Tarot nights, who’s in?

“Hi there,” I greet my best friend that morning. “I am heading for a burnout. I am going to have to refocus and cut the crap.”

“Hi. What happened?” the Mentalist wants to know. “Did you smell the coffee this morning? You have come to a workable conclusion. Congrats.”

“This morning I snapped and realized I can’t go on like this,” I explain the situation in a monotonous tone. “Some things have to change. No more hockey, only yoga and preferably at home. Walking and running when I have the time. No more networking and after-work events either. I have discovered a local BNI network and will focus on that instead.”

“I see,” the Mentalist replies taking it all in. “Time and priority management are very important. They are good stress relievers.”

“Meditation is coming back on my program too,” I decide there and then what will help me to feel better.

“Good,” the Mentalist encourages me.

“Be more clear with my au-pair about when food needs to be on the table,” I mentally go over all the things which have been bothering me lately. “When I come home, no more computer or iPhone but go over homework with kids.”

“Hmmm,” is all the Mentalist answers as I find myself sounding like Bridget Jones, my idol I must admit.

“Also stop bulemialy consuming online courses,” I say more to myself than anybody else.

“You know of course that you have to do this consciously for 45 days at least,” the Mentalist points out that it is good to have great intentions, but useless if you don’t action them long enough to create new habits.

“Yes,” I answer very sure of myself.

“Ok,” the Mentalist acquiesces. “Set your sights and go for it.”

“Yes,” I agree with my first smile of the day.

“When do you start?” the Mentalist asks nonchalantly, but in fact this question is key.

“Now,” I resolve.

“Ok,” the Mentalist takes note.

“I also need to feed my heart,” I go on feeling very poetic all of a sudden.

“Have you fixed your house yet or are you procrastinating that too?” the Mentalist wants to know.

“Need fun back in my life,” I tell him with great emphasis. “Mentalist, I can’t do it, the house. I am burning out. There is no time or energy left.”

“Ah,” the Mentalist sighs. “Returning to old bad habits are we?”

“I don’t care what you say,” I retort. “I have to focus on my kids. They are not doing homework with the au-pair.”

“Kids are very important,” the Mentalist concedes.

“Food habits are terrible,” I tell him about a few pet peeves I have in regards to my live-in au-pair. “I am focusing on my kids now. And on me.”

“That you can tension up easily,” the Mentalist remarks for my benefit to observe what triggers me and how my body reacts.

“I don’t have the strength to bring that bed down,” I tell him with shoulders drooping at the mere thought. “The bed is fine upstairs. I am spent. The house will sell in time.”

“Get help. Wim has two strong boys,” the Mentalist urges me to delegate, get help where help is needed. “Call all your ex-lovers for help. They will think they are going to get lucky. Or ask your girlfriends husbands for help.”

“Wim’s boys can’t do anything. We only see them in the weekend,” I say as excuse, but in fact I dare not ask for that help. “I don’t want to see ex-lovers. All my girlfriends are single.”

“Tell Wim to talk to them as it’s for his benefit too,” the Mentalist encourages me to try this route anyhow, like it or not.

“I hardly have any friends,” I am now lying to myself. I do have friends, but I find it unbearable to appear anything but strong and successful. “No.”

“Ask the guys at work then,” the Mentalist goes on to see how big my ego actually is.

“Stop obsessing about that stupid bed,” I snap back at him. “We will be gone in 2 months time.”

“Ok,” the Mentalist conveys in a voice that is annoyed. “It’s your house.”

“Then I can get a different agent and take pics of an empty house,” I tell him my plan.

“I suggest you rent it out to cover the mortgage,” the Mentalist offers another solution.

“Yes good idea,” I agree naively. I mean, surely there are many costs related to renting out a property. Not to mention the hassle when you have to fix things that get broken.

“Keep it until the market allows a 380.000 house to be sold for 500.000,” the Mentalist sure knows how to get me going, and get to me fast.

“It is not 380k,” I am boiling with anger here. “It is worth 520k at least.”

“To you yes that’s true,” the Mentalist points out to me. “But to the rest of the world it’s not. Sorry I know you think your house is the same as a credit from the bank and you need a large profit to put down on your new house. Most people buying a house do their research first. Not much has changed in the housing markets in two years in Belgium.”

“Whatever,” I answer as there is no point in arguing. He thinks he is right, and I still believe I am right too.

“What you need is a stupid rich person to buy your house,” the Mentalist informs me.

“It is not something I have much control over right now and I need my strength to refocus,” I tell him as I believe he has completely missed the point of this whole conversation. I am stressed out of my eye balls and this is not helping.

“To get that you need to appeal to their emotions,” the Mentalist points out what I need to work on.

“There are lots of houses for sale right now and not many selling,” I tell him of my observation of the market and the neighbourhood. “Yes sounds easy.”

“I think you should learn to delegate,” the Mentalist solves my stress problem in one sentence.

“I should learn,” I agree but this is not so easy for a perfectionist control freak like myself.

“Yes,” the Mentalist stresses.

“But difficult with nobody around,” I answer in despair. “The au-pair is great but limited. My kids need my attention.”

“You have an au-pair idiot person living with you,” the Mentalist recaps my situation. “Organize her time and check on her.”

“Heleen isn’t coming back till February,” I think of all my resources.

“Good,” the Mentalist seems to think this is good news. And it is in such, because at least she is coming back.

“She already does a lot,” I go on remarking that my au-pair already has a lot of responsibilities on her plate. “Look micro managing is tiring too.”

“Don’t be doing the au-pair’s job,” the Mentalist warns me.

