My life is pretty mundane. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my life and it’s filled with challenges, good people, lots of love and a crazy cat. I really can’t ask for much more. But still, I’m an adventure/geek girl and I grew up on superheroes and Star Trek. Yes, I even thought it would be cool to be beamed up as a kid and taken on a journey to a galaxy far far away. (I think my mom thought it would be good for me too.) Anyway, my imagination has always been a bit… out there. But it makes me happy.
Here are five ways my imagination enhances my life.
1. Exercise Motivator: When I’m on a run I imagine I’m a spy trying to escape the country with the information I’ve stolen from a top government agency. They’re after me and I’m running for my life. Yup, it’s a bit of a motivator, but I’m not scared shitless, I’m strong, tough, highly trained and my mission is to escape.
2. Marriage Counselor: My imagination comes in handy when my husband does something irritating or when I’m in a bad mood. I will daydream about an all out screaming match with my dearest, that of course I win. This relaxes me and puts me in a better mood for when I have to confront him about whatever bad habit I want him to change.
3. Entertainment While Waiting in Lines: This is especially effective while waiting in one of the 1000s of lines at the airport. I usually pretend I’m a highly trained anti-terrorist operative that must save hundreds of lives by stopping the bad guy. This daydream gets interrupted a lot by kids asking for snacks and having to go to the bathroom.
4. Livens Up Boring Social Situations: Everyone’s been to a work party or something similar where you must make small talk, but don’t really have a conversation. I usually do one of two things. Either, I pretend I’m a superhero in disguise and my secret identity depends on making everyone believe that I’m only a stay-at-home-mom, or I start making up stories about people I meet. Both are fun past times, but I suggest you limit alcohol intake while daydreaming. Otherwise, the weirdest things can pop out of your mouth.
5. Success Motivator: I’m sure everyone daydreams at some point or another about what success looks like to them. I dream about calls from agents and editors salivating over my next trilogy, fans asking me to sign their copies of my bestselling novels and yes, getting on Oprah’s bookclub (yes, I know she’s not doing it anymore, I can still dream). These dreams are good in small doses. A little helps motivate, too much and we become lost in the dream and forget to do the hard work needed to achieve the dream. I find it hard to resist the allure of this daydream.
There are some negatives to having a good imagination.
Nighttime Fears: It’s the middle of the night and something outside wakes me up. I wonder what it is. Do I go with the normal or reasonable explanation? Maybe a cat or the wind rattling branches? No. I go with Zombies. In the middle of the night, the logical side of my brain which reins in my imagination is asleep. It doesn’t want to wake up, so my imagination is allowed to scare the crap out of me. For the record, I hate zombies, which is why they always seem to feature in my nighttime fears.
I love having a good imagination. I love making stuff up, which is maybe why I like writing so much.
So how does your imagination feature in your life? What’s the good and the bad of it? How do you use it, besides writing?