House Dreams

I had a dream that my house was for sale. It was not my actual house, but a different house. Some people who were interested in purchasing it had turned the heat way up to cause damage to the house and get a better price. Not only was the excessive heat causing the paint to peel, but the walls themselves were melting.

I went to see about the damage, but when I walked in, to a different house, that I thought was empty, there were people living there. There was a young boy watching tv very loudly. His mother was surprised to see me and would not leave when I asked her to. Some sort of yelling and chasing—slapstick style—ensued.

Update: I had another dream on another night about a different house that I expected to be empty and there were different squatters there. I got angry and yelled at them that they had no right to be there. No chasing ensued.

Coronavirus and OCD

I was following the spreading of the coronavirus a little too closely, to the point that anxiety was building in a way that I didn’t even realize. From the start of the virus’ arrival in the US, I started viewing the NYT map several times a day. In my head I saw the time lapse version of more dots, bigger dots, and states turning yellow with reported cases.

I knew what time the map was updated. I knew how many cases were in the most infected states. And I watched the number click higher and higher several times every day. As the last few states reported cases, West Virginia was lone hold out. Earlier this week the coronavirus appeared in the 50th US state. The map was complete. And I was able to walk away from the my obsessive checking of the numbers. It was a huge relief.

Let It Go

Last night, after another long, busy day (yes, I know we are all having them), I put my phone down and read a book. I broke from the endless crisis stress scroll of social media and immersed myself in a travel story. I normally read a couple of books a week, so reading is a natural state for me. But I have been so caught up in tracking the spread of the coronavirus that I just haven’t picked up a book in a while. The act of letting go of the crisis—it will go on whether I pay attention or not—was huge for my mental health. I was able to relieve a ton of anxiety that I didn’t even realize was weighing so heavily on me. Please take a breath and let it go for a night. Spend quality time with family, do things you enjoy, catch up with friends on Facetime or Zoom. The crisis will still be there in morning when you wake up.

It’s Not Paranoia if They’re Not Really Out to Get You

Everyone is a little on edge with our pandemic, but I seem to be a little more so. I get startled by my own reflection in the window. And I hear voices outside my house and car that seem to be louder than they should be. But what really got to me was when I heard someone sneeze outside my window.