From as early on as I can remember, I have always been a daydreamer. Pretty much, no matter where I am, I usually end up in some sort of a daydream. This has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in my life as teachers would ask to speak to my mom about my “issue”.
I couldn’t help it, I really couldn’t. Sitting in a boring classroom listening, or truthfully, only half listening, to the teacher go on and on about this or that, could not come close to the excitement of the thoughts swirling around in my head. I would gaze out the window to watch the beautiful snow or leaves falling, the squirrels and birds scurrying around, or just watching cars go by. That was all much more interesting to me, and I was convinced that it was a much more valuable lesson than anything that the teacher could have been trying to teach me.
Watching the snow fall, I would wonder if it was really true that no two snowflakes were alike. I made a mental note to start comparing them on my walk home from school. Oh, how I wished that walk home would be so much sooner than the 4 hours away that it was!
Watching the squirrels gather nuts, I had to wonder how they were going to remember where they stashed them once winter came and they were hungry. Hmmmm...
My mind moved on. Watching cars go by the school, I wondered where the people in those cars were going. Some place exciting, I just knew it!
My mother was actually pretty understanding of my daydreaming” issue”, but urged me to please try to pay more attention to what was going on inside the classroom, rather than what was going on outside the classroom. I tried, but found it almost impossible to do. I am sure that she thought that this was just something that I would outgrow, but as I eventually found out, it wasn’t.
Years later, when I got out into the work force, I quickly realized that I could not sit next to, or even in eye shot of a window, if I was going to be productive at all. So, without giving reasons why, I would volunteer to sit away from windows. I was more productive that way since it kept the outside world away from my view and my thoughts. Even now, I can’t walk by a window, no matter where I am, without looking out and quickly taking a mental walk.
When I first started business travel, a colleague had advised me to not sit next to the windows on a plane, or if I did, I shouldn’t stare out them as it looked like I was a novice and I needed to have a more professional demeanor. What?? No way!
I purposely book all of my flights with window seats for just that reason. I love to look down at the world going by and wonder what all of those people are doing with their lives. I know that I probably make their lives more interesting than they actually are, because I also think that if someone like me was doing the same thing from their flight, looking down at me in my house, they would be imagining a much more interesting life than what I actually live.
While daydreaming can be an “issue” in some circumstances, it has also led me to solutions to some problems that I might not have come up with otherwise, and some pretty creative thinking, which serves me well in my professional and personal life, so I guess it’s a good thing that I never outgrew my daydreaming “issue”.