I just read about a Harvard study that found adults spend 47% of our lives in daydreams!! It said daydreams were good - as long as they are purposeful and positive.
I get the positive (vs.negative) thing. Truth be told, I have had a few (?) negative daydreams of telling someone off. But “purposeful”?
I look up purposeful : having determination or resolve. Doesn’t sound like daydreaming. Sounds confusing, like the one time the Ford Focus car in front of me had a license plate that read “DYdreamer.”
This year I resolved to be more healthy and more productive. I purchased this Oura ring that tells me if I sleep well, if I am ready for the day, and if I am not moving enough. I count my steps on my iPhone. I suddenly wear only clothing with pockets so I can carry my phone and not miss a step. I keep lists, I do emails, I attend all my Zooms and meetings, I do the NYT mini crossword puzzle every morning at 7:30. I am regimented. I am an adult, dammit. Do I really daydream any more??
I can’t remember the last time I daydreamed. I used to daydream before I fell asleep at night. This was probably before kids. It was fun! Loopy, colorful thoughts about me succeeding at this, or traveling to there. You know, stuff like looking good in a bathing suit or being interviewed by Robin Roberts about my latest book (we really bond).
Now I think about tasks at night before sleep.
Did I write that appointment on the calendar? Did I tell the boys not to wear beanies or caps to Christmas dinner - like they did at Thanksgiving dinner - which is why, once again, I have no decent family photo for a Christmas card!? This leads to Christmas tasks and to-do’s and wide open eyes and panic. My Oura ring reporting in the morning that my heart rate variable is out of control, I got no deep or REM sleep last night, and I should do nothing today except take it easy.
But it is December so I get up and unpack the Christmas decorations and haul them upstairs (39 floors on my iPhone step counter). Glitter gets everywhere. Up the stairs and all over my hands, face and clothes. Chris follows me with a Dustbuster.
Rory’s girlfriend, Mykayla, tells me when she was younger, her mom worked at a glitter factory.
A glitter factory! Who knew!? The thought makes Chris shudder and change the filter on the Dustbuster.
Mykayla said that there was an ever-present path of glitter from her mom’s parked car to their door.
How beautiful is that!? I think.
Later, exhausted, I decide to daydream. I put Oura in her charger so she doesn’t know I am hanging on the couch.
Deciding to daydream is sort of like getting that writing prompt in English class and told to write for ten minutes. My mind froze. What can I daydream about?? Or forced daydreaming reminded me of meditation. Impossible.
Until I looked down at my hands and saw the glitter. And started to daydream about having a house with a glitter path. My boys, lined up with their hats off, smiling and hugging and there is gold glitter all around us like a snow globe. I snap the shot - a Christmas photo to be proud of. Determination and resolve filling my heart.