“No,” I agree I have too often been doing that, which might add to confusion for her, and extra workload for me. “Will try that.”

“Right start macro managing,” the Mentalist turns my ideas around. “Delegate responsibilities.

“Like what?” I demand to know? I need concrete examples of how this would work. “What do you think the au-pair should be doing? She goes shopping and spends too much.”

“Keep fun time for you,” the Mentalist advises. “Au-pair needs to learn to be more in charge and enforce things.”

“She does the ironing but then most of it is hers,” I think out loud. And then I realize how young she really is. “She is 19 for crying out loud.”

“She must do everything related to the kids’ needs,” the Mentalist answers.

“She doesn’t speak Dutch and isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed,” I explain. “Homework with kids is not for her.”

“A house wife if you will,” the Mentalist goes on explaining?

“Yes yes, as if I didn’t know that,” I am annoyed that he is pointing out the obvious again.

“Well what’s the problem?” the Mentalist fails to understand. “Is it you are looking for an excuse not to do the things you must do as a single parent? Most people cope just fine doing two jobs.”

“She has no food sense,” I ignore him accusing me of not coping as a single mom. “I have to constantly question exactly what and when kids ate and then roll my eyes and repeat again what healthy eating is. She’ll do it a few times and then just revert to rubbish eating. Or worse no organized eating. I am not coping right now.”

“She is lazy,” the Mentalist concludes from my description. “Did you get her through an agency?”

“I have been doing everything you said: getting up early at 5:30 for yoga, going to network events, studying, trying to find new clients,” I lay out where my true problem lies at the moment. I have some frustrations due to my need for control, but it’s all the other activities which are getting to me. “And now I can’t do it anymore. The basics, i.e. my kids are being neglected and not performing at school. So all your pressure is counter productive. I am not doing it anymore.”

“Ok,” the Mentalist sighs.

“Not your fault,” I tell him immediately for I know of the Mentalist’s outbursts. And taking responsibility for myself. And yada yada ya. “The morning yoga is great. I have found a good network so will drop the rest. I will better manage the au-pair and coach my kids. I will stop running around.”

“It’s my fault you can’t time manage,” the Mentalist booms at me despite the fact that I pointed out my own responsibility. “Like is said yesterday, you are lazy. Go back to failing. Maybe that lifestyle suits you better. Hurry up and get married so you can hopefully live off Wim. At least that makes sense.”

“Digital detox,” I resume what might help me destress. “No. Humans are programmed to be lazy. You are not very nice with me. Sometimes I wonder whether you really like me.”

“Right keep going,” the Mentalist goes on and I am to this day not sure if he was really encouraging me or being sarcastic. “I agree cut back. Get rid of the waste of time. Delegate responsibility to the idiot living with you. Complain to her agent if you have one. Don’t go back to old easy habits. They don’t work.”

“Ok,” I agree hoping the Mentalist is still with me and not losing patience.

“I actually love you and am hard on you because of it,” the Mentalist admits, though it is a statement I find hard to believe. I find myself unlovable, but that again is my issue. “You have very high potential. A great mind wasted because you are lazy.”

“I. Am. Not. Lazy.” I state loudly.

“Yes you are,” the Mentalist relays. “Try and write down a plan of action for the day at 5:46 each day.

“Ok,” I like that plan, especially the exact timing of it. “What do you think about house healing and feng shui for selling?”

“Then do it,” the Mentalist orders me. “What you can’t do write it off. Make a new list that is unreachable each day until you are so organized you don’t recognize yourself. I am not a fan of this. Try it if it makes you feel good.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I agree that making a daily to-do list is the way to go. “Thanks”

A reachable plan each day,” the Mentalist repeats and I am sure he earlier said an unreachable plan. And I had immediately thought that plans are meant to be smart.

“I hope I start feeling better soon,” I say for good measure. “An attainable plan.”

“You will,” the Mentalist forebodes. “Get some sleep. Yes each day.”

“Yes I am lacking sleep,” I admit and immediately understand why I am feeling overwhelmed again. “Sleeping with Willem isn’t a great idea.”

“And get the idiot to do the same,” the Mentalist advises. “No I guess not.”

“There are spiders and strange dreams upstairs,” I tell him in a conspiratorial tone.

“Yes indeed,” the Mentalist agrees strangely.

“Had big ones crawling all over me,” I tell him what happened to me the other night I slept up in the loft.

“Just eat them in your dream,” the Mentalist laughs off.

“Want to hear something strange?” I suddenly remember what else I wanted to tell him.

“Lucky spiders,” the Mentalist adds on cheekily.

“Did the tarot last night,” I go straight to the story still laughing. “Haha.”

“And?” the Mentalist is curious now.

“And when I finished Willem’s toys started singing,” I inform him, my voice almost a whisper. “It was Tim the tow truck telling me he is always there to help me. Creepy so I went to bed. With Willem.”

“Are you attracting attention from the dead now?” the Mentalist asks me slightly alarmed and not hiding it. “Are you saying a prayer for protection before you read Tarot?”

“No I forgot,” I admit not following up on good advice the Mentalist had given me previously about playing with esoteric stuff.

“Please don’t forget,” the adds gently.

“How do I get rid of it?” I want to know.

“Make a prayer asking for this to be taken away,” the Mentalist tells me. “Pray.”

“That felt just as creepy,” I tell him as I open my eyes again after a moment of silence. “I did it.”

“Ok. Protect yourself please,” the Mentalist urges me. “I gotta go. Love you and be good to yourself.

If you or someone you know wonders what it feels like to attract energy through tarot readings or living in a haunted house, experience it by following the rest of my stories.





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