To Dream, Perchance to Sleep

If George Bernard Shaw had been going through menopause, his quote would have read . . . “You see things, and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were, and I say, “What the hell was that about?”

I’ve always been an active sleeper. In fact, when I was 5 years-old my mother noticed that I was missing from my bed and the front door was open. She ran outside frantically, just in time to find me walking down the middle of a street pushing a baby carriage late one night. I was sound asleep.

A few years later my family awoke to the sound of my sister’s name echoing through the house. They followed the sound to our living room and ¬†found me in the fireplace calling for my sister up the chimney. Luckily we lived in California so the fireplace was never used.

Anyone who has ever slept with me will also tell you that I’ve also been known to kick, slap and punch while sleeping.

When I was in college, my best friend and I were visiting a friend and sharing a bed. During the night she awoke to find me straddling her while pulling at her hair. “What are you doing?” she said, alarmed but laughing. I finally regained consciousness and realized I had been dreaming that I was on a hill picking flowers. Obviously her head became my pasture.

The dreams picked up during my pregnancies, as I dreamed about my children-to-be. In one dream I could actually reach into my armpit, pull the fetus out, make sure everything was okay, and put him back.

Once I gave birth the dreams lessened from sheer exhaustion. Who could do anything but pass out at the end of the day when kids are around? But now that I have more time on my hands, and more hormones in my body, the nighttime activities are starting up.

Last night I dreamed that I was in a glass elevator that was plummeted into the sea. After a few moments of rushing through the ocean I arrived at Japan where I was met by a Cheetah. Next thing I know the Cheetah led me into the desert, and the sun was glaring. Sweat began to stream down my back and pool behind my knees. I felt the cheetah poking me in the back, and I wondered if he was going to attack me.

I woke up in the middle of a mother of a hot flash, and the cheetah became my husband, who was hoping I met get a towel or something so the sweat wouldn’t spread.

These weird dreams have really escalated during my menopausal years. I’m not sure what these dreams are about or if they’re about anything at all, but I do know that they are interrupting my sleep. I’ve begun yelling out and flailing again. In fact, I’ve bought a helmet and a cup for my husband. He now looks like Don Quixote when he gets into bed.

And I’ve chained the front door just in case I decide to take a midnight stroll through the neighborhood.

What is with these dreams? Are they trying to tell me something, or is my mind having the same flashes as my body?

I think it’s just one more ha-ha (but not funny ha-ha) side effect of menopause. Just when we need our rest more than ever, we can’t go to sleep. And once we do, our dreams drive us back to reality.

While I appreciate the fact that I could give birth to my kids, I’m pretty sure that the Stork or cabbage patch would have been a simpler alternative. Someday God and I are going to have that talk. Maybe the conversation can happen in my dreams.

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