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A world of pure (re)imagination – Fiona Tatton, Womanthology Editor

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Fiona Tatton - Womanthology Founder and Editor
Fiona Tatton

Not joining the crowds fending off the international hoardes in the Olympic sunbed sprint

Hello and welcome to issue 37, our School’s Out edition where, amongst other things, we’ve gathered together some of our most dynamic champions of education and young people to allow them to pause and consider what they’ve been up to over the last academic year and reflect over the summer break.

It’s the summer time and most people’s minds are in one of three places. They are either:

  • About to go away on holiday and taken up with the mini trials and tribulations of how much Factor 15 to purchase as they spend exorbitant amounts in Boots.

or

  • They have made it to the beach and there’s the daily grind of having to strategically locate the best lounger, how to bag it sufficiently early in the morning and fend off the international hordes in the Olympic sunbed sprint.

or

  • They aren’t going on holiday for the foreseeable future and they have to cope with the notion that the rest of the developed world seems to be on hold for the duration of July and August, and no proper decisions will be made until at least mid-September when everything has settled back down, just in time for everyone to lose interest again at the start of December.

The common thread here is that summer is a time for most when the pace changes and most of us have chance to stop and think about things a bit more. Work and family life today is so hectic and time whizzes by at such a pace that before you’ve caught your breath it’s more than halfway through another year. (The other thing guaranteed to make your life speed by is to produce a fortnightly magazine. No sooner than one has been and gone than it’s time for the next one. Good job I like writing…)

The world and her husband are at the beach

So whilst slowing down, but only very slightly, as I fall into the bemused third group above who is in a holding pattern whilst the rest of the world and his wife (or why not the world and her husband, or who says the world even got married..?) disappear off to the beach and leave the rest of us to it. I got to thinking about summer as a time to stop and reflect. It’s an ideal time to consider reimagining you and the life you want.

So whilst my sunbathing will all be of the British variety for the foreseeable future (a handful of days of glorious weather interspersed with on / off rain and misery) in the spirit of summer as a time to ponder, what are the bits about me and my life I’d like to keep and how would I reimagine myself if I was going to use August as a time of transition?

No need to follow the same well-trodden path as everyone else to get something done

I think the bits I’d keep are my passion and enthusiasm. If I love something and believe in it I will fight for it and champion it with all my heart and soul, and I will always love it. I think I’d keep my originality of thought and my determination that you don’t have to follow the same well-trodden paths as everyone else to get something done. I’ve always been a bit of a maverick and I suppose I always will, but what’s not to love about being a maverick? There’s no interesting books or films about the life stories of conformists, so why be one?

Just because you can’t see the road ahead doesn’t mean it’s going to be bumpy

So to the bits I’d change in my summer of reimagination. I think I’d look to reimagine myself as someone who never ever doubts that my efforts will result in success. Just because you can’t always see the road ahead it doesn’t mean it’s going to be bumpy. I like to use an example borrowed from Jack Canfield:

“Think of this. A car driving through the night, the headlights only go a hundred to two hundred feet forward. And you can make it all the way from California to New York driving, through the dark, because all you have to see is the next two hundred feet. And that’s how life tends to unfold before us. And if we just trust that the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, and the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, your life will keep unfolding. And it will eventually get you to the destination of whatever it is you truly want, because you want it.”

Jack Canfield “The Secret”

We women are notorious for doubting ourselves and our abilities, so I like the headlight metaphor as a way of showing us that none of us know exactly what lies ahead, but we need to trust that we’re going to make it to our destination.

I suppose the other glaringly obvious thing to remember is that whilst you’re reimagining things, given that your imagination is arguably pretty vast, why not reimagine big? Go on. The only thing that’s holding you back is you.