The danger of postponing

The bouquet was placed on a table in the office. Mr. Jones sat on a chair next to it, smiling and choked up. He unwrapped the presents from his colleagues, occasionally removing a tear or laughing at someone’s joke.

Lindsey looked at her watch, wondering how long she needed to stay to not be considered rude. Not that she didn’t like Mr. Jones. On the contrary, he was one of her favorite colleagues. He had employed her years ago. It was hard to imagine he would not be here on Monday. He would be a pensioner, enjoying life, while the rest of them would be at work, stressing away as usual.

Lindsey tapped nervously with her foot. She had to leave within ten minutes to beat the traffic and pick up her daughter. They mustn’t come late to the piano lesson again. 

When Mr. Jones had unwrapped all presents and given his goodbye speech, Lyndsey made her way through the crowd. She put her hand on his arm.

“Mr. Jones, thank you for all our years together. I must say I am a bit envious. You will have so much time now!”
He raised an eyebrow and put a hand on hers, shaking it a bit.
I will have much time? Dear Lindsey, I will soon turn seventy. You are in your thirties. You, my dear, are the one with time. “

Are you saying that you will do something "when you have time”?
  • when you retire,
  • when the kids move out,
  • when this project is over,
  • when the house renovation is done,
  • when…

Postponing things that are important, is a dangerous game. You may not be around when “later” comes.
Prepare for tomorrow without sacrificing today; experience something that matters to you every day.  


Choose compassion - also for yourself

Clara heard them, she saw their looks. The tweenies standing in the middle of the subway car, whispering to each other, laughing and looking at her. She knew she was taking up more than one seat, but it was the end of a long workday. She was too exhausted to stand. Besides, no one would want to stand close to her anyway. It is hard to not stink when you are fat. She could feel the sweat between the rolls. At the end of a day she would always smell, no matter how much deodorant she used.  
“Why don’t you go by bike, fatso? Then you will get slim and we don’t have to look at your fat ass!” 
The group of kids erupted in laughter, admiring the tall girl who had dared to make fun of the middle-aged woman.

Clara looked out the window even if all she could see was her own reflection. No, she saw more than her own reflection, she also saw the reflection of an older man. He was looking at her, searchingly, as if he tried to remember where they had met.

At the next stop, the group of kids went out, shouting more insults as the doors closed. The man who had looked at her stood up and walked to her, gripping the pole to keep his balance.
“Clara? Clara Miller, is it you? I’m Arthur, Arthur Anderson, remember? We were neighbors when you were a child. “
Clara looked up and saw the man from her childhood. Grey hair, stooped, but she recognized him. How could he recognize her? She had been a small, slim girl then. Not a middle-aged obese woman. For some reason, tears welled up in her eyes.
Mr. Anderson sat down next to Clara. He put his wrinkled hand lightly on her knee.
“I should have done something then. I guess I understood something was wrong in your house, but I was too busy with work, my own family… I should have done something Clara. “
Clara blinked repeatedly, her stomach turned, her hands trembled.
“I still see the beautiful little girl in you; she is hiding underneath all that blubber. You don’t need to hide anymore girl. You can be safe and beautiful. I promise, you can be beautiful and safe now.”

In As a man thinketh, James Allen writes:
"Change of diet will not change a woman who will not change her thoughts."
Do you have a fat colleague? An obese friend? A neighbor with fat rolls? Do you ever wonder why they don’t just get their act together? Change their diet and move more?
Chances are they have thoughts and experiences that make them unconsciously choose to stay where they are. 

Your judgement will not help them. Your compassion might.
Maybe that fat person who is unable to change is you.
Or maybe you are the procrastinator, the one who never concludes things or the one who is continuously late?

Don’t judge yourself. Be kind and find the real reason for your behavior. Only then can you change it. Choose compassion - also for yourself.


Surprising advice to working mums

Manda sat at a small round table in the corner of the café. At first, she didn’t recognize the tired looking woman who rushed in through the door. The woman looked around, pushing a strand of hair away from her puffy face. When she saw Manda she let out a high pitched sound and made her way over to the table, not even noticing that she pushed an elderly man to the side. 

“There you are, how lovely to see you!”
Manda stood up to give Lindsey a hug, but Lindsey stayed on the other side of the table and gave Manda a quick kiss on the cheek instead, leaving a faint smell of perfume in the air.

“I can’t believe we haven’t seen each other for so long”, Lindsey said as she sat down. “But it’s really crazy you know. My work keeps expanding. I got promoted, did I tell you that? It’s great, it really is, but there is no way I can manage everything in normal work hours. So, after I pick up the girls from school, bring them to their activities and make dinner – I log in again. It’s crazy, it really is. Did I tell you that my youngest started piano lessons? It takes an hour to drive there, but I really wanted her to have the best teacher you know? We all want our best for our children, don’t we?”
Manda was about to answer, but she closed her mouth when she noticed that Lindsey was not ready to listen. She needed to talk.
“I really wish we could meet more often Manda, I really do. Being with you always calms me down you know? But I just can’t find the time to meet my friends. I am always chasing my tail. There is always something to do, always something at work or with the kids. And I always come last you know. Don’t you have that? You look so calm, I don’t get it. And you look young. When I looked at myself this morning I almost screamed, I thought my mum was in the bathroom. I look ten years older than you do! I don’t get enough sleep, I know I don’t. And I make sure the kids train and everything, but there is just no time for me to train. Do you still go to that yoga class once a week?”
Manda nodded. Lindsey sighed. 
“I wish I could do that too. But, you know, my husband and I. We are having some issues. So, I just don’t have any energy, even if I could find the time. You know what I mean?”
Manda shook her head. She didn’t want to nod and go along. She didn’t want Lindsey to think her life was normal. Manda asked how her daughters were.

 “They are doing great you know, the oldest just started studying Chinese on top of the normal curriculum. I told her she doesn’t have to, she doesn’t have to be so over-ambitious. I told her to enjoy life a bit more, while she is young. But she doesn’t seem to listen.”
Manda smiled.
“She is listening alright. Not to your words, but to all the things you do.”
Lindsey looked confused.
“What do you mean?”
Manda put her warm hand on Lindsey’s. It was shaking.
“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Take care of you, and your kids will be just fine."

As a single mother, Elica has learned the importance of taking care of herself in order to take care of her daughter. She shares her experience and advice in this video.

As a working parent, you can be both powerful and mindful - if you remember to take good care of you.