Sharpen your skills

Refreshed and energized from my summer getaway, I find this is the perfect season to focus on kickstarting my professional growth! Now’s a great time to up my game.

“Hi,” I answer my phone on the third ring that afternoon in July. “I am back from the seaside. How are you?”

“Hi,” the Mentalist answers in good spirit. “I am good. How was it? Did you swim?”

“It was great!” I am super enthusiastic about my week in Cadzand. “Super quality time with the kids. We paddled, played in the sand, went for walks and on bike rides. Great food too. Loved it!”

“Did the au-pair go too?” the Mentalist wants to know.

“Yes she did,” I am proud to answer. “She is super organized. Which is good. She did all the packing and unpacking.”

“Wonderful,” the Mentalist approves. “What else is good with you?”

“But she’s a bit too much too. Always planning ahead. Like ‘we need to put the bins out next week’, ‘let’s not let the baby go in the water else he will get wet’…” I complain. “What is good with me? I want to work and shine. Enough little house on the prairie. Can’t think of a new film though.”

“She sounds great,” the Mentalist sounds pleased for me. “A mommy in the making.”

“Want to finish my reiki master’s course, start my digital psychology course and make these videos into a success,” I go over my wish list with him. “Oh yes she is all woman all right.”

“Sounds good,” the Mentalist cheers. “She needs me right? I could make her into a mommy.”

“Why would she need you?” I ask surprised.

“To make her a mommy,” the Mentalist replies slyly down the phone.

“Noooo she has a boyfriend waiting for her in South Africa,” I exclaim realizing the naughties he is whispering into my ear. “She tells me it gets cold there in winter. Can even snow in the mountains. Sounds strange: skiing in South Africa.”

“Where is she from?” the Mentalist questions me.

“Randfontein,” I tell him what I know. “Do you know it?”

“Yes,” the Mentalist answers pensively. “It gets cold at night. +- 1 degree. The mountains get snow cover but not for skiing. Does she speak Afrikaans to you?”

“No she speaks English with me and the kids,” I shake my head as I ponder over this information. “She speaks Afrikaans to Willem though.”

“Nice Afrikaans poppies you have there,” the Mentalist chuckles. “A voortrekker.”

“A voortrekker?” I ask astonished. “Someone who leads the way?”

“She is too young to know what the Voortrekker movement is,” the Mentalist tells me without explaining anything else on the matter. I have to Google it myself to find out it’s a Dutch movement in 1830 trekking more further into the land east and west in annoyance of the British colonial administration. “Does she get annoyed with so many black people in Belgium?”

“No but I know she doesn’t like them much,” I answer remember a few fleeting remarks the au-pair had made. “I am stuck at 58kg. Didn’t lose weight or gain weight on holiday.”

“That’s good,” the Mentalist answers, though I don’t agree. I want to get unstuck. “Now go for a 5 km run.”

“I went yesterday with Winston and Lilly,” I answer very proud of myself. “We ran for 30 minutes.”

“Have you thought of not eating for a week?” the Mentalist throws my way.

“No,” I lie. “Okay yes but not doing that.”

“Eat brown rice only for 7 days and drink water,” the Mentalist advises. “You will become very skinny after two weeks. Look for a supplement that increases your metabolism. High energy stuff but not caffeine.”

“Like L-carnitine ?” I ask him.

“What’s that?” the Mentalist retorts, and at that I know he has something else in mind.

“A supplement,” I inform him nonchalantly. “Or maca ?”

“I got that,” he sounds annoyed. “No not that stuff. Some Chinese herbal mix or something that get tour thyroid working better.”

“Oh right… anything in mind?” I ask him for the good stuff. “Something I can buy legally. Like horny goat weed.”

“Go see a medicine man who knows Chinese medicine,” the Mentalist advises.

“A Chinese medicine man,” I repeat. “Sounds cool. Boost my thyroid. Got it. What about acupuncture?”

“No,” the Mentalist corrects me. “You need to detox first.”

“Okay,” I acquiesce as I take it all in. “I saw Nisha yesterday.”

