Saturday, May 29, 2010

Packing and Packing and Packing

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.


  1. Bertrand Russell was always worried about things until he realized one day that no matter what happened, the universe would be fine. Then he stopped worrying.

  2. One of my recurring dreams is of forgetting the combination on my locker door in school--even though I never ever did. I STILL have that dream. I'm sure Freud would find a handy explanation.