To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I’m easy. Change seldom ruffles me. Even with this new parenting job, the dire “your life is no longer yours” warnings mostly have rung unwarranted. I don’t miss much about my pre-fathering days, mostly because I don’t view my new responsibilities as anchors so much as I see them as different sails.

However, one thing I do miss is the mid-day power nap. air jordan 13 Slipping a bit of sleep into my schedule isn’t as easy as it was before.

I didn’t used to nap every afternoon (despite what my wife thought).  Sometimes, though — whether because of a bad night of sleep, or amid some work that was particularly mentally challenging, or “just cuz” — I would lay down for 15 to 20 afternoon minutes in order to recharge. The benefits of power-napping are well researched and reported, and I was somewhat a master of capitalizing on them.

But that’s not so easy while sharing the day with a baby.

One obstacle is that when Maggie is asleep, that’s the most opportune time for me to be productive. I can get much more done when my brain isn’t persistently aware that she could interrupt me at any second with a need that only the nearest adult can fulfill. When she sleeps, I can focus. Maggie’s naps are the marrow of my workday.

Moreover — and maybe this is just a first-time-parent thing — the usually unflappable me is disquieted by the notion of sleeping while Maggie is awake. The caveat to that fear, of course, nike kobe 9 is that it exists only during the day. I don’t know how often Maggie wakes during the night, while my wife and I sleep, and lies there for minutes or hours drooling and watching shadows on the ceiling. I’m sure it happens, but I don’t lose sleep over it.

During the day, however, if I try to nap while Maggie does not, then I can’t close my eyes for more than 20 seconds without being jolted by a deep-seeded paranoia that I am leaving her defenseless from the terrors of daylight.

I have researched this a bit and found a plethora of polarized opinions. Some parents and experts claim that sleeping while the baby is awake is reckless; others say that as long as the baby is secured (such as in a hazard-free playpen) then my midday napping is just as safe as through-the-night slumber.

I’ll do more research, and I’m open to hearing advice. In the meantime, I’m pouring another cup of coffee.

Fat Gym Rat

I will always be a gym rat. As a child I spent my summer days and after-school hours at the Carter Community Building, a wonderful gift to the town of Lebanon, New Hampshire, and to budding rats like me. As a high-school and college athlete I could pretty much always be found on a field, court or weight room. Today I coach high-school football and basketball (many times with Lydia by my side), so I haven’t strayed too far from my roots.

I love athletics, but dieting and exercising for the sake of looking better was never my thing. If I wasn’t training to compete then it all seemed meaningless. I rarely felt out of shape, but when I did I’d jump right back into a routine and be right back to normal.

However, once our bundle of mass destruction arrived four years ago, exercise time was replaced by family time, chores, company work and trying to get sleep. Fat and happy became fine with me. I invented many late-night sandwiches that were sure to be a hit at the restaurant I’d open someday.

My mindset was that I have a fantastic wife, beautiful new child, air jordan 11 great friends and family, successful start-up company and I live in a beautiful place. What else was there?

The answer was my health, but I didn’t get it yet.

When my hair turned to grey it didn’t bother me. I figured maybe I’ll go for the George Clooney look. Then one day my friend’s wife told me I looked like Taylor Hicks, the former American Idol singer. She didn’t mean the clean, polished Hicks we know today, but rather the pudgy, chunky version. The message was well received. I dusted off the scale and stepped on. Wow! — I had gained 30 pounds in a year. That was the halfway point; I gained another 30 after that.

I had expected to gain weight, but what surprised me was the myriad of side effects. Joint pain, snoring that led to lack of quality sleep (and I wasn’t getting much sleep in the first place), longer periods of recovery from sickness, and many other side effects started to dig away at my health and productivity.

Finally it hit me. I recalled a conversation with an older friend many years ago. “You have a responsibility to your family and your business to be healthy,” he had said. “If you do walk down the wrong path, nike kobe 9 elite gs expect it to take the same amount of time to get back.”

The next morning I turned around and started the long journey back. A year later I still have a long way to go but I am more than half way home.  I focus daily on diet, core flexibility and basketball, which all keeps me healthy, happy and a better reflection of my former fit self.

Fortunately Lydia is a ball of energy and she loves to play chasing games, and that helps, too. I get to simultaneously stay fit and bond with my daughter. Moreover, she gets a better role model for maintaining physical health.

Maybe someday Lydia will be a gym rat too.