Iíve been feeling strangely panicky over the past day or so.

I read my Chinese horoscope the other day and it said something about how Iíd be too ambitious this year, which would cause me to put too much pressure on myself and cause anxiety. Then it advised me to relax and have more patience. The ambition part seems accurate and the relaxation and patience part is just sound advice.

In the US, we put far too much pressure on ourselves to succeed. Not everyone can be a success and even so, most successful people sacrifice so much of themselves to become successful, it hardly seems worth it.

One of my biggest sources of anxiety is the desire to accomplish more.

I saw an article recently about how ones astrological sign can be an indication of driving ability. The ďstudyĒ (It doesnít look like it was an actual scientific study, just something conducted by a website) merely says that certain signs tend to be less accident and ticket prone than others.

Anecdotally, I tend to be the least accident/ticket prone among most the people I know. This is consistent with the ďstudyĒ I am a Leo. My brother is an Aquarius, and Iíve always believed he was a decent driver, but his tendency has always been to be more accident and ticket prone.

The article suggests that this has to do with driving ability, and maybe so, but I think luck must be a factor. I speed often, and in the past, Iíve been a very reckless driver. As far as driving goes, Iíve felt myself to just be very, very lucky.

Last week, I had a terrible nightmare. It involved zombieís that knew kung fu. The dream seemed to go on forever, and as it progressed, it became more and more ridiculous. The greater the lengths I went to get rid of these things, the more they would have to achieve in order to come back somehow. I guess itís sort of like war.

Well, at the end, like at the end of any zombie movie, I was surrounded by these things fighting desperately. A guy from my karate class, who is really, really good, came along and started helping me. Again, I felt a flicker of relief believing he would take care of them so much easier than I could, but whenever he struck them, their bodies would just bend like rubber and then snap back into place. Neither of us could believe it.

When I woke up, I was covered in a cold sweat and shaking.

I was so disturbed that I left my bed and went downstairs. I was especially disturbed because the dream had taken place in my current house and I wasnít happy being in the middle of the setting of such an unsettling dream.

I went online and talked to a couple of friends to get my mind off of it.

The next day, when it was the middle of the night in Japan, I got an email from my brother. Heíd just had a disturbing nightmare and he had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and went online to take his mind off of it.

His dream was not about zombies, it was about ghosts, but he said the thing he was particularly disturbed that the dream took place in the house in which he currently resides.

Neither of us has had such a vivid nightmare in a long time. Iím completely confounded as to what this could possibly mean.

Of course, this reminds me that some of the anxiety that Iím currently experiencing could be related to something heís doing or thinking. His life is very up-in-the-air and unstable at the moment.

Maybe this explains some of my current flakiness. Iíve been bad with returning messages, lately, and bad with holding up with my end of conversations.

I hate things that go undefined like that, but I canít deny this reality, at least not to myself. Other people probably just think Iím nuts.

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Thursday, Jan. 04, 2007 at 11:45 AM