Monday, December 8, 2014

Just My Imagination

I have an extremely active imagination. It even transcends into the world of dreams. I have very vivid dreams and almost always remember them. Last week, for example, I dreamed that I was sitting in a group of friends (maybe 6 or 7 of us), and Taylor Swift was with us. I dreamed that she was whining about how kids were mean to her, and I said, "So now are you just like 'What's up, bitches? I'm Taylor Swift!'" And in my dream she started crying, said I was mean to her friends and ran away. Then I woke up with that wretched "Shake it Off" song in my head. It was a nightmare the rest of the day.

Running is the best way to deal with my active imagination. You won't believe the number of imaginary confrontations I've had (both work and personal) while running. I've come up with brilliant ideas and dismissed silly ones. Running is where my best thinking happens. I've written legislative testimony and dozens of these blogs. I insist on running naked (without technology) so I can get lost in my own thoughts and daydreams. It's my version of meditation.

In Michigan legislative sessions are two years long. At the end of every two-year session the month of December is a crazy feeding frenzy of legislative "priorities" that haven't been important enough to pass in the preceding two years. Lame duck is a political minefield of craziness where anything can and does happen. I honestly don't know how people who don't run make it through.

During these lame duck days my schedule looks like a game of Tetris. I have meetings on top of meetings, and nothing gets my full attention. It's about triaging issues and somehow making sure everything is covered.  Tempers run high during lame duck as contentious issues that have been buried for two years somehow make their way to the surface. Although my feet are generally killing me (because only quitters wear flats), the only way to work through the frustration caused by lame duck is to abuse my feet a little more with a run.

My imagination nearly keeps up with my schedule and inexhaustible energy during lame duck.  Sometimes I wake up from some weird dream, mentally walk through some legislative testimony, and I somehow manage to get myself back to sleep. I think about all the things that need to be done in addition to work: Christmas shopping, cleaning, dogs to the groomer, trips to be planned. All of those things are worked through while I'm running, and I can burn off some of my active imagination as well. Now if I could just get that damn Taylor Swift song out of my head...   

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