Strange Dream Sequences and Short Attention Spans

10-year-old on 2020: "I find it helpful to run around the yard and scream sometimes."

Two aspects of Life During Covid are especially peculiar to me. One, I now regularly have the strangest dream sequences. Apparently I'm not alone in this, given that last week my husband dreamed he fought off angry vagabonds who were trying to break into our home by battering down our garage door and climbing through the medicine cabinet.


In one of my most recent dreams, which was less aggressive than my husband's but no less stressful, I'm allowed to steal anyone's voice and I'm forced to choose what singer I should sound like. I immediately consider taking Anna Kendrick's voice, but then I think, "Wait, no, I should choose Lady Gaga." At this point it becomes exceedingly challenging. If I'm stuck in a shower and I need to harmonize to "Titanium," it won't sound right if I'm Lady Gaga. But if I'm on a stage wearing a white jumpsuit, and sweat is causing my shaggy bangs to fall in my eyes as I belt out "Always Remember Us This Way" and Bradley Cooper gazes at me admiringly, then it clearly wouldn't be right if I sound like Anna Kendrick.


I don't know what voice I should have! And time is ticking away! What if I want to be able to sing like both of them, for different songs, in different settings? How can I pick just one voice for ALL of the musical contexts I clearly will find myself in?


Then I wake up, never having made a decision, and realize that I still sing like myself.


There's also a recurring dream thread where I live in different locations ranging from former apartments to random log cabins, and I keep discovering new doors that lead to hallways lined with rooms I've never noticed before. While there's no explanation why, each room is crammed with stuff (perhaps cast off by former occupants?): full bookshelves, overflowing drawers, cluttered closets, and disarrayed piles on every flat surface. Room by room, hallway after hallway, I'm required to sort, organize, and clean it all.


It's not restful when you wake up after having cleaned all night. Why Dream Robin keeps opening up the doors to find these relentlessly dirty rooms is a mystery. My wakeful self wants to yell a warning: Quit while you're ahead! Don't open another door, girl!


Feel free to psychoanalyze any of these scenarios and get back to me.


Two, besides the bizarre and vivid dreams, I've come to the sad realization that I now have the attention span of a fly, which -- in case you were wondering -- is roughly 9-12 seconds.


Simple tasks require extraordinary focus. Large portions of my brain are devoted to remembering ever-shifting schedules for basic events that used to be consistent, like which days of the week my children will attend school. (It's Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week, but Tuesday and Thursday next week, unless our district reverts back to complete online instruction, like we had the past three weeks, except for that one day which was designated a "snow day" and all the kids had off because, well, it's 2020.)


So, yeah. We're doing great here. Just fighting intruders, singing pitch perfectly, cleaning random rooms that are mysteriously attached to our house, and sort of (but not quite) knowing our daily schedules.


It's the new normal.

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