For a week I’ve had the most terrible dreams–rats infesting the basement, vacuuming hoards of spiders from the garage, abductions, rages, lost parts of things important.
First I thought it was a mounting holiday tension brought on by lists I make for myself but fail to write down. I keep files in the well-worn parts of my mind: cookies, pies, stockings, cat litter, dusting. My kids are still so small, my plans are so much bigger and every time I have to step back and step off leaving a little bit undone.
But the holidays came and we were festive with our families. Santa left pressies under the tree. Little girls slept and laughed and played. Still the dreams, all ugly and inconsistent, crawled through the night and made nests in my hair. On Christmas Day, I pulled a muscle in my neck. I was confined to the couch or bed for two days.
Maybe it was my body yelling, those dreams.
Finally, on the last day my husband had off work, I was mobile again. The house had collapsed under the chaos. We organized and cleaned and stacked as best we could. I went to bed without a hot water bottle and slept hard. Still, the dreams clamored in fits teasing the underlids of my eyes. I woke several times clear and certain of a thing that would be forgotten in an hour’s time.
I’ve hardly written this month. After the deep breaths and constant work of November Nano I hardly count this month as written at all. And then there are the hard facts, it’s almost a whole new year. The one goal I set for myself didn’t happen. I was a born reject with too few submissions sent out to constitute a whole lot of trying. But write I did, I wrote myself a whole new set of rules starting with just plain truth–ugly or no.
So, maybe that’s it–the rats in my basement, the spiders in my garage–anger and frustration with myself over not getting and not meeting my own expectations. Maybe I should just take my husband’s advice then and cut myself some slack. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.