My brain is in overwhelm mode after an intense workday yesterday. Among the many hats I wear, one is that of a psychotherapist in a group practice. Blessedly, during the past year, we have been able to offer telehealth sessions. From the comfort and ease of my dining room table, barefoot in the warm weather and fuzzy socked in the cooler temps, I sit snuggled when need be under the handmade blanket given to me by my BFF Barb. It is tie-dyed fleece; just perfect for her ‘flower child friend’ who has known and loved her since our adolescence. It used to be on my couch in my office in the ‘before times’. I look forward to when I can tote it back, drape it over the back of the black cloth piece of furniture and see my clients face to face. There, we will make eye contact without a computer screen between us and if they cry, I can offer the tissue box that sits on my desk that has been unused since the calendar read April 2020. I also will put a new calendar in its place to celebrate the return to some semblance of normalcy. I received my second vaccine six weeks ago and still plan to wear a mask at the office until the ‘all clear’ signal is broadcast.
One of my long-term clients apologized for ‘”spilling it all at your feet,” as she shared what was on her mind and in her heart that she had toted around for decades. I reminded her that it was what I am here for and that she didn’t need to take care of me. That’s my job, so in the nick of time, my son called and asked if I wanted to take a walk in a park with him and Lauren and my year old grandson. It was a gorgeous late winter felt like spring PA day after weeks of heaps of snow. Fortunately, I had a gap between clients. Dean’s antics. including his first time in a swing, on a sliding board, and running around in the grass recharged me for the next client. His delighted laughter has medicinal properties. I wish I could bottle it.
I’m juggling learning a new system for work that has a steep learning curve, doing my regular writing gigs, and am immersed in a new PR project, as well as taking time for daily workouts at home, plus morning babysitting. Last night, I had some intense dreams that were reflective of all that I am juggling. They involved getting lost, without my purse, phone, and wallet (a pretty regular dream occurrence), separated from my friends Karen and Gary who were traveling with me, walking into a place that makes tombstones and the top of one of them broke off. I went to tell someone and that’s how I wandered off from my friends. There was a woman videotaping me as I walked away. I went to a train station and asked if the woman behind the counter could page them and she couldn’t. I walked into the booth and opened the hatch of a tunnel that burrowed down several hundred feet. Frightened, I walked away. I ended up in someone’s house who called my friends and they rescued me. They had my belongings with them. I hugged them and woke up relieved.
I welcome dreams that help me off-load the day’s events and enjoy processing their meaning. The two people I could identify are dear to me and have been spiritual guides in the past 20-some years I have known them. She is a nurse and he is a psychologist, so they have professional wisdom as well. In the dream, they kept my belongings safe and had been looking for me too. The tombstone seemed to symbolize a way of memorializing my past and what needed to die to help me be reborn. It was broken and crumbling and I couldn’t read the inscription. Maybe I was also letting go of this last year of death and chaos. The woman at the train station wasn’t willing to do a simple task like calling out for my friends when it could have easily helped me find them sooner. Sometimes I make things harder for myself than they have to be. The tunnel beckoned me to go deeper, but I was frightened that I would never be able to emerge from it, so I closed the lid and walked away.
What I have learned about myself over the years is that I have undiagnosed ADHD. I am easily distracted and have difficulty focusing at times. Ideas come fast and furious and I sometimes have to gather them together like wandering kittens. I often have difficulty sitting still and tend to fidget. At night, I find it challenging to quiet my busy-buzzy brain. Prayer helps. Deep breathing helps. Visualizing putting my thoughts in a box to let them sleep too helps. I also ask for solutions for anything troubling me. That’s where the dream screening comes in. Usually, I awaken with ideas for how to resolve them and as a bonus, article fodder. There are times when I write in my sleep as if taking dictation and then set fingers to keyboard. That’s what happened this morning and what you are reading is a result of that magic trick.
Nearly a year ago, I had pandemic panic, not only due to the unknown quality and the danger of the disease itself but of what it meant to my activity level and the human interaction on which I thrive. Clearly, I have found plenty to keep me busy and my relationships have continued to deepen as we connect heart to heart even if not face to face. As we get closer to a return to somewhat normal times, it isn’t traveling, or eating in a restaurant, or going to a movie, sans mask that I will celebrate as much as the missed hugs which I will need to compensate for.
Here are some sent virtually until they can be offered freely once again.
This post is republished on Medium.
The Good Men Project gives people the insights, tools, and skills to survive, prosper and thrive in today’s changing world. A world that is changing faster than most people can keep up with that change. A world where jobs are changing, gender roles are changing, and stereotypes are being upended. A world that is growing more diverse and inclusive. A world where working towards equality will become a core competence. We’ve built a community of millions of people from around the globe who believe in this path forward. Thanks for joining The Good Men Project.
Support us on Patreon and we will support you and your writing! Tools to improve your writing and platform-building skills, a community to get you connected, and direct access to our editors and publisher. Your support will help us build a better, more inclusive world for all.
Photo credit: Shutterstock