The power of fantasy

When my children were younger, they sometimes asked for the impossible.

I remember one summer when they both decided that they wanted to go to Six Flags Over Texas and they wanted to go immediately.

Because I was a single mother on a limited budget, my first reaction was to feel sad. I don’t remember exactly what I was saving money for—probably something like new school clothes or new tires for my old car, but I do remember that I didn’t have the money to take two children to Six Flags.

What could I do? I could have said “no” in an angry, frustrated voice. Or, I could have said “yes” and then I could have been irresponsible and taken them and charged the entrance fees and other expense on my credit card.

Instead, I relied on fantasy.

“I would love to go to Six Flags with you,” I told them. “What rides do you want to ride when we go? We can’t afford to go now, but let’s make a plan for what we’re going to do when we can go. Then, let’s plan something fun that we can do this weekend. Maybe we can go on a picnic or go swimming.”

Fantasy is a gift. And it’s a very inexpensive gift. If you can’t afford a trip to Europe this summer or you can’t afford dinner out at an expensive restaurant, indulge in a little fantasy. Where would you go if you could afford a trip to Europe this summer? What would you eat if you visited that restaurant?

Enjoy your fantasies, and then treat yourself with a little substitution. Take a shorter, less expensive trip. Or, cook a delicious dinner.


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