Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.
What's life without fantasy? Many a young woman, married or not, is now heartbroken over the engagement of Mr. Cumberbatch aka Sherlock. I'm happily-married and still pine over Neil Diamond in an occasional weak moment. Any divorced person knows the feeling of missing the good times when the old relationship worked. Then there's the totally-made-up man or woman of our dreams, who woos us and adores us, at times.
And love isn't the only cool fantasy. A friend and I contemplated how we would change the country, or even the world, should we be elected for public office. I would be assassinated, no doubt, when I fought the drug cartels. I really see dangerous drugs, like acid, ketamine, cocaine, and heroin, ruining so many kids. Even weed destroys motivation and fattens brain cells. It's bad for depression, too.((Sorry, you guys who like it for pain and relaxation.) Without drug abuse and alcoholism, much of the crime and many health problems would vanish. Getting rid of smoking and obesity would help, too. Of course, I'd be accused of being judgemental and dictatorial. I'd try a combination of education, legislation and law enforcement.
Speaking of education, my friend and I would totally revitalize teacher education, making sure teachers learn something other than "educational methods" and how to do paperwork, so it looks like they're teaching. They would understand subject matter, like geography, history, math and literature and be able to teach it. Standards would go up to get a teaching job and tenure would be abolished but seniority would count for something, along with merit. Tests would not be the only measure of success. Salaries and benefits might be okay but not huge, so people would become teachers because they love kids and subjects, not just to earn money and have a short work year. (My apologies to all those smart and dedicated teachers out there who outshine their lazier colleagues.)Then, there are work incentive programs, trade apprenticeships, prison work training and college programs and other ideas which exist but which we'd increase.
These and other fantasies, including more dramatic dreams, like freeing North Koreans, and other slaves, deprogramming ISIS recruits, converting religious fanatics to sanity, saving lives in crisis, becoming highly talented and entertaining folks, or whatever your Walter Mitty daydream are fulfilling in their own way. They give us a kind of release, a feeling as if.....
Some people do live their dreams, like heroes who fight fires or save lives in an ER. Some people do more normal good things, like working well at their jobs and being good parents. Most of us give some joy, wisdom or love at times and we are able to change a little part of our worlds or even the world
What's your fantasy?