A few nights ago I dreamed the same scenario over and over again. I’d wake up, go back to sleep and dream I won a major bridge tournament. This occurred about six or seven times. Facing the day in the early morning, I was ecstatic to think I’d won.

For a few moments before I was fully awake I basked in the glow of being congratulated and people complimenting me on my skill. I felt as if I could soar like an eagle. Then reality hit — not only had I lost a tournament the previous day, but I’d played pretty close to the worst bridge of my life.

So what do I make of this silly dream? Has my life become so shallow that I spend an entire night being thrilled about playing bridge? What about important things in life? Why don’t I dream of world peace? Or ways to help people in distress? What is wrong with me?

When I get into this philosophical debate with myself, I tend to be very critical, wondering what my life is about. Am I reduced to wanting to be a bridge master in my vintage years? That is absurd.

Fortunately when I stopped drinking about 26 years ago I attended thousands of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings where I learned how to manage life. So I used the tools I was taught to get centered.

First I sat down and wrote a gratitude list of the things in life I’m appreciative of. When I was newly sober I did one of these every morning to put myself on the right track for the day.

Next I made a list of the people I’ve helped in life, especially the students who have benefited from my teaching, many of them publishing for the first time. Other acts of kindness to folks were noted.

Lastly, I made a list of people who have been there for me over the years. This is a long list, filled with poignant memories of compassion bestowed upon me.

Maybe the dream doesn’t relate to bridge but a subconscious desire to achieve greatness in some way. What does a person have to do to feel accomplished in life? Is it possible the dream was telling me there is still something out there that I need to undertake? I don’t know.

For the past several weeks I’ve had some physical problems. Am I taking stock of my life out of fear that I won’t have time to complete an urgent project? Nothing comes to mind.

Round and round these thoughts go until I shout, “Stop it. You’re fine. Enjoy the day.” When I holler like that, Charlie and Toots come running, wondering what all the heavy drama is about.

As you can see, my world is a bit askew right now.

Something that might help set it right is what I anticipate will be a lively discussion about reading, writing and publishing I’m hosting with noted author Lala Corriere from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Oro Valley Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Alexis Powers is the author of several books and lives on the northwest side. Email her at northwest@azstarnet.com or view her website at www. CQalexis-powers.com