Do you ever get stuck in the rut of the mundane? Even when you’re keeping your eye on the prize, and know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing, some parts of the path seem all about the slog.
Happens, on the most noble of quests! And when it does, for a prolonged period, it’s time for a Fantasy Check-up.
Yeah. For you. Even you get to indulge in a fantasy now and then! Whether it’s a madly crazy romp in the sheets or settling in with a good book or stopping to write that short story that’s been talking to you, or going to the movies in the middle of the day and eating popcorn with Junior Mints sprinkled on it, at times your best way forward —even when you’re completely dedicated to your goal—is to do something totally out of character. Whatever that means for you. Something you almost never do, or haven’t in eons.
You have that list—whether on paper on in your head—of crazes you want to experience. And while a big fantasy of mine is being a pirate (truly), and I can’t really chunk everything right now and hitch a ride on a sailing ship, I can take off and go to the lake. See if a friend with a sailboat wants to play hooky for the day as well. Because tomorrow, well, I may be entrenched in the grind again!
Some days are just best left to fantasy. And the flightier, the better. The more helpful. The more they yank you straight out of your “real” world, the more creativity you return with.
I can do this with great bound books at home. Or, movies. I so rarely get to read/watch those that taking the time to do so transports me to places that then feed my fantasies long after I’m back to work.
I just did this. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman arrived, and I just said screw work, I’m gonna read! And I did. Read half of it. Come to think of it, that’d be a great thing to sneak off and do this afternoon. Those who know how many hours I work a day are shocked! 🙂 The first half, however, was delicious and an overflow for the senses, and my emotions surged.
The whole point of this exercise is to feed those feelings and fantasies.
They’re what enrich us, and at the same time, help us to see our own worlds, plights, paths in a new light. By taking us far afield of normal life, everything is changed when we get back to it. Even if we’re only gone for an afternoon.
We see the grind differently as well. Perhaps we really have slogged down a wrong road. Horrors! But so much better to find that out before taking another step! But most often, after the breather, the perilous mountains ahead don’t seem so high or far off, and we churn toward them with renewed vigor.
Seeing that path for what it is key. Because no one’s really walked your actual road before. Perhaps someone’s hiked a similar one, but not the very one you’re on. As Joseph Campbell said, “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”
Getting some clarity on your own, however, can’t be done by staring it in the eye. But rather, from the creative impulses of peripheral vision. Which is gained by walking away from it for a bit, and indulging in that fantasy.
So, sit down and at least fantasize about items on your Fantasy List. Don’t have one? Start it today! Then periodically (and especially when real life wears you down), see where you are on your Fantasy Check-up. If too much time has passed, indulge!
What fantasy keeps your blood rushing?
This Post Has 2 Comments
Nicolas4 Aug 2015
“at times your best way forward —even when you’re completely dedicated to your goal—is to do something totally out of character.”
Hi Susan, just wanted to tell you that this sentence made my day. It’s so true. Many times we force ourselves to keep working on a goal when what we need is a change in state and perspective. Thanks for that
Susan Malone4 Aug 2015
Thank you, Nicolas–you just made my day! And so very true that we can so stubbornly stay stuck to a goal that we miss entirely the needed change.
I love your insights!