A friend of mine made an interesting comment in facebook last week, in response to my post about the ants on the rat.
She said, ‘Since working at the vet’s, I am having a lot of animal dreams!!!! Am just thinking of places I wouldn’t want to work!!!’
I hadn’t really given much thought to work-related dreams, probably at least in part because most of my job these days consists of day-dreaming.
But I straight away realised that lots of people do report having workplace-related dreams, and not just big-ticket dreams about interviews or major projects; often these dreams feel like a continuation of everyday routines.
It struck me that this could be a double whammy, if you were doing a job that didn’t fire you and then having dreams about it that didn’t fire you either.
Which brought me to the wider question – is one way of making your dream-life more satisfying by trying to inject more fun and challenges into the day? I’ve seen this suggestion in a number of dream books over the years, but never felt convinced by it.
It seems to me that although the things of the dayworld are undeniably reflected in dreams, the practical, objective, outer life is very much the minor part of what the dayworld is. You can have a waking life which seems narrow and small, with very little variety and travel, yet your dream life be rich and amazing.
The day world is much more than external events; it is also the inner world of ideas and imagination, and dreams reflect the objects and qualities of both outer and inner daytime experience.
Therefore, although working at the vet’s might make me dream more about animals, so might reading animal stories or surrounding myself with animal pictures.
And if I got my nightmare job, taking the money in a toll booth say, then maybe listening to adventure stories on the ipod or grabbing a few pages in quiet times or jotting down ideas in my breaks might save me from dreaming, ‘One-fifty, please… thank you… one fifty please… thank-you…’
This suddenly makes me think of William Carlos Williams scribbling his poems on the back of a prescription pad between patients.
Confession coming up.
I didn’t have a medical problem when I was working in my various ‘proper’ jobs… I had the lid down, reading!