Posts Tagged With: dreams

Day 186: Watch out

I have a large collection of unusual and inexpensive watches. I started this collection over 35 years ago.

The collection got much larger when eBay came along — when it became much easier to find watches that fit my Collecting Criteria.

The number of watches I collected got a little scary. Actually, the number didn’t scare me, but I noticed that people had a reaction to that number — which looked a little like fear but might have just been surprise — when I would ask them to guess:

How many watches do you think I have?

People would always guess much lower than the actual number, even though I would explain — just as I did above — that I liked to collect these and that they were very accessible through eBay.

Collecting these watches definitely met some sort of need. I guess any kind of collecting behavior can seem like a compulsion. It didn’t feel like a compulsion; but I did spend a fair amount of time looking for watches, deciding about them, and adding new ones to my collection. It was fun.

Was it a habit? An addiction?

I’m reminded of a joke:

I may be addicted to drinking brake fluid, but I can stop at any time.

I kept collecting watches, for many years, growing my collection. And I did have Too Many watches to keep track of, to wear, and — especially — to keep supplied with fresh batteries.

But it was an enjoyable and harmless distraction, and I had some very cool watches. So I kept collecting.

Except one day, I stopped.

I stopped after I had a dream. In that dream, I was wearing a watch and the watch turned into a cardiac pacemaker.

And I woke up from that dream and said, “Duh.”

“Duh,” as in, “Wow. That makes a lot of sense.”

Here’s why:

I got my first cardiac pacemaker implanted when I was 10 years old. I had no choice over the matter. I will be dependent upon a pacemaker until I die. I have no control over all that.

I can tell the story of Ann and Her Pacemaker in lots of different ways.

Triumphant: I am the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker!*

Painful: I wasn’t prepared very well, before I got my first pacemaker at age 10. I spent a lot of time — some of it alone and scared — in the hospital.

The stories we tell can be a way of getting control over things.

Collecting watches was another way, for me.

Pacemakers and watches have a lot in common. They both are man-made devices that people wear. They are devices designed to measure and mark time, in an important way. As a matter of fact, all the pacemakers I got, until I was well into my 30’s, had a fixed rate. That is, they would produce the same number of beats per minute, every minute, until they ran down. The main difference between those pacemakers and a watch: my pacemakers were set for 70 beats for minute, instead of 60.

Anyway, once I realized WHY I was collecting watches — in a new and deeper way — I stopped needing to collect them. I’ve bought a watch or two since then, but very rarely.

I mean, I have enough watches, people.

Before I end this post, I wanted to share one of my favorite watches with you:

Image

I got this watch on eBay, many years ago, when it came up in my saved search “unusual watches.”

This watch was developed by a woman who worked with kids who had cancer. In the eBay listing, she told the story of how she was working with a little boy who was having trouble expressing his fear of dealing with the diagnosis and the necessary procedures. On an impulse, she drew the picture of the character, whom she dubbed, “Scared Guy.” Scared Guy helped the little boy talk about his fear.

She later turned “Scared Guy” into a charitable enterprise, and she created and offered merchandise — including watches — using that character she drew for the little boy. The proceeds either went to supporting cancer research or other aspects of work with children who had cancer — I can’t remember, exactly.

I would give you more details about “Scared Guy ™” but I can’t find anything listed on the internet this morning. I do have the original watch box somewhere, which would tell me more, but I’m not looking for that right now.

I don’t have the time.

I have to get ready to go into the hospital, where I work.

And, I confess, I’m kind of a Scared Guy, today.

Why? There will be very few people around today, at the hospital where I work, because it’s the day after the July 4th holiday. I’m the only one there who has certain responsibilities. I may need to do some difficult and new things.

It’s a little too close, for comfort, to the old story I tell about my childhood, where I’m in a hospital, feeling alone, lost, and confused.

However, there are lots of differences today.

For one, I’ll be wearing that watch.

Thanks for being here, and reading, today.


* In 2014, I found out that I am NOT the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker.  See this post for more about that.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 168: A dream of dancing

In Day 148: Dreams I Have Known, I wrote about a dream where I knew I was asleep and dreaming, didn’t like the feeling, and tried to wake up, fighting the typical “dream paralysis.”

