Do you ever dream about your high school or college years? My school dreams are always the same. I’m back home—too old for high school yet determined to relive those days I so loved. After changing clothes several times and coping with other distractions, I finally take off in my own car, which I didn’t have in real school time. When I get to my dream school, it takes forever to find the right parking space, after which I hurry into the building, only to find the halls empty and the students already in their classrooms.
But wait a minute—I can’t find my locker, can’t remember my schedule. After running up and down several flights of stairs, I locate the school office, find out where I’m supposed to be, and scramble to First Period. Phew! I arrive just in time—but for what?! Oh, no. We’re about to have a test that I didn’t study for. This class has been going on for six weeks; but for me, it’s always Day One. I open my book for the first time, hoping to wing it.
Oh, no, there’s another problem. I forgot to feed my dream dog before I left for school. What dog?! I don’t recall ever feeding the dog or giving it water. Does this dog even have a name?
There’s only one thing to do that makes any sense: I wake myself up. I think about returning to the dream, try to straighten out the mess I left behind; but then Alka-Seltzer relief hits me. I don’t have to resolve anything. It’s only a dream.
During my high school years in real time, I started out riding the school bus and later rode with a good friend and her boyfriend who had a really neat car. Not once were we late for school. Nor did I ever go to any class unprepared. Nor did I ever forget to feed my real dog. In fact, one morning I overslept and within ten minutes managed to brush my teeth, get dressed, make my bed, and feed the dog before flying out the door in time to catch the bus that just pulled up across the street.
Research indicates recurring school dreams loaded with stress often play havoc with adults who put a high priority on being responsible. Hmm, translation: compulsive. That would be me. But what about my other recurring dream.
Eons ago Hubby D and I bought our first home before we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. A charming fixer-upper: according to the for-sale-by-owner description. I saw its potential, D and I happily working side-by-side; D saw never-ending projects, his precious softball evenings and weekends slipping away. After three tumultuous years we sold the money/remodeling pit and bought a ranch-style house, one that lacked charm but was move-in ready. I never dream about the low-maintenance second home but the first one still haunts me with this recurring episode:
The house we once owned is on the market again and I buy it sight unseen. Don’t ask about D; this is my dream. I walk through each room, thrilled with the house I’d imagined years ago, only now it’s twice as big. The kitchen has been remodeled, ceramic floor tile replacing the in-laid linoleum compromised by a nasty burn spot we discovered on moving the rubber mat covering it. Pricey colonial furniture defines the living room and master bedroom. The attic has been finished with two more bedrooms and a bath, a project our contractor in real time told us would not be possible. Behind the kitchen I revisit the screened-in porch, much nicer than the one D and his immigrant grandpa had worked on improving. And beyond the sloping yard that once plagued us with drainage issues I now see a frozen pond with children ice skating on it. Oh, yes, during that brief moment in sleep time, I’ve come full circle, having left my ideal real-time home for a return to the fixer-upper I left undone two houses ago.
I’m sure dream experts could interpret a more precise meaning to my first-house dream. As for me, I’m content to enjoy that house while I sleep without having to suffer all the work it took to bring me there.
So, what about you. How do you interpret your recurring dreams?