January 22, 2016
This time of year is always a little bit challenging for me. A couple of weeks ago, a combination of the shorter days, too many in a row that were full-on cloudy, hormones, and lack of sleep combined to make me…well, depressed. (I don’t like to use that word because it was super mild compared to what a lot of people struggle with, and I don’t want to overstate things. But that’s essentially what it is.)
One of the side effects is not writing. I’ll open my file, but revising is hard so first I’ll do my bill-paying freelance work, and the laundry, and the dishes, and check my Facebook news feed, and update the checkbook, and when there is finally nothing left to do, eh, my brain is mush and I’m too tired and I just don’t care.
Part of me is kicking myself, knowing how much I’ll hate myself for not doing it, but not caring about that, either. Eventually, the sun comes back and hormones shift and I start sleeping better and everything is good. I’ve written/revised TONS over the last 10 days.
But while I was “stuck,” my subconscious tried to get into the kicking game, too. I’m a heavy dreamer. They are very detailed both in plot and visuals, like the kind of filigree ironwork holding the bathroom stall door in an ancient brick industrial building that was in one of my dreams about a year ago. Yeah, I can still picture that bathroom. Anyway, sometimes the dreams are fun, like when I join up with Sam and Dean and Green Arrow to save Felicity or whatever. Sometimes they’re very, very frustrating.
Like two weeks ago, deep in the mire of my lightless ennui. I dreamed a couple of nights in a row that I was on retreat with my writing friends. Except I never got around to writing. In one of the dreams, we were all setting up in a big open room (which is NOT how we do retreats) and someone had pushed their bed up in front of the small desk where I was supposed to be using my laptop. There was no way I could get to it. So I got a small table and found a clear area of the floor, but the hinged top of the table was broken so it wouldn’t stay up, and one of the adjustable legs was missing a piece so it was listing and tilting. And then it was time to go eat. And so on, interruptus ad nauseum.
The next night, I dreamed we were taking a trip somewhere, except stuff kept keeping us from getting into the car or down the street or out of the town. That dream is less clear in my memory, probably because I woke up and said “Well, THAT’S not hard to interpret.” It was obviously all about my inability to make progress on anything.
Here’s the funny thing. Even though it didn’t take a genius to figure out what my subconscious was saying, and even though I didn’t NEED my subconscious to say it because I was saying it consciously, out loud, every day—once I said “okay, thanks, sub, I got it,” it stopped. The dreams went back to their normal intensity and I got back to writing. (It may be coincidental timing with the sunshine and all the rest, too. One cannot overemphasize the importance of sunshine!)
I want to hear about everyone’s crazy dreams! Anything hard to interpret, super-obvious, or in between? Or are you one of those who doesn’t ever remember their dreams?