This time of year is always hard on the psyche. It starts coming on early in April without even realizing it, and then progresses each day until the 19th. Even when the date slips my mind, once I realize that the depression is setting in again, I am reminded to look at the calendar and there it is; April 19th.
A quick Google search on that date and the US Navy will lead you to what this date is, and this year is especially meaningful because it is the 25th anniversary. Not one to celebrate of course, but one to remember, and to use in honor of the 47 who gave their lives that day in 1989, and the remaining 800 or so of us who had to live through the bullshit that followed during the investigation. Regardless, if you are reading this before the 19th, or after the 19th, please take a moment to remember those 47 sailors who were taken from us 25 years ago.
I’ve been dreaming up a storm lately. They have been running the gamut from my “Navy Dreams” to “Race Dreams”. Navy Dreams are always interesting. I have been out of the Navy 23 years, which is double the time I was IN the service, but I still have dreams like it was yesterday. They all seem to revolve around the same basic premise; I am shipping out on deployment and I don’t have a complete seabag. How anal retentive is that? For those who are not aware, a seabag is what we are issues in boot camp which a full complement of uniforms and gear. When you are being deployed, senior petty officers (usually a first class) does a seabag inspection where you have to lay everything you have out on your rack to ensure you have everything needed for the deployment (since getting clothes, toiletries, etc. can be hard in the middle of the Atlantic/Pacific/Mediterranean/ Indian Ocean). There is a list of requirements that are checked off for each crew member; 5 undershirts, 7 pairs of socks, boots, dress shoes, dress whites, dress blues, 5 hats, etc. etc. And isn't it a bit scary that I remember those requirements 23 years later?? So most Navy Dreams are of me not having enough t-shirts and the ship is pulling away from the dock for 7 months.
I had a race dream the other night that was … well actually a good dream if it comes true. I was running with Jennifer in the Ironman and looked at my watch and saw I had been racing 14:00:32 (how detailed is that, eh?). I looked at Jennifer (who was in front of me as usual) and asked “what mile are we at??”
She said “just crossed mile 20”.
“We only have 6.2 miles left?”
“How can that be? My feet don’t hurt. I still feel good. And I should finish in 15 hours?”
Obviously, this is a dream. While finishing under 16 hours I think is doable, doing so with no pain and feeling “fresh”? Don’t think so at all.
Still … I can dream right??
So, to keep up the dream theme (that rhymes … get it?), I had a little disturbing one last night. My son was applying for a job and gave me a resume he had written up to look at. When I read over the resume it was like a first grader had written it (full disclosure, my son actually is a very good writer, but this is a dream right?), but I didn't know how to tell him it was that bad. I think this is just my concern for my son being a bit “lost” right now as he is trying to find his place, and not sure how to help him. I think it is easy for some to judge him as lazy, and to be honest he is a bit lazy, but I know his heart, and I know his intelligence. This is why seeing him floundering right now is more disturbing and upsetting; because I know he has greatness in him. I just don’t know how to get it out of him.
I have always been a very lucid dreamer, even from an early age. Very clear dreams, not usually ones that are indecipherable. I can pick up on the meanings usually. I know why I am dreaming about things once I think them through. One of my earliest memories is of a dream where I was standing on the couch where I lived with my Mom and brother and sister looking out the front window. My father pulled up in front of the house in his Sheriff car (he was actually a motorcycle cop, so that was different), got out and was standing there waving at me. I remember saying “Daddy I want to go for a ride” and he said “No, Johnny, you have to stay here and take care of your brother and sister”. Then he got in the car and drove away. I am guessing I was about 4 when I had that dream, and my father was killed by a drunk driver while on duty when I was three (September 1966 to be exact). It wasn't the only time I had a dream with him in it. I remember another one after a particularly bad physical fight with my step-father when I was about 13 or so. I was lying in bed and heard someone call my name. I turned over and Dad was in my doorway. I couldn't see his face though, but he had his uniform on. “Try to understand your Dad, Johnny. He’s doing the best he knows how.” Then he just walked away. This was so real that for years I wondered if it was a dream at all, but it had to be right?
I don’t get “visited” be everyone one in my dreams, so it has always interested me in the people that do show up vs. the ones that don’t. I find that those closest to me don’t show up that much. I was very close to my grandfather and grandmother, but I never dream about them. I barely knew my father but he shows up all the time. I never dream about wives, girlfriends, or even friends, but random work people and acquaintances show up routinely. The one above with Zak in it was one of the few I have had with him, too. I wonder what that means.
So, do you dream vividly like this, and if you do are they helpful or harmful in your opinion?