tale marks on my face! LOL
When I was a flight Attendant (decades back) I would be so tired that after I had served the food, I would close the curtain between the passengers and I and nap in my jump seat. Bad, bad, bad!
Theresa Boedeker says
Thanks for sharing, Bliss. Love the crawling into tight spaces and sleeping in the jump seat. Sometimes you just need to sleep. And I’ll learn from you. No sleeping with four fingers across my for head.
Rest us essential to recharge and find more peace and be energized for the next task. I haven’t rested much recently since my move to another city, but I do take time to sit in the recliner and read a book. That refreshes me as well. God’s way is to enter into His rest and I seek that spot where I can meditate and find peace and purpose seeking God’s arms to keep me settled in His care.
Theresa Boedeker says
Hi Kathleen, you and I are like minded. Reading is one of my favorite ways to rest. As well as meditating and seeking God. Rest is essential.
Theresa this was a delightful article; mostly because I identify with the longing for a nap (and somehow never getting it) and what woman can’t relate to the OB-GYN annual exam? I admit I never took a nap under a large white napkin, but the pause you were able to enjoy and helped you re-focus has been my pleasure, just not as often as I would like!
There is nothing like a short nap. But like you, Donna, they don’t happen as often as I like.
Lois Flowers says
Oh Theresa … thank you for this post! I’m a pretty patient person, but not a patient patient. (Translated: I HATE waiting in doctor’s offices, even though I’ve had plenty of practice.) I totally agree that rest–in the form of 30-minute naps for me–is vitally important. (Especially if I want to maintain good relationships with the people in my house in the evening.) I’m glad your doctor didn’t have to leave for another delivery. Also that you got in a quick nap. AND that we only have to go through all these shenanigans every 365 days. 🙂
You are like my husband. He hates waiting at the doctor and would have not waited so long. Me, I wait so I don’t have to return. Yes, always something to be thankful for.
Lisa notes says
This made me smile, Theresa. We can find rest in the oddest of places when we’re tired enough. 🙂
That we can, Lisa. I’ve heard of people snoozing while standing. Not that I have seen them. So not sure if that is doable.
I’m glad you managed to find rest even in such an unlikely place! I have never mastered the art of napping so I am slightly jealous of people who have that ability to sleep while travelling etc. I love that instead of becoming stressed by the long wait you put the time to good use!
Theresa Boedeker says
The art of napping. I like that. Napping does work for some people and not for others.
Natalie Ogbourne says
This was so relatable, hilarious, and thought-provoking. I’m still trying to answer your question about rest. I don’t have a ready answer so I imagine I may be working it over in the back of my mind for a while!
Theresa Boedeker says
Thanks, Natalie. That means my writing goal was accomplished.
God’s provision for rest comes in unexpected places! 🙂
Anita Ojeda says
Thanks for the good laugh this morning! I fell sort of asleep yesterday during staff meeting…sitting makes me sleepy. Or maybe I need to get my thyroid checked again!
Theresa Boedeker says
Meeting can also make me sleepy! 🙂 Yes, don’t delay on your health.