Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An Activist Nap

A tiny glimpse into my personal life: I am a napper. Last night, after work, I napped from 5-7 p.m. (Could have something to do with the fact that I'm an on-and-off anemic, but that's besides the point.) After a nap like this, I wake up feeling one of two ways: 1) refreshed and ready to be productive for the final few evening hours, or 2) "WHAT?!? It's 7! How am I going to cook, clean, watch my favourite show, work out, and get to bed at a decent hour? Why do I do this to myself!!!" (Luckily, last night was the former.)

Since late March/early April, I've been napping.

I stopped listing to CBC Radio in the mornings and tuned into Hot 89.9.

I finished reading "X-Marks" by Scott Richard Lyons, then picked up "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" by Mindy Kaling.

I took a time-out from twitter in favour of constantly trolling my never-ending Facebook Newsfeed.

I fell behind reading some of my favourite blogs, like Native Appropriations and mediaINDIGENA, but read back posts on blogs like Suri's Burn Book and Young House Love.

Notice a trend here? I took, what I'll call, an "Activist Nap."

I'm not going to apologize for any of it. I'll still listen to Hot 89.9 when I'm in my car, and Young House Love is on my daily reading list. But this girl's nap is over.

I had an absolutely wild fall season. It was the busiest and most amazing time of my life, as I took on my biggest challenge yet of teaching a college class of 30 awesome Native students.

And after my class wrapped up on Tuesday afternoons? I hit the road to recruit more students to come to post-secondary education!

I expected the winter to be more quiet and a time to regroup, but instead I published my MA research paper, did a juice cleanse, and travelled more for work.

During one of said travels, I was having a conversation with a couple of Native colleagues. We were talking about the work we do in our 9-5's and our activism and community engagements on evenings and weekends.

"It's exhausting being Indigenous sometimes," one bemused.

We got onto the topic of books. After flexing our academic muscles and talking about what books we were reading by Native authors, the conversation quickly turned to "fun" books as we got talking about everything from sci-fi to Jodi Picoult.

"Sometimes you just have to take a time out and read a fun book."

I took her advice. I didn't completely tune out the news, but I allowed myself the luxury of reading for fun, skipping out on a rally or two, and I let myself off the hook for not being the first to know of each major development in First Nations rights and crises.

I napped. But, rather than it being an hour-long after work nap, it was a 2-month long post-activist nap. I was a Naptivist, if you will. I woke up from this one, not kicking myself for falling so far behind, but feeling refreshed, clear and ready to get back on track.