Image by Marie Vonow
One of the pleasures of my life is time spent daydreaming. Some people consider daydreaming bad and a waste of time. Others see it as linked to creativity, problem solving, planning for the future and ambitions. I enjoy daydreaming because I find it relaxing but at the same time it is when some of my best ideas float into my head.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the definition of daydream as, 'to spend time thinking about something pleasant, especially when you should be doing something more serious'. This definition gives the idea that daydreaming is a frivolous use of time.
There certainly are times when one needs to be concentrating on the task at hand for safety reasons. If you are daydreaming your focus isn't on what you are doing. This can be dangerous if you are driving in heavy traffic, operating electric tools or doing something else exacting. If you are doing an exam a session of daydreaming won't help you get the best marks possible.
There are times when it really doesn't matter if you are daydreaming. Perhaps you are sitting in the dentist's waiting room or doing a routine task such as sweeping the floor.
Daydreaming comes easily to me. I often do it when I am travelling on a train or a bus. This isn't a problem as long as I remember which stop to alight at. There are times when I read or make notes for something I want to write. I might even write a poem. Sometimes I just gaze out the window without taking in much of my surroundings. Thoughts float in and out of my mind. Unusual ideas may come to me. Sometimes the solution to a problem pops into my head because I am relaxed.
On the internet I read some instructions for how to daydream. I must admit I was surprised anyone needs instructions.
Some people are not critical of daydreaming and see it as a valuable use of time. Historians now think part of the reason people like Einstein were geniuses is because of the large amount of time they spent daydreaming and thinking outside the box.
Numerous people who have become famous actors, singers and artists speak of having spent a lot of time daydreaming as children. They imagined themselves doing great things in their chosen field and have grown up to fulfill those dreams. George Lucas says, 'I'm not much of a math and science guy. I spent most of my time in school daydreaming and managed to turn it into a living.'
English author Graeme Roberts says, 'If a writer is daydreaming, leave them be. They could be plotting their next great story.' It seems daydreaming is an essential part of life for creative and inventive people.
I find daydreaming relaxing. When I am going for a walk or sitting in my garden watching the birds I do not try to stop my mind from wandering. If I am doing housework which, let's face it can be somewhat boring, I daydream. Neil Gaiman, an English writer, says, ' You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.'
Because there are positive aspects, as long as it's not a safety issue at the time, I certainly don't feel guilty about indulging in daydreaming. I am sure it is good for my mental health.