When I was little and had “outgrown” bedtime stories, I hadn’t actually outgrown them. I started telling myself bedtime stories. From my youngest memories, I have always called them bedtimes stories.
When I was little, they were about special days and not so special days and gave me a way to substitute events and characters to get the days to come out the way I wanted them to or to give me just the right day to anticipate.
As a teen, wanting just to be left alone like all teens do, my bedtimes stories were about the boy that ran away and lived in the hollowed out tree, all alone. That one was inspired by a movie, the name of which I can’t recall. Or, stories based on “The Omega Man” who was the last person left alive on earth, battling the forces of evil that came out at night…originally played by Charleton Heston, but substituting me in the lead role.
As a young man, they began to include the perfect partner and the happy memories we would make, including raising children and owning a home and having good jobs, or better yet, being wealthy enough not to have to work. Memories of a chauffeur and a Mercedes or a Jeep, and acres of land to live on and a second house in the best part of town.
As I grew up, those stories influenced what I looked for in life and who I became without actually requiring me to measure my life against them, which would have been pretty frustrating. They were my fantasies, my dreams, but not the reality.
But, they did help me figure out what kind of a partner I wanted in my life and how to handle some of the difficult relationships…Poof, you’re gone!
As I got older, I realized that the bedtime story wasn’t what helped me to sleep, but the focusing of my mind on a single train of thought that allowed my restless brain to settle down and move into the sleep state.
Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and was having trouble getting back to sleep. And, I found myself trying to focus on a bedtime story so I could get back to sleep and not yawn in the middle of one of today’s meetings. I actually envisioned myself flipping through my stories as if they were on a rolodex, looking at one and deciding that it wasn’t what I wanted. Or trying to fantasize about one and finding I couldn’t keep my mind on it. My mind kept drifting back to reality. And, reality is very busy right now, with lots of stuff going on in addition to our regular lives. There was plenty of stuff for my mind to drift back to.
Eventually, I found the right fantasy, Rob and Sydney and the dogs and cats and me, all moving to the country; big white house, red barn, Sydney in a small school where academics and 4H were the main focus instead of…whatever crap city kids are into; where she could ride horses and Rob and I could work the land and feed us and make enough money raising chickens and eggs to keep us in gas and necessities.
Fantasy. It’s the stuff that life is made of. The dream that you’d have, if you could have anything in the world. Stuff to measure real life against to make sure that real life is working the way you want it to. Who would you take with you on a fantasy? Would it be the family you have or the family you want? Would you be on a deserted island, all alone, or fighting off zombies in the big city, trying to rescue orphan human children before they can be turned?
Or, would it be sitting in your sewing room all day, making quilts and clothes and happiness? It’s kind of like that game; who would you most like to have dinner with, living or dead?
I hope I never get too old for fantasies, or for bedtime stories. Who knows, you may even be in one…
Be well and have a great Thursday. Tomorrow is new car for Lane day. A man on a mission. One day to bring 7 months of thinking and shopping and comparing to a final end. I’m approved for my loan, I’ve narrowed the search to two cars and two dealers. I’ve test driven one of the cars and tomorrow, I test drive the other. And, then I have to make the call. Just me. Nobody to help me decide. Nobody to blame if I end up hating the car in 6 months. That’s a lot of weight and likely has something to do with me seeing the clock at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 this morning. Thank goodness there was that farm in the country to go to so I could get back to sleep.