Though it’s been years since I’ve taken a nap of any kind during the day, I have to envy a cat’s ability to do so. Moreover, I love it when they just sit still, basking in the sun for a tick while remaining totally alert. I wonder what they’re thinking about during these moments. And I wonder how they can possibly sit still for that long. The entire concept of sitting prone for long periods and doing absolutely nothing is almost crazy to me as I tend to bounce from once thing to the next all of the time. The idea of actually napping for humans began in Ancient Egypt where the cat was a sacred animal so humans began to mimic their habits. As it turns out, the cats had it right, as experts agree that short little naps during the day can indeed help restore one’s energy and increase productivity. But today, pausing for even a moment seems more difficult than ever. There are so many distractions around now, and likely hundreds more than the Ancient Egyptians ever had to deal with on a daily basis. Cats involvement in technology usually just consists of walking across a computer keyboard and randomly typing things before laying down to sleep. Actually, that’s sometimes how it feels these posts are created.
Though I’m quite sure that sleeping at your desk while at work is still considered a bit of a taboo, it’s an intriguing notion. Perhaps, we humans do need to not only unplug sometimes, but actually hit the “off” button. I’ve only been able to day sleep a few times in my life and usually only when I’m sick with the flu. But, I’m a pro at daydreaming and that’s very much the same thing. In fact, no that I consider it, I have sat still for several minutes during the day while imagining things in my mind. Certainly not as long as a cat, but I am only human after all. Yet, the act of taking moments to imagine and just think about life in general is a very rewarding one. I find that I rarely get very stressed about things. Sure, there are a million things demanding my attention and I often find myself running a bit behind. But, I know from experience that I’ll always catch up at some point. I also know that turning my thoughts in a different direction is often the exact thing I needed to get through whatever little crisis I’m currently facing. It’s totally counterintuitive, of course, but that’s usually when everything really starts to make sense to me.
When people use a phrase like counterintuitive, they aren’t talking about my personal intuition, but a collective reasoning that often isn’t really about intuition at all. It’s just what everyone else is doing. That’s fine, of course, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it’s just that I want life to be about something more. Something weirder and wilder that only I could imagine. Living a truly creative life means that you end up wandering down those paths less traveled. The ones that look like they could be a path, but don’t have those telling footprints to reassure you. When I’m imagining things in my mind, I feel like I’m going on a little adventure. Even if I don’t actually do all of the things that occurred to me in that moment, the idea of them has a wonderful effect on me. I feel energized and recharged and ready to tackle whatever reality I’m currently facing. I’m not being counterintuitive, but totally following my intuition and letting it take me where it thinks I need to go next. That’s made life rather enjoyable indeed. And now, I think I realize what our feline companions are trying to tell us. Sometimes, life’s challenges can best be solved by doing the unthinkable, and simply taking a cat nap.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!