When I got caught daydreaming, I was usually chastised for it, but I couldn't be made to understand why daydreaming was bad. All right, I realized it was rude to ignore your teacher's best efforts at teaching in favor of flying with Superman, but what was wrong with mentally wandering off when I wasn't required to pay attention? Well, it was a waste of time. Really? So what about reading fiction or watching movies? They were just a means of enjoying somebody else's daydreams; were they also a waste of time? No, entertainment was different. Well then, how was it different? As far as I was concerned, a good daydream was far better than any movie, with flawless visuals, immersive special effects and a storyline tailored precisely to my preferences, acted out by any characters I desired. And best of all, it was free.
Since I never received an articulate response explaining why daydreaming wasn't a valid form of entertainment, I never developed much of a prejudice against it as an adult. In fact, I believe occasional daydreaming can contribute to better physical and mental health, and that too many adults get sick and overly stressed because they don't allow themselves time to daydream every day. Still, Americans live in a society obsessed with productivity, and daydreaming is still widely perceived as the most time-wasting, unproductive activity you can engage in. For this reason, if you want to daydream as an adult, you'll probably have to keep it covert; fortunately, this isn't too difficult. It's easy to stealth-daydream while commuting to and from work, especially if you're riding public transit. Likewise, you'll almost never get caught if you daydream in the shower -- well, assuming you're not in there too long. But the best cover for daydreaming is monotonous work that doesn't require you to use much brainpower. I call this "productive daydreaming" -- any repetitive activity that allows your body to create something useful or beautiful while your brain is at play.
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