Dream On

I dreamed the other night that I was in a big city for a work-related event. Somehow I had been placed in charge of rounding up my colleagues, about 30 of them, for a group photo that was to take place at 10:00 a.m.. I didn’t know it was my responsibility until about 9:40 a.m. when the head honcho told me. I looked around, trying to figure out how I would do that. Colleagues were in the street, spread throughout the hotel, walking around the city, still asleep.

I decided I was hungry and needed to eat. I sat down with a salad, then changed my mind, realizing I didn’t have time. The salad turned into long strings of English ivy.

I had to pee and went to the hotel bathroom. There was a long line for the ladies room, so I decided to hold it.

I remembered that I hadn’t freshened up my face, didn’t have enough makeup on for a professional photo. I didn’t even know what my hair looked liked. I started to rush back to my hotel room, but stopped when I realized I didn’t have time.

It was almost 10:00 and I hadn’t rounded up one person. I had failed, and everyone would know it. I would be blamed for the group photo being a disaster. Everyone would hate me. No one would ever trust me to handle things again.

When I woke up from this nightmare, feeling anxious and panicked, one thing was clear: It felt like my real life. I was promoted last spring, yet I still have responsibilities from my former role, primarily a caseload of students to advise and a class to teach to first year students. My boss, whose job I took when she was promoted, has a new boss now and the pressure coming down from the top is real. On top of this, I am trying to navigate all of this during a pandemic while working remotely.

Is it any wonder I wanted to die in my dream?

In real life, I forgot to schedule my son’s entry test for admission to the Catholic high school he wants to attend. Thankfully, due to the pandemic, they are waiving the test, but our chance of a merit scholarship is now null and void because he missed the test. I’m not sure we can afford the tuition without one.

The food pantry items I was supposed to drop at his school last week are still sitting in a bag in my car. I had meant to drop them off on Friday, but instead I was driving around trying to find a rapid COVID-19 test after learning my husband’s coworker was exposed, kept coming to work, and didn’t tell anyone because he couldn’t afford to be out of work.

There are so many things to do and remember: Pay bills on time, schedule doctor appointments, keep up with what’s happening at my son’s school. There are groceries to buy, meals to plan, and stocking up in case we end up in lock down. The house always needs cleaning, laundry is piling up.

The walls of my house are closing in on me. I feel a sense of dread, or like screaming, when it’s time to sit in front of my work computer. I find myself getting shorter with my family, edgy, easily annoyed. The time change has been the worst. Dark before 5:00 p.m. now, nowhere to go after work, not even for a walk unless I want to go in the dark. I don’t.

It’s like the earth is asking me to lay down and die.

One good part about my dream was that I was in a city. I love cities. COVID didn’t exist. Everyone was crammed in close to one another, no masks needed. Though I was freaking out in the dream, there was also a feeling that I could disappear into the heart of the city, escape, wander, be free.

What a dream that would be.

How are you coping during the pandemic as it drags on? I’d love to hear.

Dream On, by Aerosmith

9 thoughts on “Dream On

  1. This sounds like my lucid dreams. I’m not sure how to answer your question lol Today, I feel good, mainly because I went on a road trip to celebrate my friend’s 50th bday…and the weekend prior I planned several things to celebrate Dwight’s 50th. I’m sure when I come back down off of the celebratory high and face the end of the semester, as we still wait for Trump to concede/not concede, I’ll be back to my COVID-self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’ve been able to have some fun and connect with friends. Also that your climate is warmer. It’s freezing where I am and I don’t do well with cold. I was supposed to go to a bonfire gathering with friends and I had to bale out thanks to potential covid exposure from my husband’s coworker. Okay, enough whining me. Happy 50th birthday to your husband! As for the dreaming, I think it’s supposed to be a good thing, a way to process one’s life and such. They say Einstein discovered theories and ideas in his dreams, so we’re in good company!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Other than not being able to see friends and family, other than on Zoom, we’re coping with it well. Both of us are fond of our own company, and not at all fond of crowds, so staying at home or going for walks is perfect.

    I can understand why people miss all those things they can’t do, though. i think those that cope best with it focus on the little things; things they might enjoy anyway, like reading or watching TV, or little tasks they hadn’t got around to before. Projects. Hobbies. Cooking. I hope you manage to find your best way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mick. I’m glad you’re coping well. You certainly have some beautiful places to take walks. I think a large part of my stir craziness is that I am sitting in one room in front of a screen 8 or more hours a day working remotely. Many days I’m fine, but the cabin fever and overwhelm can sneak up on me in unexpected ways. I miss being able to drive to my mom’s house about two hours away by the ocean when I need a change of scenery and a break. Ah, well, what can you do? It seems things will get worse before better and we just have to make the best of it. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Kim. I think what gets to lots of people is the temporary breaking of habits and routines (unless they’re habits and routines they hate, of course!). We can find alternate things to do, frequently enjoyable ones, but that doesn’t prevent us missing the ones we are used to and can’t do.

        Hope you have a great day, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Kim, thank you for your honesty! I’m so tired of people who are saying that coping with all this is easy, because it most certainly isn’t. Nothing stays the same, changes are coming at us much quicker than we can possibly cope with them, and of course balls are getting dropped. I don’t have half your work load, but I’m still often overwhelmed and almost always late getting anywhere, which is not my usual behavior. All I can say is please be gentle with yourself…you have so much on your plate, and no one can possibly keep up with it all. Things really will get better one day. Meanwhile, just do your best and know that it truly is enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the quote you used at the beginning of this post. “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” It is so true – while gently reminding us that we can live our dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

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