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Dreams about work after retirement.
Old 12-18-2015, 10:52 AM   #1
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Dreams about work after retirement.

My last job before retirement was being self employed as a commercial/institutional kitchen installer. I would say that the stress level and workload was the highers of any job I've ever had. The second would have been as a manager at Dehavilland Aircraft (bought out by Bombardier) as they didn't accept excuses since they never (at the time) missed a completion date for any aircraft but that doesn't seem to compare.

It's been close to 10 years since I've retired and I still have bad dreams about the commercial kitchen job, never about Dehavilland. They're times when my wife wakes me up since she knows I'm having a bad dream and when I tell her about it, she says he can't understand why I would be having them after all this time.

Is this normal as sometimes I wake up in a sweat? My wife thinks I'm over reacting or overly sensitive since as she said once, "you need to let it go" as it's been almost 10 years?
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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Ten years does seem like a long time, but your brain must still be processing something about it, or something else in your life is triggering an association. I still occasionally have a bad dream about taking a test for which I'm not prepared and that's been a lot more than ten years since I was in such a situation. Instead I concentrate on being happy to wake up and learn it was just a dream. Big relief.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:06 AM   #3
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I used to have nightmares about my ex-husband for years - easily over 10 years. Maybe your last job was as bad as my last marriage... I would wake up in a sweat and say to myself Thank God it was just a dream!! (A lot of times, I was still married to him in my dreams.)
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
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I'm at the 8 1/2 year mark and until about a year ago I'd have bad work related dreams. The latest work dreams have been more low key and fanciful, so maybe there is hope for you, too.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:28 AM   #5
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I have work nightmares "once in a blue moon", but now that I am in my 7th year of retirement they are very rare. Here's a thread about work nightmares:

W*rk nightmares (dream)

Perhaps work nightmares are a way of reminding some of us that yes, we made exactly the right decision when we retired.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:41 AM   #6
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Sounds like you had a rough job. I have been separated from my first wife (now divorced) for over 20 years and I still have unpleasant dreams about being there. Such a relief to wake up and see my 2nd (and last) wife next to me.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #7
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I was a career Naval officer for 28+ years and generally enjoyed it. I then worked in private industry (defense related) for 6 years and generally didn't like it so I retired for good at 58. I sometimes dream about being back in the Navy and the dreams are positive for the most part. I never dream about my private industry time.



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Old 12-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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I'm only 2.5 years into ER from a high-stress job of 25 years. I dream about it 2 or 3 times per month. Usually a typical frustration-type dream... like wandering around a building unable to find a conference room where I'm supposed to be giving a presentation. All through college, I worked in food service and I still dream about that job occasionally... it's always a busy Friday lunch rush and we're short-handed. No waking up in a sweat or anything. Just normal weird dreams.

I have no idea why my mind picks the topics it does for dreams. But stress seems to be a common element with dreams about situations from the distant past. I also have the occasional "final exam dream" where I didn't study or forgot to show up or forgot my blue book or calculator.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:16 PM   #9
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Timely thread, just last week I had a dream about work and I've been retired 12 years. That's only the second or third time I've had a dream about work though. Not a nightmare, just weird.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:06 PM   #10
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Been retired ten years and on occasion I still have weird dream (brain data dump) or two about work. Thank God I wake up and realize it was only a dream.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:35 PM   #11
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I don't have nightmares, but 7.5 years into ER, I still dream about work. But then, I still dream about college sometimes.
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:07 AM   #12
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Occasionally but I can usually turn a bad dream into something pleasant by practicing lucid dreaming. Nice to wake up with a smile.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:58 PM   #13
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Both my husband and I are retired Navy ..from over 20 years ago and we still have dreams about missing uniform parts prior to an inspection. I also still have nightmares about missing an exam in college. It's a mild, mild form of PTSD. I feel sorry for our fellow vets who saw combat..it is something that would be hard too hard to forget.



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Old 12-20-2015, 01:25 PM   #14
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I still have those nightmares. Not as frequently as when just retired, but probably about once a month. Same recurring nightmare of me still w*rking away at the office, thinking, I haven't done my timesheet in months. Plus, I must be helping out on a volunteer basis as haven't get paid. Then I finally realize, I'm FIRE'd and wake up.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:44 PM   #15
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Been FIREd for ten years, still occasionally having the I-can't-get-there-from-here work dreams. Having recognized it as a very mild form of PTSD, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one. Thanks for the tip about waking up and feeling grateful to be gone from there.

I stayed at the most stressful job for the early retirement benefits. It was still a good trade, just not one without no downside.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:02 PM   #16
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I think it's just normal to have those kinds of dreams. I still occasionally dream about work. A couple of days ago I even had the dream about final exams where I had failed to do a single problem set for the quarter. It's been more than thirty years since I took those kinds of exams and I was always well prepared and enjoyed taking them. I have no idea why I'm so upset in the dreams when the real thing was fun.

My dreams are often populated with long dead people and dogs and I always wake up happy after those.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:04 PM   #17
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Heavens no. From day one (and it's only been about 6 months), gave it no thought, much less dreamt about it. Now I'm not even sure I worked, it seems like another lifetime, or like someone else did it, not me.

OTOH, in my twenties, long ago and far away, I was a radio disc jockey for a couple of very big radio stations in San Francisco. Only in the last five or so years have I stopped dreaming the microphone was on, and there were no commercial cartridges (pre-digital) to play, or there was no music to play. Probably has something to do with internal pressure to perform publicly. I have no such pressure now, which is why those dreams probably went away.

As noted above, you may still have some psychological connection to your old life at work. Or not.
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
I'm only 2.5 years into ER from a high-stress job of 25 years. I dream about it 2 or 3 times per month. Usually a typical frustration-type dream... like wandering around a building unable to find a conference room where I'm supposed to be giving a presentation. All through college, I worked in food service and I still dream about that job occasionally... it's always a busy Friday lunch rush and we're short-handed. No waking up in a sweat or anything. Just normal weird dreams.



I have no idea why my mind picks the topics it does for dreams. But stress seems to be a common element with dreams about situations from the distant past. I also have the occasional "final exam dream" where I didn't study or forgot to show up or forgot my blue book or calculator.

This really seems to be a theme with a lot of us.
How ironic- a group of people who were probably well prepared most of the time having dreams of not being prepared, late, etc.

But as I've said before, I think a lot of us have that so called type A personality- which is likely a factor in why were able to RE.


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Old 12-21-2015, 04:17 PM   #19
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Maybe once or twice a year I'll have dreams (nighmares) about my previous life (working). When I do have these dreams it seems to be with the company I worked for (and many of the same people) but I always seem to be doing something else for the company (in another area) that I never did any work.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:35 PM   #20
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I left my previous job as a teacher over 20 years ago, but still occasionally have dreams that it's the first day of the quarter, class starts in 20 minutes, and I have no syllabus, no lesson plan for the day, haven't ordered textbooks, and can't find my classroom. But at least I'm not naked!
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