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new featureAn Out of Country Experience-Part 10
(Please check the archives if you've missed previous installments)

Rebecca L. Morgan
How to Get Back to Work When You Don't Feel Like It
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Barfly Tales From The Barstool By: Clint Lien
"Just call me King"
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In My Opinion
By L.N.P.

Perchance to Dream

In my dream last night I was walking through some sort of classroom, office, gallery-type space, and there were paintings on the wall. I noticed one in particular; it was kind of a salmon-pink-mauve color, and I reached out to touch it. I remembered having been harshly admonished for doing that in an art museum once by my ex-boss, who, in my dreams, always represents the much-despised authority figure who makes me horribly anxious and/or ferociously angry (a role hardly metaphorical). At any rate, when I touched the painting it was still wet, like thick finger paints, so I began to use my finger to change the painting. There was a pattern, somewhat rectangular, and I began to outline something more fanciful, with more curves and flourishes. I liked my version better than the original.

However, the authority figure, as always, criticized me; how dare I touch, much less alter a piece of art. Deflated, I went to sit by myself, when an elderly gentleman approached. It was Picasso (and don't ask me how I know; it was a dream!) and he sat beside me, speaking quietly, confidentially.

"I like what you did to my painting," he said. "You greatly improved it."

I NEVER have dreams like that. My dreams generally fall into one of several categories. There are the anxiety dreams, which tend to revolve around being unprepared (generally I have packed all the wrong things, or nothing at all, for some incredible trip, or I am about to take an important exam for which I have, inexplicably, not studied). These particular dreams are recurring; I have had them in a multitude of forms for many years.

Then, there are the rage dreams. Those are when I get to express my anger, hostility, resentment, even hatred-all those emotions I normally repress in favor of headaches, irritable bowels, lower back pain and generalized anxiety-but in my dreams I scream, throw tantrums, cause fights, confront my demons. My ex-boss appears most frequently in these dreams.

The rest of my dreams are generally involved, complex, and difficult to interpret, filled with strange juxtapositions of people from various stages of my life, showing up in surreal settings, engaging in absurd activities. Some are sad, some frightening, some just confusing.

And then, of course, I have the occasional, but always welcome, sexual fantasy dream.

So why this remarkably affirming dream last night, this dream that not only gave me permission to create change, but that rewarded my efforts. Well, that's the easy part. My husband and I have just gone through an amazing month, a month in which we have made a great many decisions, acted upon them, and changed our lives. Within a month we decided we had to reduce the monthly nut that was slowly burying us, which meant parting with the huge mortgage payments on what we once thought of as our "dream home," and/or finding a way to stop paying rent every month for office space. Once we made the decision, we found, almost immediately, the perfect solution...a lovely home with a huge separate office. That meant that we could work from home, in a highly professional office setting. And, the house itself is about half the size of our old house, making it just the right size for two people, their dogs and their cat.

Within a week we had put a deposit down on the new home, signed all the papers, and moved out of our office into the new office, set up the cable and the phones and the DSL connections along with the ten computers. In the same week we listed our house for sale, and accepted an offer by the end of that week. Within the next two weeks we had signed the escrow papers and, working day and night emptying, discarding, packing, lifting, carrying, trudging, toiling with bodies bruised and aching, moved into our new home. We literally spent Christmas in our old home, and ushered in the New Year in our new one.

And it's absolutely perfect...clean, bright, easy to maintain, and a pleasure to live in. I must admit that I've been "nesting" quite a bit...decorating and cleaning and polishing and buying stuff...and the results are, well, a work of art. Maybe not a Picasso, but art nonetheless. As for the monthly nut; that's been reduced by about 2/3rds. To say we're happy with our decision would be an understatement. We're ecstatic.

For some crazy reason, we all tend to resist change. We struggle, often against all reason, to maintain the status quo. But change can be a beautiful thing, well worth the effort. And it brings with it its own rewards, along with some nearly perfect dreams.

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