Eyes wide shut.

One of the toughest things about working for myself is figuring out the structure of my days. I have all the flexibility I could want, but I also have an office. I'm a traditionalist -- I'm generally at my desk, iced tea in hand, by 8am.

This week, though, I've had several evening client obligations, including a dinner last night that ran to three hours and was full of fascinating conversation on topics I barely understand with people I would really like to work with. It was well after 10 by the time I could make my brain stop churning with excitement, much later than that by the time I got to sleep.

This morning I was TIRED. Like, weepy tired, where a snatch of a familiar song on the radio made my eyes fill. I had plenty of work on my list -- and another obligation tonight -- so I decided to do something radical: I went home at lunchtime for a nap.

 Theo and Beau, the cutest nappers ever, from mommasgonecity.com.

Theo and Beau, the cutest nappers ever, from mommasgonecity.com.

You remember naps, right? Thanks to Theo and Beau, below, for reminding us how blissful a deep, daytime sleep can be. Here's their story, if you haven't seen these adorable photos before.

It worked, too -- after only 30 minutes of rest, I felt renewed.

Why, then, did I feel so guilty deciding to take a nap? (True confession: It was my husband, an entrepreneur with a successful, 15-year-old data consulting business, who suggested it.)

I think all those years of jobs that require face time, starting in school, have made it tough for me to trust myself to NOT show up. After all, showing up is my specialty. I also think there's a measure of guilt infused in the idea of taking a break. After all, in this job, I don't get sick days. 

It was a major lesson, though, to take a small step toward taking care of myself. Now if I can just learn to sleep as soundly as Theo and Beau.