“Go to her opening of her restaurant,” the Mentalist urges me.

“Like no…” I answer in a sarcastic tone.

“Like why?” the Mentalist enquires.

“Oh she’s opening a restaurant is she? Where?” I retort. “She spoke to me in Dutch. She spoke to Lilly in English and gave her a kiss. That’s why no.”

“I see,” the Mentalist answers pensively. “In Keerbergen.”

“Great, so she won’t be in Di Livorno anymore,” I go on in the same annoyed voice. “I will never go there.”

“I hope not,” the Mentalist answers, and I wonder if he means that she won’t be in Di Livorno anymore or that I won’t ever go there.

“But good for her,” I go on noting that it’s a good thing for karma to wish others well.

“I understand,” the Mentalist replies coolly.

“Which one is it?” I push him for more info. “So I know where not to go.”

“I would go if I was there,” the Mentalist pipes up again. “Get a chance to irritate fat Suzi.”

“Nisha is fat too,” I retort all defensive. “I do go to Di Livorno.”

“The old dynasty place,” the Mentalist answers in reply to my question.

“Good pizzas,” I nod to myself. “I go once a month with Heleen.”

“Nice,” the Mentalist replies a little too short.

“Yes,” I go on in my annoying sarcastic tone. “She didn’t look good. Just saying.”

“Who?” the Mentalist wants to know.

“Nisha,” I hiss.

“Yes,” the Mentalist confirms. “Difficult times I guess. Were you nice to her?”

“Yes,” I reply pleased with myself for not letting others lower my standards.

“See you are a marshmallow,” the Mentalist teases me.

“I could have said that I didn’t understand her Dutch because I know she doesn’t like that but I didn’t,” I tell my doctor friend. “I just answered in Dutch. Good manners is not a marshmallow.”

“Good girl,” the Mentalist replies as if he is patting me on the back. “Why put salt on an old wound?”

“Stupid woman,” I hiss again.

“Yes,” the Mentalist confirms my ill feelings. “So tell me the truth. Have you been good?”

“Yes. Of course,” I answer going over my whereabouts of the last days in my mind’s eye. “It doesn’t bring me anything though, being good.”

“You didn’t lose your self disciple and grab a young guy on the coast while the au-pair babysat?” the Mentalist teases me again.

“Never thought of that,” I say in astonishment. “I was in a different mood. This was family time. And quality time.”

“Everyone is looking for a summer fling,” the Mentalist justifies me.

“Looking for inspiration and muchness,” I correct him on my intentions. “A summer fling gave me Willem.”

“No it didn’t,” the Mentalist sets me straight. “Willem was a full on strategy.”

“I know,” I nod. “Willem was well thought out. I knew what I was doing. It didn’t just happen to me. I know.”

“I see,” the Mentalist replies to habit. And I wonder there and then how much really was planned. Part of me knows I did. But what about false memories? Who is to tell? “There are flying Ans everywhere.”

“Flying An?” I question him.

“Ants,” the Mentalist repeats.

“Queen ants,” I nod to myself remembering how flying ants day used to intrigue me as a child at my grandparents’ house. “Hope the queen wasps stay away.”

“Yes,” the Mentalist confirms me again. “Is your pool all set up?”

“I need to figure out what I am doing,” I answer in mystery to our ongoing conversation. “Yes pool is working. I keep it closed though.”

“You need to learn how to play the game to win,” the Mentalist tosses in his words of wisdom. “Most know how to play and not lose.”

My conversations with the Mentalist are full of the smartest insights to help me pursue my profession with a renewed sense of purpose. I want to better prioritize the things that matter most, navigate conflicts, and stay focused on my goals. The Mentalist seems to have unlimited bright ideas. After talking to him I always feel ready to take on the world!

Questions or concerns about the Mentalist? Just reply and we’ll be in touch.

Happy reading,




  1. Kind fed up with how you picture your boyfriend as a pathetic, impotent man-thing. Then again, he might indeed be pathetic enough if he stays with you while you actually made a baby under his nose and in the house he actually paid half of.


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