There come several times a year when, I’ll admit it, I get stressed out. Right now – between spring storytime, chairing the district conference planning committee, and planning Summer Reading Club – is one of those times. As a department head and one who works with the public, I try hard not to let my stress show at work. I take deep breaths, calm myself before dealing with problems or snapping off heated emails, and try to stay positive. But there is one place where my stress shows through: in my dreams.
I have two recurring dreams that pop up when I’m especially stressed. (Kind of funny since I’m planning for the Dream Big summer reading theme…)
The first is about storytime. In this dream, I usually have a giant crowd of people. Sometimes I have no place to put all of them and they’re spread out in my department or we’re in another huge space. Sometimes I can’t get everyone’s attention. Sometimes I am singing songs but I can’t remember the words. Sometimes I have forgotten to plan for my storytime and I’m desperately searching for a book that will get everyone’s attention and I can’t find one. I can’t think of the title I wanted to use with them. Or I have a book, but it’s only barely keeping everyone’s attention and for some reason I don’t put it down and pick up something else.
My second recurring dream is that the library is closing (or has closed) and I can’t get people to leave. They’re lounging around, they keep coming in the door, and the clock keeps ticking way past the point where I should be leaving and going home. Only I can’t because I can’t get everyone to leave!
I know that this, too, shall pass. And I know I’ll get everything done that I need to get done. I know that this year, just as we’re wrapping up Summer Reading Club, the Olympics will be starting! It’ll all be okay.
Librarians, tell me you have stress dreams, too!
— Abby Johnson, Children’s Managers
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
* Gratuitous sleeping kitten photo from RBerteig, used with Creative Commons license.