Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Justify a Siesta

   I will soon be adopting the Spanish custom of taking a siesta.  Don't judge me.  Lots of highly productive and fulfilled people throughout history have long spent the middle hours of the day at rest. 

   Charlemagne, anyone?  Don Quixote?

   Many solid reasons support this practice.  More than just a happy throwback to Kindergarten napping, taking a siesta is good for your digestion and maybe even your heart health; it helps prevent heat exhaustion and overexposure to the dangerous sun; it can clear your mind before a busy evening; and it might even reduce your electricity bill.  Yep.

   We'll get back to that last one in just a sec.

   The custom of making the midday meal heavier than the late night meal is globally and historically a lot more widespread than the alternative, and unnamed experts and fancy pantses agree it's healthiest.  And as big meals tend to make a person sleepy (in Bengal they call it rice-sleep), resting afterward is just perfectly reasonable.
  
   Especially where the climate is hot and the day's burdens are agricultural, resting after a substantial lunch is also a safety measure.  We certainly meet that criteria.  Oklahoma summers are HOT man.  Like, regularly in excess of 100 degrees, humid, and windy.  So steamy it feels like you are standing in front of a wet blowing furnace.  That kind of hot.

   Why more people in our modern North American culture do not observe siesta is a mystery to me.  Doing so is neither laziness nor apathy; it is rather a wise and well timed conservation of health and energy.  I for one am going to start this as soon as possible, which is today.

   And here's how I will go about justifying it:

   The electricity billing at our little farm has recently seen a major update.  We now pay different rates per kilowatt hour according to the time of day, corresponding to the demand being placed on the grid at that time.  The point of this new program is to encourage efficiency and spread the load across the clock, because electricity cannot really be stored.  It has to be produced pretty much right when it is used.  
  My husband can explain all of this brilliantly, but for now suffice it to say that the same power consumption at 10 in the morning is considerably less expensive than, say, 6 in the evening when everybody is home and busy cooking, cooling off, and watching Swamp People. 
   To be a little more specific, we arrange our farm days with the understanding that "peak time" is from 2 pm till 7 pm.  During these hours we avoid heavily electrified chores and activities.   And our house is total electric, so that kind of includes everything you might do indoors.

   And truly working outdoors during the hottest part of the day, in Oklahoma, is asking for heatstroke. 

   Finally, few people know this, but late afternoon is when taste buds are most receptive to both fruit and yogurt smoothies and sweet iced tea.  Scientifically, this is also the time of day when your eyes are best suited for consuming new release literature.  You cannot fight biology. 

   Catching my drift?  Siesta.  Grab a book and a cold drink, find your hammock, and shut down a few expensive appliances.


   I can think of a few other perfect solutions for the 2pm till 7 pm chapter of my weekdays, and they all fit nicely under this enticing Latin umbrella.

     So for at least the next eight or nine weeks, in the latter afternoon hours, my batteries shall recharge whilst the rest of you Westerners slave away in either the extreme heat or the extremely expensive air conditioning.  My evenings shall be freshly approached, my metabolism shall find reprieve from heavy nighttime meals, my reading lists shall gradually dwindle, and Handsome will be happy to have saved some electriciy dollars.  Dollars which will then be spent on more fruit and yogurt smoothies for the afternoons.

   If all of these compelling arguments have failed to sway you to siesta along with me, still please suspend judgment.  I won't be able to hear your Industrial Revolution comments anyway.  Because I will be away, resting.

pinnable

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