Sleeping in didn’t make my list of retirement activities. Years ago, my internal clock eliminated the need for an alarm. Come five o’clock, I’m up. Getting up so early makes napping a necessity.

Toodles is partially to blame for the early hour. She gets her insulin injection every twelve hours. We could do it just about any time, but first thing in the morning suits us. She no longer minds the injections and lets me know it’s time for the afternoon dose should I run late.

Getting up at the last possible second used to be the norm. Before coffee was an essential part of my morning routine, I could be showered, dressed, blow-dried, styled, and on my way in thirty minutes or less. I haven’t needed a comb or brush for years — never mind blow drying and styling.

Nonetheless, being ready to leave the house thirty minutes after getting up is no longer possible. Just as well. Rushing around stresses me out. I prefer easing into my day at a more leisurely pace.

After tending to Toodles, I turn on the TV and my computer to catch up on the news and online stuff with my first cup of coffee. Then I work through 30-45 minutes of brain games on five different apps, skipping or letting the time run out on any I don’t like.

While my second cup of coffee is brewing, I make the bed, tidy up the house a bit, and sit down with my journal. Depending on what’s going on in my life, early appointments and my mood, I’ll write for thirty minutes or so to a couple of hours. The content is maybe a wee bit redundant.

Once all that’s done, I’m ready to start my day. Whether it be errands, chores, or appointments, the next few hours tend to be my most productive of the day. Come noon, it’s time for a well-deserved nap.

Experts claim napping for 15 to 20 minutes is optimal. Seriously? It takes me that long to get comfortable. Ninety minutes is far more satisfying. Much longer than that makes me grumpy. Grumpier?

Prior to COVID-19, naps were a luxury enjoyed only on vacations, holidays and weekends. Working from home made daily napping possible. Retiring eliminated any tinge of guilt.

I’m not addicted to my daily nap. It’s a choice. I can quit anytime I want.