I remember sitting at my desk in kindergarten when I was five years old. I’m not sure what my teacher was doing at the time, but I was daydreaming…
‘Sara, what are you thinking about?’ my teacher asked.
‘Oh, just rainbows and butterflies and fairies.’ I said.
My teacher smiled and responded that she really couldn’t get me in trouble for not listening if that’s what I was thinking about.
I was always a daydreamer – often preferring to stare at the sky or the tiny details of a leaf and let my mind wonder, rather than play with my brother and sisters.
I let my mind drift…
floating to new worlds,
forming new thoughts and ideas,
finding a space of peace and quiet in a similar manner to meditation.
I was lucky that my kindy teacher could see the value of daydreaming, as not everyone did.
Why is daydreaming often viewed as a negative thing? People who daydream can be considered vague, lazy or unproductive.
Yet daydreaming has helped me to achieve so much.
As an adult, I value daydreaming as one of my most important skills. I daydream as I wash the dishes, as I breastfeed my baby, as I draw, and as I drive (while still managing to get where I need to go!).
My lifetime of daydreaming now helps both in my academic and personal life. At university I study visual arts, creative writing and education. Through daydreaming I’m able to delve into my imagination, look at things from different angles and explore possibilities for new work. In these moments I often have my best ideas. When daydreaming, my mind isn’t limited by constraints or expectations.
So if you are a daydreamer, or perhaps your child is, I say embrace it!
And if you don’t find that space to daydream in your everyday life, it’s never too late to start. Try putting down your phone, then stare into the distance as you wait for a train, or lie in the grass and look at the sky during your lunchbreak, or watch the soap bubbles pop as you wash the dishes, and let your mind wander…