Most of us have had recurring dreams. For years, I had an exam dream in which I faced an exam that I wasn't prepared for, in a course I'd never taken. It took many years after my last law school exam for that recurring dream to cease. Since my recent trip to Memphis, though, I've been having a new recurring dream about, of all things, packing.
I found packing for my son's wedding in Memphis one of the more challenging packing experiences of my life. Usually, I try to pack light, though I rarely accomplish that goal. This time, though, I didn't care about packing light. I just wanted to make sure I brought the right clothes and plenty of them. I even packed a backup dress for the wedding itself. I'd heard a story about a woman whose zipper broke as she was getting dressed for her son's wedding and I didn't want to be without a dress in case of such an emergency.
For several days, I piled clothes on every available surface in my bedroom, then began adding and subtracting items. I finally accomplished my goal — filling a medium-sized suitcase with apparel and toilet articles. That bag would have to be checked. I planned to carry on a garment bag containing the dress I would wear to the wedding.
Everything worked out fine. The suitcase made it through baggage without getting lost and the zipper on my dress didn't break. I had just the clothes I needed and wore almost everything I packed. Nevertheless, I apparently still have packing on the brain. Every few nights since my return from Memphis, I've had a dream about packing. In it, I'm selecting items for a trip. I keep getting distracted. I can't remember exactly what I need. It's almost time to leave and I haven't started putting clothes in my suitcase. I frantically attempt to pack but I can't ever seem to finish . . . And then I wake up.
I wish that while in my dream state I would come up with some good packing strategies for future trips. But that seems a futile hope. More likely, I'll face my next packing challenge with even greater anxiety knowing that it can be a never-ending task, re-lived nightly in my dreams.