By Joe Rector
One of my favorite songs from my teenage years is “What a Day for a Daydream” by the Loving Spoonful. It was mellow and light enough to bring a feeling of “all’s right with the world.” In opposition to that positive feeling, I remember teachers squawking at some students as they told them to “pay attention and quit daydreaming.” Recently, I heard Lily Meola’s song “Daydream.” It is an anthem for people to go for the things in life that mean the most, to turn those dreams into reality.
I don’t remember having ever daydreamed. The reason for that is my inability to sit still for any length of time. Neither have I ever considered daydreams to be thoughts of what a person really wants from life. However, after listening to Meola, I’ve changed my mind.
I’ve wanted plenty of things in this life. As a teen, I wanted to be popular; I didn’t want a girlfriend to break up with me. I planned to be a choir director in high school, but when I reached college, I was further required to take advanced French since I had two years of it already. In the high school classes, I made B’s, and in the second year, D’s and F’s were my grades. The chances of my passing advanced classes in French were slim and none. I gave up my dream and decided that I’d be an English teacher instead, a decision that proved to be a good one.
The late Reverend Bill Menees pushed me until I asked Amy out. After our first date, I knew that she was the girl I would marry. I daydreamed about her constantly and spent so much time at her home that her mother said every time she opened the door. I was standing there. I refused to let Mary Alice run me off, although years later I understood why she was so put out with me. Still, being with Amy was the most important thing to me. We’ve had rough times, but we stuck together and worked them out. Our rewards for surviving those first years were two wonderful children and a full, happy life.
The writing bug hit me late in life. I found an itch that I could never scratch. Even to this day, I love to sit down and try to create something that has at least a bit of value. When I first began, some people in the profession told me to forget about finding someone to let me write on a regular basis. I wasn’t giving up on my daydream, and thanks to some luck, kind publishers and editors, and the good Lord, I am still banging out things twenty years later.
The song “Daydream” tells listeners that what we want the most should scare the hell out of us. I know that the thoughts of not being with Amy, not teaching, and not writing shake me. I’ve given my best to keep those blessings healthy and major parts of my life.
I hope that if nothing else, those who read this think of the things that are important in their lives. Then I hope they go for those things and become fearless during the pursuit of them. Don’t settle for something less than the ideal thing for you. That will make your life fuller and happier. The struggle won’t be a burden; it will be a journey toward what you’re meant to have.