Below you can find another chapter from the book Thank you, mum. I hope it touches your heart.
(For the Swedish version, scroll down and then select Next post.)
Lists and post-it-notes. Every table was covered with all your to-do lists. Crossing off, adding more, notes disappearing and lists overlapping each other. You were always multi-tasking,
"While doing this, we could also do that."
I remember when Dad, out of frustration, exclaimed,
"Take it easy, you darn… efficiency monster!"
I liked the expression, "efficiency monster". After all, I was one myself. I was seldom bored, and if I ever was, I got creative. Often, it was a story, waiting to be written.
I learned to be efficient, to plan, all from you. I also learned to not stress the way you did. Stress was a big part of your life. Feeling as if you were behind, like there was always something needing your attention. Feeling as if you were worthless if you weren't productive at all times.
Just like the note that I found on a plastic folder at your house. Written in your neat handwriting, it read, "To do, if time is given." I smiled. I help so many people with this particular concept. Time is always given, as long as we stretch our hand out and accept it when it is presented to us. And then hold on to it and don’t let it slip through our fingers.
One of the women, whom I coach in time management asked me why I help women do what they desire, not what they have time to do. I seemed to be totally in control, completely stress-free. As if time were on my side. How could I possibly understand an exhausted, worn-out woman like her? It wasn't until she'd said it, that I understood what other gifts you gave me.
My marketing agency wanted to milk a Cinderella story out of me. Wanting me to say that, back in the day, my one big problem was time management. That I'd wasted my time before I finally realized how to use it; or that, in the past, I had burnt out before I figured out the solution. They were almost disappointed when I said I was just naturally efficient, that I've always used my time well and thought through every step carefully. I haven’t chased time; I have utilized it. But that wasn’t a good enough story, not sufficiently enticing or marketable. When I talked to that woman, that's when I understood. You were Cinderella, but the fairy godmother came to see me. You had the problem, and I received the solution. A solution that I've given to a whole lot of people since then. My clients tell me how, after working with me, they see life in a new light. They've found peace, and especially, a delightfulness that they'd lost.
Even when retired you kept stressing. The feeling of needing to do something, and then moving on to the next task, and then the next. That feeling stayed with you. Even after we kids had moved out, and after having no students to care for. The stress was so deeply rooted in you. If only I had recognized that at the marketing agency interview, that would have been a great story. The story of a woman, constantly letting women out of time jails, but who couldn't rescue her own mother. The lock to the time jail can only be opened from the inside, and no matter how many keys I threw at you, I never found the ones you were ready to use.
Thank you, Mum, for you helped me to teach others what I would have loved to teach you.
Please share this blogpost if you think it can help someone!
This was a chapter from the book Thank you, mum. A book for those who miss someone.
If you would like to give the book to someone you think can be soothed by it, or to yourself, you can find it on Amazon on any of the links below, or you can search for it on your Amazon of choice.
Amazon in the Netherlands (if the price of the paperback is higher than about 17 euros, check out another market)