Last night, I had a dream that started that same way: that is, I had just fallen asleep and I knew I was dreaming. Usually I don’t like those early-sleep dreams, because I often have a sense of discomfort or foreboding … like there is some danger present. Last night, I didn’t fight the dream or try to wake up, and it quickly shifted into something else. I was in a room that was like a big studio, with mirrors on the walls. I could see myself, and I decided to try some dance moves. Specifically, I wanted to kick my legs way up, to a full extension. Something like this:

kimeneslatteryching

Or this:

Micah kick

And I could see myself, and that reflected image looked like me and dressed like me, and — lo and behold — I could do those kicks.

It was great.

I woke up and I thought, “I want to remember that dream. And I want to blog about it tomorrow.”

I did and I am.

I’m enjoying the memory of that dream, right now. It was fun, freeing, and effortless. I felt graceful and centered. I was surprised by my skill and knew that it was the Dream Me, but the movement and expression seemed to come out of the Real Me.

While I might not be able to kick exactly the way I did in that dream, I know I can kick — in other ways — in real life.

Thanks for kicking back with me, here and now.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 148: Dreams I Have Known

I had a dream last night where I didn’t like what was happening and I wanted to wake myself up.

My father used to have these kinds of dreams. I remember hearing him make these odd, high-pitched noises in his sleep, and my mother helping him to wake up.

This dream occurred for me, last night, soon after I fell asleep. (The typical time for these dreams, for my father and for me.)

The dream wasn’t particularly scary. It just involved my son coming upstairs.  But I had a “bad feeling” in the dream.  And I knew it was a dream. And I wanted to stop the dream, and wake up.

As always, I struggled to transition out of sleeping into waking. I tried to assist that process by vocalizing — making noises.  As I did, I could hear the echo of my father’s sounds.

Then, I went downstairs, to check on my son. I just wanted to make sure he was okay.  He was.

When I awoke this morning and was trying to decide what to blog about today, I was thinking about that experience, and remembering that I’ve made a Note to Self about a future blog topic …..

Recurring Dreams.

I think it’s interesting what dreams recur for people. And I’ll tell you about a recurring dream that I used to have, a lot.

The dream varied, each time, but always involved these components: (1) at some point, I would need to reach somebody by calling them on the telephone and  (2) I would have lots of trouble doing that. Something would always get in the way of my using the phone to reach them. Often, I wouldn’t be able to see the parts of the phone I needed to, in order to make the call.

Each time I had this dream (which was often in the midst of some kind of adventure-type plot), the results were always the same. I would never get through, with whatever message I had to deliver.

Arrghh!

I don’t have that dream any more. I haven’t for many years.  But I remember what those dreams felt like, vividly.

Frustrating.  Scary.  Draining.  Panicky. Discouraging.

Here’s how I’m “interpreting” that old dream, right now:

Communication is very important to me.  If I don’t connect with people, I feel bad. The consequences of NOT connecting can be dire. Isolation is scary.  Seeing clearly is important, in order to connect.  And having an urgent message, undelivered, is terrible.

I actually like my old, recurring dream. I like what it says about my priorities.

And I especially like that I’m not having that dream, any more.

I’m wondering: What kinds of recurring dreams have you had?  What do you think they might mean?

Thanks to all.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 119: I woke up differently, this morning

Waking up, this morning, felt different.

Here’s what I noticed:

Even though I was having some anxiety-based dreams, right before I awoke (where I was trying to find my way through a huge concrete compound, with lots of elevators, accompanied by people whose motives and feelings towards me were ambiguous, at best) …

Even though I usually access worries or problem-solving as I am first waking up  …

This morning, I awoke towards peace.

And when my thoughts first turned towards this blog post (moments after awakening), the title that occurred to me was, “How to Move Towards Peace,”  because I wanted to share this feeling and my newly hatched “wisdom” about it.

But I’m not sure whether I have the wisdom, yet, to formulate a “How To.”

For now, I just want to express gratitude that my natural inclination, this morning, was to move toward peace, to find moments of it before and as I was reaching consciousness, and to know that I might encounter moments of that in others, today.

I don’t need to encounter it today, but I am open to seeing it.  In this moment, I feel open to seeing  everything else I encounter today.

Including my son, who just woke up.

Thanks for meeting me here, today.

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