Loretta LaRoche: Try getting lost in a daydream more often

Loretta LaRoche

Remember when you were a kid and you would stare off into the distance? Your mother would say, “Come back! Where are you, in la-la land?”

By now, you’ve probably buried or diminished this wonderful place that can help us elicit inner peace and harmony.

But as children, we daydream with grace and with great ease. It is because we are so clearly focused on our intent and where we are at any given moment.

If children see a kite, balloon or bird, they zero in on it like sonar and track it with complete absorption. As parents, we often scurry after a small child who is following something they are completely absorbed in because we fear for their safety.

Becoming one with anything gets harder and harder as we get older because our minds become more and more cluttered with outside demands.

Today we can be interrupted by some form of technology 24/7. When we try to give ourselves a respite from the constant cacophony of daily life, a nagging inner voice seems to begin plying us with guilty messages: “Why are you resting? You know you don’t have time for this! Get up. Don’t just sit there. You have lots to do. Keep going!”

Busyness has become a way of life, and it has even begun to infiltrate the world of children. Many parents spend their hours busing kids to and from a variety of organized activities. A lot of kids also spend hours in front of a TV or playing video games in lieu of going outdoors and building forts, flying kites, skipping, running or watching a bunch of ants creating an anthill.

We are fast becoming a nation that seems constantly focused on making everything productive. The irony attached to productivity is that when we marry it to playfulness, we become more productive.

All of us would be happier, healthier and less stressed if we could rediscover la-la land. It is available throughout the day and can be a vacation from some of the daily irritations that are part of everyone’s lives. Allow your mind to wander occasionally without reprimanding yourself, savor moments with your children without your inner critic telling you to “hurry up; there’s no time to waste,” and be silly whenever you can. You just might live longer.

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth 02360, send e-mail to getalife@lorettalaroche.com, visit the Web site at www.stressed.com or call toll-free 800-99-TADAH (82324).