When I was in my twenties I went out. A lot. I was up late all night. I slept late every day.
My dinner every night was most people’s breakfast. We used to have a joke that we watched the sunrise often, but only before we went to bed.
I’ve always been a night owl.
In 2005 I had my first stroke. I recovered fully. To the point that if you met me before 2009 you’d never know I had a stroke. There were two lingering effects. My handwriting changed and I suddenly needed to nap to maintain my night owl ways.
It was hard work staying up til 3-4AM then getting up at 6AM with the kids.
I would often crash midday to refuel. But they weren’t required. I just did it to feel good.
Just before I went into my coma I was in Boston and NYC. It was a glorious time. It was the kickoff for Aiming Low and I was rooming with two women who remain two of my best friends to this day. It was my first time in both cities. I have to say I’m really glad I got to go there before the wheelchair became an issue.
I ran around those cities ON FOOT every moment I could. I went to famous places, I saw some famous people, that was when I was taped for the Today Show (that aired right after my strokes) , I met new friends, it was a trip of a lifetime!
Before I left I promised Pete I would nap.
Who would waste time sleeping when there was so much to DO?
Then I came home exhausted. With a headache.
One so bad I fell off the grid and slept. Told my friends I had the mother of all migraines.
Then I got up and had to get ready to go again because I had another trip. In the middle of getting ready for that cruise I had a massive stroke. Then later that night I had another.
I nap almost every day now.
My body just wears out quicker. I miss good parties and events. I have to pass on things I’d love to be a part of. All because I know that I have to be kinder to my body than I was before.
I’m not even 40 and I’ve had three strokes. I have to be nice to my body.
I can’t party anymore. I can’t stay out late. I can’t hang.
I do get to celebrate with my daughter as she turns 9 this week. I got to watch video of Pete riding a mechanical bull. I can cherish each tiny exceptional moment with my family and friends.
That is worth it.
That is worth the feeling that napping isn’t a stolen joy but a responsibility.