A dream of eventual retirement. What does it mean?

Cruising in Fiordland, New Zealand

Cruising in Fiordland: just be there

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In which my eyes are opened by a dream to the necessity, meaning, and value of so-called retirement and old age.


Do I want to retire? Do I want to grow old, even? Frankly, no! But in the end, it won’t be my decision. Some of my friends adore retirement. They have loved it from day one. But I love my life just the way it is. I feel more or less in charge of my own decisions, and all is well.

Looking ahead to the later years of life is a risky thing to do. In me, it has apparently stirring up feelings I was unaware of. They erupted last night in a dream with a message to myself about retirement.

It was an anxious dream. This is unusual: most of my dreams have a contented or hilarious emotional tone, regardless of their content.

As usual, my dream was loaded with a take-it-or-leave-it meaning and a message from me to me. As usual, they seemed pretty obvious the moment I woke up.

A dream in three acts

ACT 1. I commute to work by boat. I work in a grand corporate complex. I have high status and a good pay packet even though I do not have a law degree. (Gee, how can that be? Must be a dream…) My work consists of throwing special red satin bean bags to other staff members. (As you do.)

ACT 2. Time to get on a ferry and go to an important meeting. I can’t find my canvas shoulder bag, which contains very important professional items: mobile phone, wallet, pen, and a notebook—for taking notes at the meeting, obviously. The ferry is departing, I’d better get on. Maybe my bag is on the ferry…

ACT 3. On board I search for my bag, with no luck. I look back at the wharf and plan how to get back. The silky turquoise water is tranquil and crystal clear. I can see kelp and sand and fish and the peak of an underwater mountain about 100 metres behind us. So, I could swim back there and rest before someone fetches me, or I could just swim the whole way back. OK, decision made. I’m about to dive off the ferry when common sense hits. The water is icy cold. To try and swim back to land is madness, suicide. And what for? I don’t need a phone or a notebook here. I’m with friendly, colourful people. All around me, the world is beautiful, beautiful.

What meaning do you take from this dream?

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