Lately I seem to be thinking (and writing) in song titles (eg my last post ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’). I’m listening to music more, creating my own daydreaming space. I’m a believer.
The Monkees sweet song doesn’t really make sense, but then daydreams aren’t supposed to. Released an eon ago (the year I was born), the catchy tune somehow nestled into my memory, although for all these years I thought the chorus went: ‘Cheer up sweet Eugene’, when the lyric is actually: ‘Cheer up Sleepy Jean’. Who knew? Who’s Jean? And what has she done with Eugene?
(I’m going to digress to discuss those funny misheard lyrics – check out this article – and you have to let me know your funniest ones. Hubby used to think Hot Chocolate sang: “I believe in Malcolm, where you from, you sexy thing’ – when of course it’s: ‘I believe in miracles, where you from etc’ (1975). Why hubby ever thought that Hot Chocolate would think a Malcolm might be sexy I’ll never know! I don’t know any sexy Malcolms.)
Eugene, in my mind if not the Monkees, was the daydream believer who dared to follow his fantasy and so got together with a homecoming queen, and while they don’t have a dime, they’re as happy as Larry lying in bed together, as you’d well imagine Eugene would be (but who the hell is Larry?).
Yep the stuff of daydreams. Silly songs. Blog post ideas. Notions of changing the world. Ambitions of saving the planet. Fantasies of fabulous proportions and delusions of grandeur. Castles in the air (so sang Don McLean, 1970).
See, I’m stuck on songs, so I should probably fess up to my childhood fantasy of writing a chart-topper (not singing it, I know my limitations). I imagined that with my way with words! (putting aside my relative lack of any musical ability!!) I would craft a song that people would sing for decades, generations. A song that would get under people’s skins (in a good way, not like ‘this is the song that never ends’, opps, sorry about that).
I haven’t written that ditty yet, but I dare to daydream a bit more these days.
In focusing on trying to establish a proper meditation practice, using guided meditation and concentrating on breath and mantras, I’ve become better at opening up the gaps between my thoughts. I’ve even gotten a bit better at silencing that snark in my head. But meditation is really about focused awareness to find stillness and that space where thoughts disappear.
Daydreaming is a whole other story – it invites thoughts to bubble to the surface at will and banishes rationality for flights of fantasy or the pursuit of hopes and ambitions.
It’s good for us, even if it gets a bad wrap (you know lazy, childish, procrastinator).
Lately she (that would be me) who never really takes a proper lunch break has been spending at least 20-30mins sitting in the sun or shade by the canal behind our office building just daydreaming. I put my iphone music on shuffle and listen, but not really listen, as I let my thoughts just BE.
And those thoughts sometimes lead to blog posts like this one. Right.
It turns out researchers have been looking into daydreaming for about 60 years and far from being a time-waster, mostly we’re daydreaming about our goals and a brighter future, according to this ABC article.
“Just about every thought that people have is related directly or indirectly to one of their goals,” says Professor Eric Klinger from the University of Minnesota, who has been researching daydreaming and mind wandering since the 1970s.
“We often discover solutions or better ways of doing things than we would have, had we not had the mind-wandering space,” says Klinger.
Daydreaming can help us plan (in a round-about way), envision the future, provide distance and context to day-to-day happenings and give us creative inspiration.
While a frequently wandering mind (and most of us daydream a lot more than we realise) has been linked to depression and isn’t ideal in a learning or heavy task-driven environment, drifting off really does have a strong upside.
So while I’m all for mindfulness and meditation (and will be focusing on it on the blog for March), in the meantime I’m happily wandering wherever my mind takes me. I’m the Wanderer (Dion, 1961). Where is all this old music coming from??
Where does your mind take you? What songs are stuck in your head? What lyrics have you misheard?