“Good morning,” I greet my best friend the next morning. “Slept in the new house. Fantastic and very big. Was thinking our old house must be overpriced. Should I drop the price? Love your blogs by the way.”
“Thanks,” the Mentalist answers rather modestly. “I was just looking at them on the site. How do I like them and get Debbie to like them so they spread a bit?”
He then continues on to one of the issues which has been bugging me for some time now: “Perhaps it might be best to drop to 499.000.”
And then he finally addresses how I can motivate my au-pair and make her feel good about herself and her decision to spend the year as an au-pair in Belgium: “Encourage your au-pair to hang out at the Depot. It can’t be far from you. Tell her everyone in Keerbergen goes there her age. She will be exotic speaking Afrikaans. She will meet lots of kids her age there.”
I hear him smile silently as I listen carefully to all he has to say to me this morning: “Congratulations on the move. I wish you and kids much health and happiness living there. I look forward to a cup of tea in your new house.”
“Not sure how you like on WordPress,” I have often wondered how WordPress spreads the love of your blog to other readers around the globe. “I have an account. Why don’t you click ‘like’ and see what happens? You could also like the Facebook page and share the articles from there. Or retweet my tweets on Twitter. Maybe I should make a newsletter too… when we have more followers.”
Once I have finished with all I know about promoting content via Social Media I hit the next subject: “Will go over the house, price options and rent options with Wim this weekend. It’s just because you have repetitively said that it is overpriced. And now comparing with the new house I am thinking it might be actually. Then again I think spring is the best time to sell a house, and these things take time. So I think we should stick to our price until March, and if then still nothing we will lower the price too 500k. Something about sticking to decisions also… no?”
Next I mull over his suggestions for perking up my au-pair: “The depot, it is an idea. Will see if I can get her to leave the house. And… thanks for your good wishes. I will gladly invite you for tea.”
Little did I know at that moment that I would indeed be inviting my doctor friend for tea, but not under the circumstances I had hoped for. And looking back now I wonder how he could have known. Was it a forewarning he received as well, or is he more than that?
“Where is the Facebook page?” the Mentalist takes my mind off my questions for a moment. And I send him the link promptly via text message.
“Humpf, Winston was too late for school,” I say with great dismay as I instantly notice the message notification from the school in my inbox when sending him the link to our Mordecai platform. “My au-pair really sucks. Sorry but she does.”
“Yes she does,” the Mentalist concedes. “Maybe be a bit firmer with her.”
“And she hides the truth,” I go on complaining about the one person who very soon will prove to be the sunshine and hub of my household. “Very frustrating. When I am firmer with her, I get teenage reactions. ‘Yes but, no but’ and sulking and so on.”
“Re explain her responsibilities,” the Mentalist pushes me. For if someone under my supervision is underperforming, I have a role to play too. “I might be coming back for a week to ten days soon. If so I will interfere and see if I can get her on track for you. Ok?”
“I did what you told me. 3 clear instructions,” I go on half ignoring that my recluse friend will be returning to civilisation briefly. “Winston has to leave at 8 on his bike. How stupid do you have to be to not know he will not get there on time on foot. What about giving him either another bike or taking him by car? Yes please because this is really not working. Also get her to talk with a voice and to stop the waffling. ‘Yes but no but’ is already 4 words too many and means nothing.”
“Calm down,” the Mentalist soothes me. Again, looking back he knew something bad was brewing. How else could he perfectly time his return to civilisation to coincide right with my own very personal family crisis? But remember, at this time, I know nothing of what is yet to come.
“And about eating habits,” instead of focusing on what should really matter, I go on unknowingly emphasising what I wish my recluse friend would insist on when talking to my au-pair. “Kids eat at regular intervals. They don’t survive on yoghurt and cookies alone all day. Okay.”
“Maybe you can introduce her to me on WhatsApp video,” the Mentalist offers hesitantly. “Let me think about that first.”
“Yes please,” I am eager to accept this offer. “But you don’t want her to go waffling to the rest of the world about the Mentalist. So you will have to be Mordecai. Oh please please please would you?”
“I will let you know later,” the Mentalist still shows a certain restraint to his own suggestion. “No not Mordecia. No I will be your friend. doc. The Mentalist from South America. But let me think about it first. I will tell you tonight.”
“Yes because it is a dangerous proposition,” I smirk at the fact that my best friend is now retracting on a solution which would have been just perfect.
