In the wee hours of the morning, I dreamed a recurring scene: I was supposed to write a magazine article about parents setting goals in front of their children so they can show them how to do it in their own lives. I planned to use the (somewhat silly) example of growing out my hair–as my daughter watched me doggedly struggle through bad hair days and awkward seasons–until I got my hair the way I wanted it.
So far, so good. (?)
But in my dream, every time I wrote a couple of paragraphs, the computer screen ate them and I was left with nothing. Then I grabbed a notebook and rewrote them, but I couldn’t read my own handwriting. Back to the computer.
The clock kept ticking, and I was aware that I had fifteen minutes until my article was due. This scenario replayed itself in my dream like a wretched little GIF until I woke up, cranky and stressed.
After the kids and I ate breakfast and fed the dogs, I headed to my bedroom to write. I told them that I needed some time to work because I’ve given myself a deadline to finish a first draft of my second novel before I leave the country next week (it doesn’t look like I’ll meet this goal, but I’ll probably come close).
I still felt the cloud of that anxious dream hanging over me and I wondered if my kids will think I’m crazy someday. But then I consoled myself with this thought: They’re seeing me work towards little and big goals every day, and, crazy or not, I’m showing them how to keep going.
I tell myself that’s got to count for something.
Moral of the story: Don’t use over-the-counter sleep aids unless you’re prepared to dream in GIFs .