We have a new housemate, a girl named Juliette.  A first-year grad student in the clinical psychology program, formerly of Indiana University, Bloomington.  Someone who was abnormal enough to be interested in a non-air conditioned, crooked-door, green living room with mismatched furniture and bamboo roll-up shades, and two guys as housemates.  When her deposit check arrived back in June, we figured she must not be too up-tight.

Juliette provides great reminders of how to live more extensively.  The image of extension is the one I’m shooting for, because the past week has been a series of reminders of what there is to do outside of Wake Forest.  Of what there is to do outside of the doors of our house.  Like hiking at Pilot Mountain.  Like biking around downtown.  Like eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on the patio.  Because we’ve got a patio, by golly.  But after last fall, Tommy and I forgot how to use it.  We also forgot how to moderate the inevitable personality clashes aside from avoidance.  But with the third variable of Juliette added, our house dynamic becomes much more stable.  Nice.

Over breakfast Juliette wanted to know what my plans were for the day.  “Eh, not much….run, do rock rings, eat, go listen to the freshman orientation pre-law talk.  That takes me up to 3 PM.”  “How about after that?”  “I don’t know.”  “You should take a nap.”  I don’t think I showed it, but I was shocked.  I would never consider such a radical idea.  If you don’t know what to do, why not do….nothing.  Just switch off.  As opposed to dinking around on the internet, or poking at math you’re not focused on, why not just sleep?  I am so darn driven, the idea of taking a nap as a viable activity would never cross my mind.  

I was going to entitle this post something like “The wisdom of small children,” but that’s not accurate.  Because as a kid, I hated naps.  They were a maternally-generated obstacle to awesomeness.  Naps were not fun.  Naps were the anti-fun.  I knew kids who liked naps.  They also tended to enjoy sitting still and smiling and picking grass, as opposed to assembling arsenals of pine cones or building complex structures out of sticks and scrap steel.  I thought they were lame.

But Juliette is right, and while I’m still not napping (no, I’m writing this – I once again succeeded in finding something to do), she’s got an excellent point.  Hopefully I’ll take her advice this semester.  And I suspicion I’ll do well to listen to her advice on more points than just napping.

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