“Yes indeed,” the Mentalist agrees there are dangers to being exposed. It would blow his whole undercover idea of being a recluse, you see. “Maybe Mordecia is a better idea.”
“I think it is,” I insist this is the best way forward. “Why are you so hesitant to use it?”
“Because I am a recluse,” the Mentalist points out the obvious. He wouldn’t live as a recluse if he wanted everybody knocking at his door for help. “But ok I will try. At 7 pm your time I will call you on video. Ok?”
“Yes you are a recluse,” I nod as I realize what this really means. I am lucky to speak so much to him. “Sorry to be intruding on you solitary moments.”
“Yes you naughty girl,” the Mentalist reprimands me. “So scary.”
“Scary? Really,” this thought gets me thinking. I never thought that the Mentalist would shy away so much from human contact. “I thought you talked to strangers all the time.”
“No you’re being sarcastic,” the Mentalist puts me back in my place. “Bad girl.”
“I am not,” I retort immediately. “It was a genuine remark. Haha.”
“How does your furniture fit into your new house?” the Mentalist asks as if he can read my mind. “Do you need to repaint the place?”
“Furniture fits poorly,” I admit I am not happy with the interior design of my new house. At least not the way I have currently filled it in. But that will have to wait for more money to arrive before I can start fixing that. “I will need to replace a lot of stuff in time. Needs repainting too. And 2 new bathrooms. But all in time when money is settled. I have found a formula that works a bit on clients.”
“Enough cupboard space?” the Mentalist is eager to hear about my new findings. “Really. What is it?”
“Yes plenty of cupboard space, especially with the 2 new ones I have ordered,” I tell my friend about my recent splashing out with money.
“My au-pair can’t spell,” I continue cheekily knowing that the Mentalist is waiting to hear about the formula which works well on clients. “Cubes is cupboard. Decreasing is decorations. Cruise or crisis is creche.”
I pause a moment to mark some drama, wait for it…. “Send hand written cards to say thank you, and send chocolates and a sincere “sorry” note when you make a doo-doo”
“Can she speak English?” the Mentalist wants to know.
“Oh yes she can,” I tell him firmly.
“Ask her to write in Afrikaans,” the Mentalist says and it sure is the obvious answer to this problem. Whilst I would just want to insist she learns to write proper English.
“She does when I ask her what she means with cubes,” I tell him about one of the latest cryptic messages my lovely au-pair sent me. I must stress that this girl is such a darling, despite my continuous whinging about her. She is fantastic.
“I see,” the Mentalist says resolutely which means he has made up his mind about this. “She must have learnt English in school. Well it’s sad that she had such bad expectations before arriving. Ok. We will see how she is later tonight.
“Okay,” I am happy to know my doctor friend will speak to her and work some of his magic on her. “You think she had bad expectations?”
“Yes she thought Europe was waiting for her, or she would be travelling and partying,” the Mentalist tells me why my au-pair is really unhappy. The reality of being in Belgium doesn’t match what she thought it would be like. When you set high expectations, you are setting yourself up for huge disappointments. “Being alone, looking after children never really entered into the romance of Europe.”
“True. We have done little things but she doesn’t seem interested,” I ponder again at how poorly I have handled this. “And she is very unfit for her age. I am in better condition at my age. Stamina wise. Being alone is difficult for her though.”
“Ok,” the Mentalist concludes indicating that he has done enough talking for the moment. “See you later.”
Life is as fascinating and intense as you want to make it yourself. It is like a movement of coming and going, in an ever-turning spiral from inside to outside.
The wheel of life brings us into an ever-flowing energy in which we can step in and out whenever we wish. It is crucial to keep balance. Keeping a balance between flowing on the one hand, creating plans, placing new seeds in the soil, nurturing them and letting them grow, developing ideas.
And on the other hand to regularly move out of the wheel, to sit in the center like a bear in his hole and to go into silence to look at everything that is still right and what is not. And learn to release, let go, create space ….
Sometimes we automatically create this balance, from the insight that everything comes and goes. Sometimes our body indicates this by giving signs that it is just enough, that it is time to go into the void and into the silence, or to re-source and feed yourself. To take new energy into the wheel of life.
A cycle that the seasons reflect on us, which the moon shows us from new to washing to full and decreasing, every month that nature represents to us. To us to move with, to listen to body heart mind and soul, to observe when it is time for creation, when it is time for distance, when it is time for silence.
I invite you to take a break from daily life and to recharge your batteries, to feed yourself to the depths of your mind, heart and soul.
In light, love and connection,