I don’t know about you, but one topic of conversation that always has me reaching for my pillow, is one that starts off with the following sentence.
“I had the strangest dream last night…..”
This is then followed by a long and detailed recount of my companion’s dream, which really only has any meaning to them and no one else. Having said that, I came across an article recently that could have been about me.
“For 30 years after her HSC history exam in 1980, Diana Prichard regularly dreamed about going into an exam and knowing nothing. She would wake with her heart racing and feeling sick.
– Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October
Diana and I have something in common. 20 years ago I sat my HSC Modern History Exam, a subject in which I was enrolled in but clearly did not attend, as the test may as well have been written in Mandarin. On reflection, I cannot even recall owning the required text book. Those two hours were the longest of my life, sitting there in that hall while all my peers’ constructed meaningful essays about people I had never heard of.
Students sitting University of Adelaide exams in Centennial Hall, Wayville 18 Nov 1957. Image via news.com.au.
To this day I have regular dreams about that experience and, like Diana, I wake up feeling anxious.
To dream about an exam can signal that you are unprepared for a challenge, or are under scrutiny in some way. And now that I know this, it makes me even more anxious about having that dream. Oh how I wish I had studied harder! If I could go back and talk to that nightmare 17 year old Mrs. Woog, I would tell her:
“Listen up! Go to the bloody history class and take some notes. For no other reason, this will save you from reliving this nightmare for the rest of your life. And stop smoking now, and wear sunscreen. Oh, and your mother is right. Your boyfriend IS a loser”
Another common reoccurring dream that I have is where I have the ability to fly. In my dream, I am not morphed into a bird, or a fairy, but just me. An ordinary woman who can walk down the street, run a few steps and take off like an A380 Airbus. It is a very handy sub-conscious skill to have. I take myself on all sorts of adventures.
A little research into this reveals that if you dream you are flying, you are feeling in control of your life. You have a strong sense of personal power and are ready to face any challenge.
Ironically, I have never dreamt that I flew into that bloody history exam.
Ever lost your teeth in a dream? You most likely have. It is the second most common dream, after being chased. The third most common dream is the one where you cannot find a toilet, which is quite often a real life nightmare, especially at shopping centres and sporting events.
So, you are dreaming that your teeth are falling out. According to the Chinese, you are a lying scoundrel. In Greek culture, it is a symbol that someone you love is not long for this world.
The general consensus though, is that you are just not as hot as you used to be, according to your own mind. Women entering menopause report that this dream frequently visits them at night. It is often linked to anxieties about appearances, but I think it is nothing that a good floss cannot fix.
And then there is my favourite recurring dream of all time.
It involves George Clooney (back when he was Dr. Doug Ross, pictured left). We would be getting up to some hi-jinx in the supply room at County General Hospital. And just when the going gets really good, one of my kids inevitably comes into the bedroom to wake me up. Because he is hungry.
Every. Single. Time.
And no, you cannot get back to sleep to continue where you left off. God knows I have tried. I just have to hope that George comes a calling in my dreams sooner, rather than later.
And with much more regularity than the evil Modern History exam dream in which I, not surprisingly, failed.
Is your recurring dream a nightly delight, or a complete nightmare?
What is it?
MORE STORIES BY MRS WOOG
*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter @Woogsworld.