Diapers and Dragons

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Dreams May Come (Dammit)

I rarely remember my dreams these days. I will wake with a vague impression of what has been spinning through my REM sleep, but even the wisps of memory remaining slip out of reach within a matter of minutes. My friend Heidi experiences lucid dreaming, for pleasure or pain, but other than a few youthful recurring dreams that, well, no longer recur, I don't recall what I dream.

I do know, however, that I dream. I'll wake with the emotional remnants of my sleeping experiences, most strongly when I am working through anger or sadness or, most especially, anxiety.

Ah, anxiety dreams. There's nothing quite like stumbling through one's morning routine with a vague sense of impending doom. It adds a certain murky spice to one's coffee.

Last night I had anxiety dreams: more specifically, financial anxiety dreams. I'm a worrier, and I have become hardwired to worry about money over the last few years. When we first moved into our townhouse and were wading through the changing finances of combined households and moving and the start of school, I had financial anxiety dreams resulting in restless sleep and (according to MTL) distressed mumbling. He had to wake me up a few times and reassure me that we were not, in fact, about to be consumed by an avalanche of arrears.

I don't think I was mumbling last night--certainly MTL shaking me to wakefulness had more to do with hitting the snooze button too many times than sleep talking--but I've been stumbling through my day with a weight of disquiet on my weary mind. I'm a zombie today. A zombie with a bank account that mutters dour reminders that bills are impending and rent is due in a few days and groceries have not been bought and, oh yeah, there's a rather significant function occurring in just over 108 days (according to that oh-so-handy and also slightly intimidating countdown clock at the top of this page) that requires saving money to cover the balances due in a few months...

We are by no means destitute, and I openly acknowledge that our problems are what Heidi likes to cheerfully call "first world problems." Food makes it onto our table, our children are clothed, we can cover our bills if we maneuvre things just so this month, and we have two incomes.

BUT. I look at my debt, which is high regardless of the reasonableness of its existence (student loans and the like). I look at our vehicles, which are both old--MTL's is no longer reliable for long distance travel--and neither of which are large enough to contain our entire family. I look at our credit rating, which is not high enough to get the kind of loan we need to pay off a certain debt that ties me too strongly to The Ex and the millstone of an upside-down mortgage for a house I don't even live in.

I wonder if perhaps we are foolish to spend this money on a wedding and honeymoon. There are those who think we are, whether they say so openly or no.

AND YET. We are spending less on the wedding and honeymoon combined than many people spend on just a wedding dress or wedding flowers. We certainly aren't spending irresponsibly in that regard. And there's a part of me--the part that is emphatically winning--that says it is somehow important to celebrate this event, that a courthouse ceremony isn't right for us, that we are not unreasonable to gather family and friends and show that YES, we love each other this much....

I don't know.

I'm tired and the Michigan skies are moistly gloomy today. Add that to the anxiety and depression of being told by The Powers That Be that my peers and I are somehow simultaneously Too Essential to be allowed to strike/negotiate/be heard and also Too Despicable to be treated with respect and human (ha) decency....

I suppose I'll take anxiety dreams over panic attacks. Brown paper bags aren't the most glamorous accessory.

2 bits of love:

Heidi said...

People who begrudge you the happiness of a special day should stuff it.

I mean that seriously. You and MTL deserve to have a day to celebrate your wedding. Period. If you were destitute and insisting on some over-the-top party, I might have some critical thoughts too, but you're not. You're living within your means and you're not doing anything extravagant.

mom said...

Hang in there. Your special day is indeed special, and you are indeed carefully preparing it. Keep finding ways to be thrifty and yet joyful!

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