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Most Recent

The Dream

January 20, 2016

When it happened to this fellow in the movie ''Office Space'', at least the guy was showing up for work. When it was discovered that the woman had been getting paid for 12 years after being fired, she then applied for unemployment benefits.
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Most people dream. Scientists say that in fact everyone dreams, just not everyone remembers dreaming.

Of the ones who do remember, a small percentage will tell you that they have reoccurring dreams.These are the same or similar dreams that return to us, unbidden and seemingly without a waking connection, hijacking our regular night time programming.

I'm not sure what opens the door to our subconscious and lets out reoccurring dreams, but no doubt something from our waking hours has touched us. A hope or a fear that we've given thought to, or perhaps a reminder from our past has sent an unseen signal that calls for a rerun of The Dream.

Psychologists say that dreams are unresolved issues that our minds are dealing with in the 'Safe' mode. Whatever the trigger, our subconscious schedules our familiar dream to visit us once again when it deems us in need of it.

I have a friend who was raising a very large family in the '90's. In spite of the good salary he was earning things were pretty much hand to the eleven mouths he was feeding. Without warning and in the midst of a long and successful career, he got downsized and he suddenly faced the task of keeping his family together without an income.

He persevered and found another way of making a living and keeping his family clothed and fed, but now years later he is visited regularly in his dreams with a replay of that stressful time in his life. At least once a month he will tell me during one of our phone conversations, 'I got fired again last night'.

The thing is, when these old and worn dreams come to you in the night, they are brand new to your sleeping persona. It is only later, upon awakening that you realize it was just your familiar rerun inflecting itself on your defenseless sleeping self, complete with the power to upset you all over again.

But not all reoccurring dreams are nightmares. I have my own little vignette which comes to me every few weeks and I mention it here only because I find it interesting. The Dream does present me with a conundrum while I'm asleep, but I think I understand it enough for it to have a positive effect on my waking hours.

Like my friend's drama about getting fired, my dream also concerns my livelihood, and to understand it I need to tell you a bit about my work history.

When I was a young man before starting my flying career, I worked for five years a salesman for the US Rubber Company, selling Keds tennis shoes to retail stores. Later I worked for Cessna Aircraft Company as a Multi Engine Demonstration Pilot, also for five years. For almost all the rest of my working life I've been self employed, involved in selling aircraft all over the world. It is these facts that makes The Dream interesting to me, and this is how it occurs.

Night has arrived and as is my custom after going to bed, I have read until I can stay awake no longer. I take off my reading glasses, rub my tired eyes and lay my book on the night stand as I turn off the light. Random thoughts flit by like feeding bats, then slow as I sink deeper and deeper toward slumber. Night sounds move farther from my consciousness, my breathing slows. I sleep.

The Dream bubbles up, again to be billed as this night's Main Feature. Once again I am working as an employee of US Rubber Company. Or of Cessna, for it changes and they seem to have worked out a schedule for sharing me.

In The Dream the time is the present and I have been working for this company for the past forty or fifty years, but now there's a problem. Many years ago Personnel had somehow lost my records and apparently had forgotten all about me. Through a glitch however, the company had gone on paying me and I had dishonestly failed to bring this to their attention. They had been faithfully sending my salary to me, but there had been no other contact with me at all. No communications, no meetings, no supervisor. Only the paycheck, arriving month after month, year after year.

Of course the inevitable slowly happened. Without someone to report to or reports on my work to submit, I had over the years gradually slackened my efforts until the duties that I was responsible for are now only dim memories. I haven't really worked at my job for decades and have grown accustomed to the faithfully appearing paycheck. I've settled comfortably into a lifestyle dependent upon 'mailbox money' in exchange for no effort on my part.

Now disaster has struck. Someone in accounting has discovered me. A person who wasn't born when I was hired has asked, 'who is this guy and why have we been paying him for nothing for forty years?'

I am shocked. How could I have let this happen? I had forgotten to do what I was being paid to do and now I would lose my livelihood.

Perhaps I can pull off some great coup d'é·tat and I'll be allowed to keep my job. The resulting scramble is pathetic as I frantically try to find a shoe store that still sells Keds, or to find a dealer for Cessna twins that haven't been produced in a quarter century.

There are slight variations of this, but it stays pretty close to the gist of this scenario. I do understand the meaning of the dream though, and it serves me both as an affirmation of my chosen profession and a warning to always appreciate it.

I am one of the lucky ones who has always loved my life's work. In a sense I feel as if I've never really had to work to make a living. I've just always done what I wanted to do and enjoyed the airplanes, the travel and the people I've worked with and the living just seemed to take care of itself.

I think The Dream is to remind me of that, and most importantly to caution me to never, ever take it for granted.

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Steve Weaver Aircraft Sales - Route 3 Box 696 - Phillipi, West Virginia - Phone 304-457-4523 - Fax 304-457-4799 A picturesque bed and breakfast located on the Tygart River in the scenic hills of West Virginia.

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