One day in the future, you will Google “inspirational quotes” and a whole Bethan Stritton section will pop up. My most famous quote will be this: “Computer books are what happen when you are obsessing over hover boards.”
Does that quote sound familiar? It is slightly stolen from old Johnny to the left here and what it basically means is that some things sneak in without us noticing.
Have you noticed that?
You’re all busy-busy focusing on wanting one thing and before you know it, all this other stuff has happened without you even being aware.
People with grown up children are cursed with this sentiment. They say, “kids grow up in the blink of an eye”, then gaze longingly at your child who has just poured a glass of coke into your lap and is now running around like a hooligan mohawk on e numbers.
I have experienced this too – not with children but with gadgets. Inspector Gadget gadgets. (If you say gadgets as much as I have just said gadgets in that last sentence, there is a risk of tongue-twisted, mind bending madness. Try it. Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. See?)
When I was about 7, I had a particular video that I was obsessed with. It was a feature length animation about gnomes. Some of you may be aware that as a child my one true mission in life was to become a Gnomologist and this particular animation was like a gnome boff’s dream come true.
Whoever had recorded the gnome film had also recorded several other animations and so to GET to the gnomes, I was forced to watch at least four other animations (it would appear that I hadn’t mastered the Fast Forward button). One of these cartoons was an episode of Inspector Gadget.
Now. Whilst I was 100% loyal to the gnome film, I couldn’t help really, really, really liking Inspector Gadget too. In particular I liked Penny’s computer book.
Do you actually REMEMBER Penny’s computer book??
It was amazing. She could go anywhere and get into all sorts of scrapes with Gadget and her dog (whose name defies me and I cannot be bothered to Google), then all she had to do was flip open her computer book, press a few buttons and it would tell her anything she needed to know.
Bethan – age 8: “Dad, for Christmas I really want a computer book like Penny’s. You’ve got to find me one.”
Dad – mumbling as he squints at the prehistoric desk top lump that is taking itself very seriously as a top of the range computer: “Bethy-Bobs, computer books don’t exist except on the cartoons.”
Bethan – persisting: “But there must be one SOMEWHERE in the world. If they ever invent one, will you get me one?”
Mutter, mutter, mumble.
Right. Okay. Wander off.
Quite soon after that I went to the cinema and watched Back To The Future II. How many lives has that film changed? I mean, seriously. We walked out into the blinking sunshine, stunned and in awe of the amazing future that this film had shown us. There was going to be ice cream diners, Richard O’Brien fashion faux pas and, yes, deep breathes, hover boards.
Question: WHY HAVEN’T HOVER BOARDS BEEN INVENTED???
I can not believe this. How many eager, chirping, inventive little minds grew up believing with every fiber of their soul that hover boards would be invented? Did anyone even TRY? I have spent an entire 1980/1990s childhood with the hope of one day getting on a hover board. But no. No one pulled it together. No one, no one, no one. Part of me won’t even believe we have ever even reached the future until M&S start stocking a range of not-just-any hover boards for women of a certain age.
What I love is that I am having this rant whilst sitting and writing on a very slim little Apple Mac with wi-fi hotspot switched on so I can Google pretty much anything in the world. Oh yes.
In my satchel is my beloved HTC phone, silver, sleek and oh so gorgeous. It allows me to communicate with people all over the world.
So okay, we didn’t get the hover boards. But while we were all hanging around, tapping our fingers, itching for the day when hover boards would appear on Dragon’s Den, guess what happened? Yep. Computer books sneaked in through the back door.
You see? You see now? “Computer books are what happen when you are obsessing over hover boards.” Pure logic.
I massively believe in having high expectations for the future, but when we get fixed on one thing, one way that we WANT IT TO BE, we tend to block out every other possibility and by doing that we block out 99.9% of life.
When I was little – alongside the gnomey aspirations – I was determined to become a writer. For years I ploughed through the publishing industry, believing that this was the only way that I would reach that goal. My most liberating moment was realizing that the publishing world is simply a profit driven industry focused on profit over creativity. In that moment my focus softened and I was able to see that I had all the tools around me and within me to create my own future and make my dream come true in so many more exciting, wonderful ways. By softening my focus, easing my mind out of rigid pathways, so many other pathways have opened up and my experience of life has become fluid and easy to shift.
Good things to consider: When you imagine the your future, what is the one thing you focus on wanting or achieving? Is your focus on this thing loose and limber or fixed and hard? And whilst you are planning on moving towards this place, what other ideas, understandings or pathways are you missing?
Right. I am off for a little morning joggy now. Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I have well and truly sailed out of the Port of Procrastination and into the Port a’la Green Light where it’s all about giving yourself permission to act. Yep. I just ordered 1000 copies of Grow Your Own Gorgeousness for the launch at the end of August. Am feeling eekish but excited and reassured to know that you – lovely little souls of gorgeousness – are all coming along for the ride. xxx