I’m in college again. Months ago, I signed up for a class — maybe a complicated math class, but more likely a class with lots, and lots of reading, such as a study of Shakespeare’s entire works, or perhaps it’s Dostoyevsky. And here’s the thing: I meant to drop the class. I realized early on it was too hard, too time consuming to do the work… but somehow, I never got around to actually getting to the registrar and dropping the class. It is now near the end of the semester, and I am responsible for taking the final for this class — and I don’t even remember where or when it meets. I have a week to learn everything, or face an F on my transcript.
Does this dream sound familiar to you? I’ve been having it for as long as I can remember, probably once every few months or so. A few years ago, while part of a small trial team, my colleagues and I would sit around and have fairly inane conversations over shared lunches and dinners, gobbled quickly in conference rooms, and the topic of conversation turned once to stress dreams. I remember being amazed that all of my colleagues had had stress dreams (even the partner who had had an incredibly enviable and successful career!) — but more specifically, they all had this stress dream, the meant-to-drop-the-class-but-totally-forgot dream.
Readers, what stress dreams do you have repeatedly? What message do you take away — for example, does it help you recognize that you’ve reached a certain point in your stress and that you need to force yourself to relax?