When I was growing up in the Midwest, our church had a wonderful pastor who was perfect in every way except Well, let me explain: He wasn’t exactly a bad preacher; no, not at all. He could actually turn a pretty good phrase. It’s just that – he went on, and on, and on.
During prayers, I can still see my mother in the pew beside me, seemingly mouthing words of hope that the litany of blessings would somehow come to an end. (“No, not the farmers in the field. Please, not the farmers in the field.”)
“And bless,” our pastor boomed (really, he was just getting started), “the farmers in the field!”
What did I do during these times, and the equaling interminable sermons? What else? I daydreamed. And one of my favorite daydreams – at least, if we were sitting in the balcony – was figuring out how, if I got a really good jump, I could leap to the first brass chandelier and ride it, Curious-George-style, to the next and the next and the next, over the awestruck congregation.
Why am I telling you this? Well, it turns out I’m in pretty good company as far as daydreaming is concerned. According to cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham (a guest blogger on Valerie Strauss’ “Answer Sheet”) we all daydream at least 30 percent of the time, whether we’re shopping, reading, watching children, or doing practically anything else.