DAYDREAMS : OUR SECRET LIVES

Daydreams are better than night dreams which are often scary adventures with weird uninvited strangers or perhaps friends acting weirdly. You’re much more in control with daydreams. As the producer and director you’re in charge of casting, script-writing and even scenery and special effects. And of course you always have the starring role.

These secret lives of ours were once frowned upon by psychologists. Around the time we moved from craftsmanship to assembly line production the workforce was becoming saddled with tedious repetitive jobs. Daydreaming increased and was being criticized as promoting laziness and safety problems.In the 1950’s some psychologists warned that children who frequently daydreamed could become candidates for neurosis and even psychosis.

Today these fantasy sessions are said to be most prevalent among those with boring jobs such as lifeguards and truck drivers which is a little worrisome. I’d hate to be caught in a riptide off an Asbury Park beach and rapidly departing from North America while the lifeguard is winning a freestyle gold medal at the Summer Olympics in La La Land.

I’d also hope the driver of the 18-wheeler who’s been tailgating me on Route 80 is not enjoying “a short detachment from his immediate surroundings” as Wikipedia defines daydreaming.

Aside from that I agree with the current assessment of daydreams as valuable tools for geniuses like Einstein, Beethoven, Edison and Mel Brooks and as stress-relievers for the general population. I admit to being among the frequent flyer class of daydreamers. Before I retired it provided an emergency exit from ho-hum business meetings.

I kept my little mental rowboat moored in a convenient cove in my brain’s temporal lobe and when the vice president got to “a serious drop in second quarter earnings”, I began a peaceful cruise on beautiful Lake Parsippany. The weather was always perfect -billowy white clouds against an azure sky, a cooling breeze and gentle ripples that didn’t interfere with my rowing. I caught quite a few bass during those meeting/cruises. Sometimes there were other boats out there and I recognized fellow workers pulling on the oars. Once I was surprised to see that day’s speaker zip by on a trim little catboat. I could hear him reciting the corporate earnings report as he made a starboard tack.

One must keep a tight rein on one’s daydreams however. I had a dear friend who had the habit of letting his mind wander frequently. One day it meandered off and never came back. He now holds a high political office.

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