Have an active fantasy life

Cast of TV show fantasy islandSince starting this blog, I’ve become a big fan of the postsecret.com blog which I gave a nod to on my About page.

One of the secrets shared last week was “Sometimes when I am driving I pretend a famous person is sitting in the passenger seat having a great time with me.”

While I haven’t done that exactly, I’ll admit there’s been the odd morning when I’ve arrived at work after my 40-minute commute without even being conscious of driving because I daydreamed about what I would do if I won the lottery.

I’ll reveal another one of my secrets. Growing up, I loved watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island on Saturday nights. It was exciting to be whisked away each week to an exotic locale, a new romance and a new fantasy.  Today, fantasy TV has been replaced by reality TV. Why? It must be because there’s just not enough reality in our lives.

I think it’s time we bring fantasy back into our lives. Fantasizing can be liberating, exciting, and inspiring.  It’s an escape from the ho-hum and can get your creative juices flowing, spark your imagination and make you feel happy.

And yet I’m going to go out on a limb and say I bet most people won’t admit to having an active fantasy life. It’s a bit like admitting you vote Green or watch The Batchelor.

This week’s Happy Act is to fantasize. I don’t expect you to share your fantasy but if you are comfortable sharing, please keep it clean—this blog is rated G and some of my kids’ friends read it. I would like to try a little experiment though. How many of you are willing to at least post a comment admitting you fantasize sometimes (and I know you do). How brave are you? Let’s see.


Take a break from sweeping away your luck

Dog with apron and broom
Bella in her apron ready to take on the fur balls she created

The other day, my youngest daughter Clare looked down at her fleece pants and said, “It’s like a big fur ball exploded all over me.” We looked down and her pants were half white from the mounds of white fur from our Great Pyrenees Bella.

This week, Clare was studying Chinese New Year in her class. One thing I learned about Chinese New Year is you aren’t supposed to clean your house on the Lunar New Year’s Day itself because it is said it will sweep away your good luck for the year.

I think North Americans have become obsessed with cleanliness. I’ve been in people’s houses where after they’ve cleaned off a few crumbs from their kitchen counter, they spray it with some kind of antiseptic. I’m not sure how we got to this state where we can’t even live with a crumb on the counter. It’s crazy.

What’s wrong with a bit of dirt and dust anyway? Personally, I think it’s healthy. Anyone who knows me knows I have these crazy theories, and one of them is cleaners and the uber-sterilized environments we’ve created in our homes have contributed to a higher incident of allergies amongst children. I know there’s all sorts of studies on this, but think about it, how can you build up any kind of immunity to the normal germs and dirt that surrounds us if you antiseptic it away?

But my biggest issue with housework is it just takes too much time and cuts into the things I really want to do on my weekend, like skate on the lake, toboggan, play the piano, and hang out with my family.

So this week’s Happy Act is to take a break from the dust and dirt. Hang up your broom and don’t worry about housework for one weekend. Enjoy the free time and feel good knowing you’re not sweeping your luck away for 2014.

Note: Not all Happy Acts I blog about will make you feel happy, so feel free to take a pass the odd week. I know some people who absolutely love cleaning. If that’s the case, roll up your sleeves and clean away—tackle a closet you’ve been meaning to clear out. Whatever makes you happy (or call me, seriously, call me—the fur balls are multiplying).

TIP FOR THIS WEEK: If you live in the Ottawa or Kitchener-Waterloo regions. Frank Warren from postsecret.com is speaking at Carleton on Feb 5, U of O on Feb 6, and Wilfrid Laurier on Feb 7th. You can read a bit about Frank’s blog on my About page, which I’ve just updated.