November 25, 2004

Nightmares of Worry

It's Thanksgiving today, so let me grouse a little before getting down to business.

I've had a cold for the last couple of days. It's not a horrible cold; I feel pretty good, so long as I quaff Robitussin regularly and don't try to do anything strenuous, like sleeping. It's a head cold, see, and I don't sleep well when I can hear--or worse, feel--myself breathing. Last night it gave rise to what I'll call nightmares of worry.

I have nightmares of worry every once in a long while--not nearly so often that I dread them, but often enough to have a name for them. They come in two flavors, one of which is, I suspect, familiar to lots of folks: the dream in which you spend a lot of time running around, trying to accomplish something for which the deadline is already passed, and you can't find the place you need to be. In my case, I'm usually in school (high school or college, or something that's supposed to be "college" but really looks more like high school), and I've just realized that there's a class that not only have I forgotten to do the homework for, I've also forgotten to attend. And I can't find the class room, or my books, or my locker, or my locker combination, or whatever.

The dreams I had last night were mostly of the second flavor. In this kind of dream, I'm trying to accomplish some kind of intellectual task--usually, working on some kind of software, but it varies. I'm not physically present; instead, I'm somehow interacting with a physical representation of the task. Sometimes I'm trying to make it do what I want it do; sometimes I'm just inspecting it to see if it's the way it should be.

Don't ask me to explain that, as whatever the task was never makes any sense at all when I wake up.

Whatever it is, it's always very important that it be right, and of course it's never right for long, and that makes me worry. And since I usually have this kind of dream when I'm only lightly asleep (because, for instance, I have a head cold) the worry makes it even harder to relax and sleep deeply.

What it comes down to is that it's Thanksgiving morning, and I'm tired and sniffly, and if I'm not grouchy yet it's still early in the day.

But, you know, Life is Good. Let me say that again: Life is Good. I've got a lot to complain about at the moment, but discomfort is relative, and it's always easy to find things to complain about. Blessings, on the other hand, blessings aren't relative. If I examine my life seriously, my emotional state consists of minor fluctuations on top of a huge tower of blessings.

So, without further ado (and congratulations if you've read this far) here are some of the blessings I'm thankful for.

  • I will never, ever, be able to say "My wife doesn't understand me" with a straight face.
  • My wife makes me laugh.
  • I make my wife laugh.
  • My kids are glad to see me when I come home from work.
  • AYSO soccer is over for the year.
  • I live in the house where I grew up.
  • My kids go to the same school I went to.
  • The smog's not nearly as bad as it was when I was a kid.
  • We've got four neat kids.
  • We aren't expecting a fifth kid.
  • I've got a good job working with interesting people.
  • Jane and I both have family in the neighborhood.
  • My two older kids were playing peek-a-boo with the baby this morning.
  • Metroid Prime 2 rocks.
  • I'm currently reading a Nevil Shute novel. (Pied Piper. Thanks, Ian!)
  • Lands End is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so I can obey the Biblical injunction to give no thought for what I'm to wear.
  • I'm regularly in touch with old friends.
  • I'm regularly in touch with new friends.
  • We go to a church where we know all the long-time members and people I've never laid eyes on before know my kids by name.
  • We go to a church where the faith received from the Apostles is still preached.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner is at someone else's house this year. (That's not unusual, but I'm still thankful for it.)
  • Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.
  • Jesus isn't simply an anthropomorphic metaphor for some remote, passionless, philsophical "ground-of-being," but rather is the Living God who died that we might have life and have it abundantly.
  • Pixar makes great movies.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • C.S. Lewis.
  • Lots of other authors.
  • VeggieTales, especially "Silly Songs with Larry".
  • Tcl/Tk.
  • Kleenex.
  • Lego.

I could continue, but one of my neat kids has just asked if he can watch me play Metroid Prime 2, so it's time to go battle the Spider Ball Guardian. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Will Duquette at November 25, 2004 10:57 AM