Friday, January 30, 2009

Daydreaming and A.D.D.

You don't hear a kid labeled a daydreamer anymore. Now they are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and medicated. I wonder at this.
When I was a child, kids were left to their own devices to understand the school rules and fit in with them. If they didn't, they were called lazy, daydreamer, troublemaker, bully. Now there are scientific names and medications. Are we more sophisticated or are we wrong? Everyone understood back then that not all kids were headed to college. Now we try to make them all alike with meds. More on this later. I have Sleep Deficit Disorder and I am going to treat it with.....sleep, of course!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daydreams and Reality

We have a new President. I wish him well.
That said, I want to talk about dreams and dreamers, politics and Presidents, and the problem with putting forth dreams that people so desperately want to believe in, and then dashing those dreams or simply letting them dribble away.
Emotions are running very high now with the inauguration of President Obama. People of color dare to hope that things will be better for them. People who work hard but for low wages hope to see their pay rise to a living wage. People dream of a better life for themselves and their children.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream." He dreamed of the day when people were judged by "the content of their character, not the color of their skin." What a lovely dream.
Have we achieved this dream, now that Obama is President? Who would have dreamed that a black man would be elected President? The thought nags still - was he elected for the content of his character, or the color of his skin? I think both were in play. His stirring words, his charisma, his ability to inspire confidence and hope, contributed greatly. Did also the color of his skin, so different from the same old white guy candidate, contribute to his election?
We shall see. I wish him the best. I hope he has not been so elevated in the minds of the populace that they will hang him for being human. Rock stars are only as popular as their last hit song. Obama can't afford to be a rock star President. He can't afford to dash the dreams of those who put him there.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How to tell if you are a daydreamer

If you think you may be one - you probably are. But just for fun, I'll post a list so you can check off and see whether or not you might qualify as a daydreamer. Unlike many such checklists, it is a good thing if you score high. Unless you are one of those people who prizes conformity and convention. But you probably wouldn't be reading this blog if you were. Here's the checklist:
In school, have you:
1. Ever forgotten about the math problems because you were trying to copy the drawing of a clown on the worksheet?
2. Lost the class discussion because you were reading something more interesting?
3. Looked at all the blank pages in your textbooks and wished you could fill them up?
4. Watched the birds out the classroom window and wished you could join them in flying away?
5. Written your own poem instead of reading the one the class was studying?
At work, do you:
6. Avoid boring jobs you would have to sit in a cubicle to do?
7. Choose work you can do with your hands that leaves a large part of your mind free to think your own thoughts?
8. Doodle all over your desk blotter?
9. Create fantastic scenes in your mind during a boring meeting?
10. Get fired because you were staring off into space or talking too much?

If you've checked more than a few of these, you are probably one of us.

The trick is to recognize who you are and have always been - a daydreamer - and then find ways to be who you are that won't get you fired or thrown out of school. Try to find creative ways to get school credits, for example, by taking tests instead of having to sit through the classes. That's assuming you have studied on your own. Choose jobs that have you doing what you would choose to do if no one were making you do anything. If you haven't had training in writing, art, music, or whatever your passion is, get some. Try to become a real professional daydreamer and get paid for your writing, art, music. Don't try to be what someone else thinks you should be if it sounds like screaming boredom. You won't be good at it and eventually you will get fired or quit. If you can't get a job in your chosen field, choose something like cooking or driving or painting houses that allows the creative side of your brain to operate while the practical side is doing the work.

Daydreamers jealously guard their thoughts, and really hate it when they are interrupted. Better to be a skilled craftsman and work alone than be in an office where anyone can hold your brain hostage at a moment's notice.

Look at who you have been all your life. Then be that person, unashamedly. Daydreamers seldom hurt anyone else. Just watch out that others do not squash you.

Have a great, creative, dreamy New Year!