Blue Monday

I was having a shit morning.

It was Monday.  My husband left for university at 6am in the pouring rain because he was taking an important exam. My daughter spilled her cereal all over her new dress. My son had the world’s worst case of chicken pox and I was due to participate in an important Skype meeting.

That’s when the doorbell rang.

It was a social worker.  She was there to check on our “living conditions” and the “wellbeing of the children”.  It was a routine visit.  I just wish the stupid tart would have warned me!

My hair was a mess, I was wearing a formal shirt and red lipstick (getting ready for my Skype call) with my husband’s pj pants stained with baby food (because that’s all I could find when the damn doorbell rang).

My house looked like something out of a horror movie. I reckon the “living conditions” scored very low.   My kids were both crying, one because she felt embarrassed about her wet clothes and the other because he was itchy and hungry.  I reckon the “wellbeing of the kids” did not score very highly either.

Talk about first impressions huh?

The woman spoke to me in Dutch.  I did not understand.  My daughter laughed loud! She said “Mamaaaa, your boobie is open”.    It was true!  My breast-feeding son had been having his drink and in my rush, I completely forgot to put the boob away again.

The visit ended quickly.  She jumped on her bicycle and left.  I never heard from her (or the department of social services) again. Thank God.

BUT, I spent the rest of the day in turmoil.

What did she think of me? Did I look like a bad mother? Would she cause trouble? Did the children seem okay? Did she think I was crazy? Did she rate my boobs? Would she call the cops? BlahBlahBlahBlah!

Stupid woman on a bloody Monday morning!!

After a few hours of that head storm, I thought to myself “Damn this! Enough! Grab a hold of yourself.  Youuuuuu cannot control what’s done.  It’s done!”

And just like that, I channelled my inner Iyanla and focussed on what I COULD control.

I cleared my diary, took the spotty baby and the sweet girl out for a picnic.  Ahhhh!  Peace at last.

As we sat down, my daughter said “Mama! Mama! There’s your friend”. 

Yes, you guessed it!  Miss-Stuff-Up-Other-People’s-Mondays herself.

That’s when I had my first stroke of genius for the entireeee day.  I said “Let’s play tent-tent Everybody hide!”

And we did.

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The Weird Old Lady with One Globe

She was 8 years old.

She checked her first pocket.  The grocery list was still there.  She checked her other pocket. The money was still there.  Then, she grabbed a trolley and set off.

She was beautiful!  Thick glasses, neatly plaited gold hair.

She bought lots of strange things. Well, they were strange to me.  A big apple tart, 7 avocados, dark chocolate, 2 bottles of mushroom sauce, a Cosmo and frozen berries.

I followed her around the store.  I know!  Creepy, right?  But look, I had shopping to do too.

We got to the till to pay.

She went first.

Until then, she seemed so in control!  I was thinking “surely, this child is our future president!”

She battled to unload the groceries from her trolley.  Some of the things were quite heavy.

The teller was going fast.

The pressure to get the stupid things on to the conveyor belt was mounting.

She was beginning to hurry.

And, she was beginning to make mistakes.

There was a woman between her and I. Some rude tart that squeezed in while I looked away for a minute.  She was getting agitated.

The 8 year old said “I forgot something!  I’ll be back” and ran back into the shop.  She came back 3 seconds later with a toothbrush.  The teller was calm and patient.

Then, just as the girl relaxed again, she realised something else.  She had to pack her own groceries.  Fast!  So, she rushed to the front of the counter and started packing her heart out!  Faster and faster!  She got halfway when she realised something else.  She only had one of her shopping bags.  She had lost the other. 

So, back she went into the store to look for it.  She came back 3 seconds later.  She could not find her bag.  So, she made a decision.  She packed everything into one bag.

She was nearly over the finish line.

She paid for her shopping.

Then, she walked to the door.

The bag was about to break. It was getting dark.  I watched her trying to make a decision.

So, I walked up to her and said “Go find your lost bag. I will wait with your shopping”

She had to make another decision.

And she did. She chose to trust me. 

She ran back into the store and returned 3 seconds later.  She found her lost bag!

She bent down, packed half her stuff into the second bag and had the biggest smile on her face.

Mission accomplished!

It was dark when we left the store.  My heart was breaking for her.  8 years old?  All that stress?  Poor little thing!  I was projecting all MY feelings on to her. She was fine!  Absolutely fine.

That’s when I had to make a decision. 

Don't do it

I wanted to run up to her and tell her that she was brave, amazing, wise beyond her years. I also wanted to tell her that she should watch out for bad guys and that her parents should really NOT be putting all that pressure on an 8 year old.  I wanted her to know that she impressed me so much and that my heart would always remember her.  I wanted to thank her for that beautiful story that I watched unfolding. 

But, I decided.  I knew that she would probably feel scared and freak out and tell her mom about some crazy woman in Adidas sweats with one globe in her hand after “shopping” for 20 minutes!

So, I decided to let her go.

Let it go!

I believe in punctual, prepared and well-groomed.

So, I arrived 10 minutes early, took out my research notes and hung up my favourite navy blue Zara blazer.

The waitress with her strong perfume seated me.  I felt nauseas. 

I noticed that feeling again. The same feeling I had when I was driving to the meeting.

My guest arrived 20 minutes late.  We ordered tea.

She had not prepared for the meeting.  She had not signed the Non-Disclosure Agreement I had sent her either.   In fact, she had not even looked at it.

I should have stopped right there.

Instead, I ordered some more tea and she pitched her ideas to me. I loved them.  There was definite synergy there.  A partnership was on the cards. I was excited.

She texted a lot during the meeting.  She also took 3 or 4 calls.  I used one of those moments to go to the ladies room.  I looked at myself in the mirror and shook my head a few times. 

The rest of the meeting was fun.  We laughed lots, ordered lunch and lots more tea. I noticed that her shirt had stains on it. 

By 6pm I had forgotten all about the weird feelings and the stains.  Creative juices were flowing and we were making plans to take over the world together. She was so smart!

Well, things began to fall apart a week later.  She landed a contract.  Alone.  Solo.  With my ideas, though my contacts, without me.

I was mad.

I was sad.

I was jealous.

I was disappointed.

So, guess what I did?  I chose to let it go. 

No, I am not a saint!  Nor do I believe in karma.   I don’t even subscribe to the philosophy that “the wheel turns”.

I chose to let it go because as I said, I believe in being punctual, prepared and well-groomed and let’s face it, if I let that tart take any of my time and energy, I will be none of those for my beautiful future.

Aluta continua I say!  Let it go