Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Nosy Neighbor: Post #2



On Monday I began looking at my own waking dream about a nosy neighbor who chose to make himself prominently annoying during some construction work. You can read the whole description in my last post. It is lengthy, however, so I will abbreviate it. Here’s the shorter version:

My waking dream
My house is 40-years-old and is in the middle of extensive structural rebuilding. There are days when it is difficult to pace the work so that I am not overwhelmed with simultaneous projects, but that isn’t always possible. Last Monday the roofers, masons and plumbers all showed up.

My neighbor, Jack, has a penchant for putting himself in the middle of other people’s affairs. Even when whatever drama is unfolding is private, Jack will manage to make his way front and center. I sometimes think he has a built in radar.

Last Monday Jack drove his car onto my driveway, parking it in such a way that none of the workers could get in or out. He wouldn’t leave until I agreed to open up the gate between our two properties, so that he could rake some debris that had accumulated over the winter. While making this demand, he told me that I really needed to address a problem I had with ants. I was livid at his sense of entitlement. My anger stayed with me the whole day.

Waking dreams are about the dreamer, not the world at large
It would be so easy to project this incident onto the world outside of myself: No question about it, Jack can be a major annoyance; he is real; he is my neighbor. Like most people, in days past, I would have confronted him about his inappropriateness. But, to quote Deepak Chopra, “Look at the world around you, and you will see a mirror of yourself.” Over time I have found that remark to be absolutely true. It implies that, if I change myself, Jack’s behavior will change to reflect who I have become. Let’s see if it works if we analyze my waking dream.

Tell me about…
*  40-year-old house:  It’s where I live, and it’s starting to show real signs of wear and tear.
*  Structural rebuilding:  It’s what I am doing to repair the years of weather damage.
*  Overwhelmed by simultaneous projects:  It can get out of hand with so many workers at once.
*  Roofers:  Protecting my house from weather.
*  Masons:  Rebuilding the chimneys to keep them safe.
*  Plumbers:  Making sure the water flows smoothly.
*  Neighbor:  Lives next to me.
*  Parking in my driveway:  Obstructing the flow of the workers’ movement.
*  Open the gate:  Not a time-sensitive project. It could wait.
*  Winter debris:  Old, rotting organic material that can build up and get in the way.
*  Problem with ants:  A minor issue with pests that, mostly, were stirred up due to the construction work.
*  Livid: Infuriated at his audacity.
*  Stayed the whole day:  My anger wouldn’t go away.

Notice the themes?
We’ll discuss them in depth on Friday.

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