DAYDREAMING IS SO UNDERATED

Pardon me? What did you say?  I was in daydream… 

I remember those dreaded parent-teacher conferences when I was a kid.  It was a moment when your performance in class was hung out there for all to see.  One issue for me as a student was daydreaming.  “James would do so much better in school if only he would stop daydreaming and participate in class, Mrs. Smart”

Oh, that old saw? Daydreaming, eh?

Daydreaming made me a lousy student.  However, it has made me quite the writer.  Daydreaming is imagination run amuck—imagination on steroids. You need to try some of it yourself as long as you’re not in the middle of a busy crosswalk or performing brain surgery.  

Great ideas…and bad ones…are born of daydreaming.  Daydreaming is an opportunity to open windows and air out your mind – just letting it be—to put your mental transmission in Park and just stop for a moment. It is an element of fantasy.

Daydreaming is giving you room to relax and ponder just about anything.  I watch my 12 year-old son.  He will stare into space for the longest time.  I will softly say to him, “Jakie…” and he’s in another world – dreaming of the future or fantasizing about that cute little redhead in his class.   Where his mind is is anyone’s guess. However, who am I to disturb that process?  Daydreaming healthy regardless of what you happen to be thinking about.

It’s time for a daydream.

I’m back! I like to daydream.  Feels good.  At my age, daydreaming tends to evolve into a nap.  And, napping is good too.  I love a good 20-minute nap where I can prop up my feet, listen to a TV show softly, and rise feeling refreshed.  I’ve never been a great sleeper.  I can fall asleep anywhere.  Staying asleep is another story.  I’ve been a professional insomniac for over 30 years.  It comes from the pressures and anxiety of publishing.  There’s always a deadline or creative process to sweat out. 

Keeps you awake at night.

When I was 30, I saw no point in sleep.  I believed sleep was so unproductive.  I thought, “I’ll sleep when I am dead…”  I couldn’t have been any more mistaken. And, if you don’t sleep, you’re gonna be dead sooner than you planned.  Sleep is as critical as being awake and doing something productive.  Sleep is an opportunity for your mind and body to repair and rebuild.  Don’t you find you have boundless energy when you’ve had a good night’s sleep? 

I do… 

Daydreaming is the daytime form of imagination and eyes-open sleep.  When I daydream I don’t have fantasies aside from having that little spread in the Midwest where I can sit on the back porch and watch the sun set and the storms roll in.  I don’t daydream about Marilyn Monroe or Farrah Fawcett.  I’ve never even had a poster of these American icons on the wall when I was 18.  I daydream about what’s possible.  Realistic daydreams.  When it comes to women, I daydream about what’s possible—the checker at the local supermarket, the neighbor up the hill, that cutie-hottie around the corner.  And, nah, I don’t daydream about young women because the daydream always leads to wondering what on earth we’d talk about afterward. 

Oh, that’s right, I’m not 30 anymore.

I was watching CNN and one of those infamous panels of pundits when I noticed CNN correspondent, John Harwood, lost in a daydream. He was blankly staring at the floor when Don Lemon asked a question clearly meant for him. Harwood was staring into space, undoubtedly exhausted from the drama in Washington and taking a mental vacation. Lemon said, “John?….John?!” and Harwood was startled out of his daydream. It was an “Oh My God!” moment – the man was daydreaming…

Like the rest of us…

If you’re not into daydreaming, you should be.  It is healthy to daydream and for you to leave your kids alone when they’re amid a deep daydream. Let your mind wander – as long as you’re not responsible for a nuclear power plant or manager for a massive factory or maybe even a member of congress.

Come to think of it, we could use a few daydreamers on Capitol Hill…perhaps they’d get something done.  

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