For decades, I have found that a very useful mind tool is fantasy.
So, if I become aware that I have spent too much time thinking about something troubling, I will catch myself in mid-troubling thought and force myself to think of something…diverting.
It helps to have a default diversion. For several years I have used: What if a won a kabillion dollar lottery?
Thus, if I catch myself spending too much time thinking about something irritating or depressing or upsetting, I force a shift to enjoyable fantasy. The results are instant: I feel better.
Science has shown that we create neural pathways in our brain. If you spend a lot of time thinking dark/angry/scared thoughts, you actually build dark/angry/scared highways in your brain. Over time, these highways will dominate, and trap a person into dark/angry/scared thinking.
Recently, I had lunch with Barb and it developed that she, too, enjoys running I WON THE LOTTERY scenarios in her mind. So, I am not alone!
One fantasy for the last year or so is: If money was no object, what apartment would I buy in New York City?
I lived in New York for thirteen years, leaving in 1991. The city is fabulous and while I have no desire to live there again I daily look at Curbed New York which is all about real estate. Fewer things excite me more than floor plans. The city has been enjoying one of its periodic frenzies of construction but a new phenomenon are super-tall, super-skinny skyscrapers. I mean really tall and really skinny. Imagine an eighty-story pencil.
This kind of construction was not possible fifteen years ago or so. But advances in concrete technology have allowed heights and a thinness which is unprecedented.
Developers have been quick to adopt this new advance. Around Central Park, buildable lots ON the park are almost nonexistent so canny developers have been buying lots a block away or two blocks away or even three blocks away. And they no longer need to acquire large buildable lots. Today, they can buy just a couple of 19th-century townhouses, demolish them, and erect an eighty-story tower with FABULOUS views of Central Park and the whole city. It truly is living in the clouds.
Of all the new tall skinny towers my favorite is 432 Park Avenue. When I first saw 432 I did not like it. It seemed cartoonish, like a child’s version of a skyscraper. Over time though I fell in love with the rigorous design. When the apartments were finally revealed in the tower I really fell in love.
And stepped up my purchase of lottery tickets.
While it is fun thinking about living as such, there is no way I would live as such if I won a kabillion dollars. Rather, I would finish the Cross House to perfection — perfection, baby! — and then endow it lavishly to assure its protection till the end of time.
And rather than spend $82 million on an apartment in the clouds, I would buy and restore tens of thousands of houses across the land.
But…it’s fun having crazy insane fantasies so as to protect my neural pathways.
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