Dreamin’ is Free

Today was one of those days while driving down the I-5 freeway, my tired brain thought I left my car keys at the last appointment. For two long seconds, I had a panic patting my pockets–“Where are my keys?!” moment. Effin’ ridiculous. I wonder if I’m getting enough sleep. I’m not sure about sleep, but I’m getting waaaaay too much rest.

The other day I read that many people are continuing to have strange dreams, “Pandemic Dreams”. Dreams about being unable to get the simplest thing completed; walking through a maze-like existence, experiencing some sort of repetitive behavior that increases anxiety. In October of 2020, the magazine Scientific American explains we are having more dreams because we are resting more which equals more REM sleep.

Relaxed schedules may also have caused dreaming to occur later than usual in the morning, when REM sleep is more prevalent and intense and, thus, dreams are more bizarre. Dream-tweets reflect these qualities: “I was taking care of a newborn girl that had COVID … it was so vivid and real.” Increased dreaming during late-morning REM intervals results from the convergence of several processes. Sleep itself cycles through deep and light stages about every 90 minutes, but pressure for REM sleep gradually increases as the need for deep, recuperative sleep is progressively satisfied. Meanwhile, a circadian process that is tightly linked to our 24-hour core body temperature rhythm gives an abrupt boost to REM sleep propensity late in the sleep period and stays elevated through the morning.

As a single woman, working two essential jobs, living in a small apartment…my dreams are a bit different. I’m not dreaming about bugs attacking me or social distancing faux pas in the soup aisle. I’m dreaming about celebrities sliding into my bed and hugging me, saying witty things. Last week Jimmi Simpson (left) kept me laughing and calm with some stories in bed. This week Mr. Jason Sudeikis (right) joined me for a coffee & conversation while sitting on my bed. He was so laid back and kind. Nice, warm conversation–with another person–in the same room; this is something I’m lacking during the pandemic. As I have mentioned before, according to my dream dictionary dreaming of celebrities can mean that you seek more excitement in your life. That may be true. I think dreaming of people coming to my house for food and conversation during a time of social distancing is a different type of excitement.

I look forward to the gym reopening and, like, being able to hug people again, and standing next to people. Touching surfaces like exercise bikes, armrests in the movie theater, shake a hand “hello”, hug a friend goodbye, but–I will never go bowling again.


CREDITS
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-changing-our-dreams/

cover photo from Unsplash, São Paulo, Brazil

Day 43: Negative

Shower Thoughts: It’s adorable we thought 2016 was a terrible year because about 40 famous people died.  

People are comparing 2020 to other years.  Is this the worst?  Maybe.  On a global scale, I would have to say “YES.”  The economic damage worldwide is like nothing we’ve seen.  The extreme pressures on a household to survive AND keep healthy is felt on every block.

Last week I took the COVID-19 test.  It came back negative.  I work with tenants, some of who are high risk for the virus.  Whatcom County has opened up testing for workers like myself.  After announcing the results, a co-worker mentions, “you are negative as of last Wednesday.” Gulp!  What the heck?  We’d need to be tested every day or week?   Wait, is there a Fit-bit app for this? The antibody blood test is what I am really interested in.  I’ve met many people, who, like myself, suspect that they had the virus between the months of January-March before the lockdown began.

Lockdown fatigue is noticeable.  Irritability leading to miscommunication is not uncommon especially with email messages, even video meetings.  I like the philosophy that it is a time of grace and space.  To give it out quickly and in love, to the folks we interact with.  Everyone’s situation is different.  It is easy for me to imagine that a small percentage of my neighbors have 3 to 6 months worth of monthly income saved up in the bank.  Desperate times.  The weight is too much to bear.

I wrote this poem three years ago.  Thinking about it today, looking at my “Apocalypse Shelf”

Apocalypse Pantry
by Shannon P. Laws

I have found the warm caves in the woods
filled them with boxes of mac n’ cheese
tuna fish cans and cheap scented candles
Innumerable goods
A possessed witch is misunderstood
no matter how frugal
I am such a witch
waved my nude arms at the townspeople
walked the streets, survived the shrinking dollar
I have been her kind

 

Here is my current mood expressed by meme.  Take care and be kind. -Shannon

 

Day 12: Touch My Hand

Last night I dreamed someone touched my hand.  I was sitting on a grassy hill with three schoolmates.  One of the young men touched my hand!  In the dream, I felt shocked, scared of the germs and the boldness he possessed to touch another person’s hand.  What is my subconscious chewing on?  Is this the beginning of a post-pandemic world? Although I am living with a family member, working from home, video conferencing three times weekly, and go on an occasional errand for work, am I beginning to miss human contact…while fearing it at the same time?  Even without a pandemic to remind us, humans require human contact of all types, it can’t be denied.

Hopefully, we will continue to practice safe social interaction, including hugs.  Research shows that hugging may help reduce stress and lower your risk of anxiety, depression, and illness. Consider what a simple hug can do: Helps you feel connected. Hugging helps connect you to others and can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation

1) an observed joy- breakfast in bed felt especially fabulous this morning.

2) a real concern- Wondering if I should take the virus test.  I have no symptoms but I am an essential worker who occasionally needs to talk to the public.  I will ask my doctor.

3) a personal challenge- tonight, put on a trashy movie and go through your file cabinet!

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- This morning the kitchen was clean.  Changed my whole mood.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- This made me laugh this morning, read in the Whatcom Breaking News FB page:

1500 block Birchwood Ave. – Suspicious Person
Male riding a bicycle, playing demonic music from a boombox, waving around something that looks like a firearm, wearing a mask

Here is my mood meme for the day-