Saturday, 26 February 2011

Giving up my largest vice.

When I was younger I did one of those quizzes in a magazine that determines what kind of personality you are. Obviously such quizzes are often a load of generalised rubbish but this one got me spot on. It said I was one of life's dreamers. Always got my head in the clouds in a world of fantasy.
I live in a little fantasy world a lot more than I live in reality. (N.B I am able to tell the difference between my little fantasy world and reality - I don't have a personality disorder, I assure you all!). I can't even begin to imagine the hours upon hours upon hours of my life I have spent day dreaming. It's my greatest pursuit, my largest vice.
My very vivid and extensive imagination does have some plus points. I can write a silly story at the drop of a hat, I think very creatively at work, I'm more fun to be around as I have a very particular silly outlook on the world. Also, it's a great survival technique, something that keeps me cheerful. If I'm having a crap day I can just day dream about shoes and/or sex for a while and then I feel much better.
However, constant day dreaming has many negatives. A sheer lack of productivity is certainly one of the worst aspects of being a daydreamer. For example, it can be super busy at work, I'm working really hard and then Ryan Reynolds sans shirt chained to the floor a'la that famous scene in Blade pops in my head. Next thing I know, an hour has passed... in reality I have done little more than stare at a spreadsheet but in my fantasy world Ryan and I have met, fallen madly in love, married and he re-enacts that scene for my personal pleasure on a daily basis. Or, I've just got home from a really good night out with my girl mates. I should be going to bed and getting some sleep but I put some music on, lay on my bed and imagine all the amazing holidays and shopping trips me and my girlie mates could go on if I won a million quid on the lottery. Next thing I know, it's nearly two in the morning and I need to be up at 7am. I have lost many a weekend dancing round my house to music and imagining I'm a world famous jazz singer. I read an article recently that people tweeting all the time means they are now easily distracted from life's tasks. I never needed twitter to be distracted - my little fantasy land always did that for me.
Although my daydreaming has made me quite ambitious, as I'm always dreaming about the next big step, the next big thing. I worry that this means I will never be happy or content with my lot. I mean, it's hardly as if my daydreams are rooted in any achievable reality. I don't buy lottery tickets so it's pretty much impossible for me to win, I'm never going to become a world famous jazz singer due to the fact that I suffer from stage fright and it's not as if Ryan Reynolds lives down the road (sad times that). Constant day dreaming means that sometimes I don't appreciate the great things I have achieved and the amazingness of reality!
So, for one week, I have decided to instill some discipline to my head and give up day dreaming. I know this will not be easy. I gave up chewing pens just by putting nail biting solution on them but, as a former colleague pointed out to me, there is no nail biting solution for the brain.
Here are my rules for this week:
1) No music unless I'm doing something. I.e. right now, I have some music on but I'm writing so that's ok. But laying on my bed and putting music on is a no no. It's a sure fire way to day dream and no sleep at all land.
2) I shall have a daydream allowance. Twice a day I walk about twenty minutes to and from work. I have to make this walk so here is where I am allowed to let my brain go mental and have a good day dream to get it out of my system.
3) Instead of listening to my Ipod and daydreaming on the tube I will always read my book no matter how crowded it is. I shall read when I'm waiting for the tube as well.
4) If I start to daydream I shall stop and do something productive.
5) Every day I shall appreciate all the good things about my reality.