It was the kind of dream that woke me up with a start, and left me sweating and with my heart pounding. I was still feeling shaky a little later when I started writing about it, although the more I thought about it, the sillier it seemed. Still, I found myself analyzing it in order to determine where it came from.

Like many people, I’ve been glued to the television over the last few days, unable to turn away from the news of everything that’s happened – especially in Washington on Wednesday. There’s been a scary and surreal quality that is growing even now, several days later. I’m pretty sure that’s what brought on my dream.

In the dream, I was with a tour group in Paris. As soon as we dropped our luggage off at the hotel, we got on a bus that took us to a museum. At some point, while waiting in a long line, I worried about being late catching up with the group. Later, after searching every floor of the museum and not finding anyone I knew – this was a very small museum, not the Louvre – I realized they must have left without me.

That’s when the unsettling part of the dream began, because I couldn’t remember the name of the hotel we were staying at, or even the name of the tour group. All of the IDs and info I should have had with me were still in my luggage back at the hotel. Naturally, my phone didn’t work, and my only options seemed to be looking through a long list of every hotel in Paris in the hope that I’d recognize and remember the one we were staying at, and hoping the tour group would notice my absence and come back for me before the museum closed for the night.

That’s when I popped awake. And silly as the dream seemed in the light of day, it still took me a while to shake off the feelings it brought on.

I’m sure that COVID – and the continually rising number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths – contributed to the panic and isolation the dream instilled in me. The riots at the capitol – and the still-volatile aftermath – likely brought on the fear and foreboding I felt at the threat of being out on the street, stranded and alone, as night began to fall.

I’m not sure how I ended up in Paris, especially since the Paris in my dream looked more like downtown Chicago, where I worked for several years after college. Still, that’s a minor detail.

Maybe my dream was a wake-up call – no pun intended – warning me of the need to differentiate between what I can and can’t control in my life. To make note of how I react to news and events, both positive and negative. And to limit how much of that news I watch and listen to.

I hope that doing so will give me a better perspective with regard to what’s going on in our country and the world. That it will help me feel more in control, and less helpless, in my life right now. And that it will allow me to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

With sweet dreams, rather than scary ones.

January 9, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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