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The Sunday Ritual That Changed My Life

Dana Cutler

I celebrate the Sabbath in two ways, both equally sacred and necessary for my spiritual well-being. The first is attending church services — makes sense, right? The second and the focus of this commentary is my Sunday nap. It is a day of rest. So, I rest. 

I take this nap very seriously and prepare for my second act of worship before I begin my first. I typically freshen the bed linens, spritz the bed with lavender spray and turn the bed back. The only thing missing is the chocolate mint. Hey, why am I denying myself the chocolate mint? I shall attend to that immediately for next Sunday. In the winter, I leave out my flannel jammies, and in the summer a tank sleep shirt. 

When I return home after church services and sometimes brunch with my Biggerest (my bigger, better best friend — after all, anybody can have a best friend, but we are the only folks in the world with a Biggerest), I grab my baby dog Lucy and tuck in for a long winter’s/fall’s/spring’s/summer’s nap.

More: Go Ahead, Be Lazy — Science Says It Might Actually Be Good for You.

It is a bit odd that I am so dedicated to this ritual since as a child, eschewed nap time. I never took a nap. (What was wrong with me? So many nap hours lost forever.) While my classmates napped in day care, kindergarten and first grade, I spent my nap time helping my teachers put up bulletin boards, grading papers and reading. 

However, as an adult, I am all about this revered weekly occurrence. My husband is envious and makes comments about it, but he knows better than to disturb me. And my family and friends — who plan to continue in those roles — know better than to call me before 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Interestingly, my parents have picked up on my custom. My mom has this wonderful recliner chair that she claims grabs and wrestles her to sleep every Sunday while she tries to watch whatever sporting event that happens to be in season. My dad unabashedly gets back in bed and dozes on and off all afternoon.

More: 7 Tips to Help You Wind Down at the End of a Nonstop Day

I have been asked, “Does my Sunday nap inhibit my ability to fall asleep on Sunday night?” Let me put your worry to rest (pun intended) — not at all. But being denied my nap makes me tired all week. I used to consider my Sunday nap an indulgence, but in light of all the research regarding rest, I see it as my duty and my God-given right. Anything that allows me to serve and to love my fellow man better and with a smile should be a priority and considered hallowed. Come and commune with me in the land of dreams next Sunday about 1:30 p.m. CST. I promise you, we’ll have a good ol’ sleepy time together.

More: Can’t Start Your Day Without Caffeine?

Reading Thrive Global’s new initiative Shabbat: A Day of Rest inspired this reflection.

Originally published on Thrive Global.

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