A Tale of Two Houses

I’ve had a recurring dream for the past 18 months.  In my dream, I am in the home of my real life, when I discover hallways I don’t remember and rooms I forgot were there.  I am always amazed by vast amounts of unimagined space.  The forgotten rooms are sometimes empty, but more often than not they are piled with dusty furniture and trash and misplaced items.  My first response is excitement – look at all this space!  We were living in half of what we could truly occupy!  My next response is usually frustration – why didn’t I realize this space was here?  And why is it being used so poorly?  My final response is an energetic need to get things cleaned out and to do right by the space that was found.

I had the dream again last night, and it brought me back to a curious attempt at rendering a meaning from it.  My best guess is that the dream has two meanings – one physical, and one emotional/spiritual.

18 months ago, when I first started having the dream, I was finishing my last pregnancy.  It was summer, my husband was gone a lot, and I had little energy to do much with our home.  It got messier and more cluttered, and though I knew there was good reason for my neglect, I remember feeling frustrated that I couldn’t properly convey my appreciation for a good, safe home.  And by “properly convey,” I mean to keep things organized, in working order, and to use every bit of space efficiently.

Fast forward to today, and we are in a home more than twice the size of our last house.  I have a toddler who is in to *everything* and four active school-aged children.  I write, I read, I volunteer, I serve.  I do not, however, do housework beyond what I deem as necessary.  (clean underwear = necessary.  clean bathtub = not so necessary.)  Because of financial circumstances, we have not been able to furnish the additional space in our house.  We have wide, open spots throughout our home.  I have to admit, I think it looks awkward.  I often feel guilty for the extra space and the way it feels wasted and unused.  I sometimes feel gluttonous.

In a “physical” sense, I just cannot devote my time and energy to maintaining a polished home.  I have a deep desire to have things “just so,” but where desire meets reality, reality is the clear victor.  And yet…I think my dream is asking me to reconsider what might be possible.  I think I’m supposed to stretch myself a little, and in being creative, find more and better ways to use this blessing of a home.

In an emotional/spiritual sense, I think of the discovered rooms as parts of myself that I have left unattended.  I have the ready defense of Busy Motherhood to keep me from committing to more care for my health and spiritual well-being, but – again – I think my dream is asking me to reconsider.  It’s as if my subconscious self is reminding me that there is more to me than I give myself credit for, and that I need to dust off the furniture and throw out the trash and turn on the lights in order to occupy the grand space that is intended just for me.

I don’t usually devote so much time to analyzing my dreams, but in this case, I feel like Heavenly Father might be using my receptive state of sleep to teach me something.  I am definitely going to put greater thought into this and see if I can’t bring more meaning in to my home and my life.

  • Jen

    While I haven’t had dreams about the subject, I subscribe to the same though process when it comes to cleaning. How often does that upstairs bathroom really need to get cleaned? Only when Grandma is coming? We’ve tried to make it a habbit to have other families over for dinner on a regular basis, and one reason is because it FORCES me to clean the house more often. I know I should do better on my own, but I’m just not there yet!