I procrastinated. And now I regret I never thanked “Mum.”

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At school, I learned that procrastination is our first enemy because it delays our achievements. But I never realized it until a shocking story happened to me.

A few months after I had finished school, I landed a job. Full of dreams, I wanted to look like a professional and successful gentleman. However, my family was living far from my job. After a good discussion, I failed to convince my parents that leaving the family was the right decision.

“You haven’t managed even meager income and have no life experience. How would you wish to start your life alone?” they argued.

While my heart was beating in waiting for the final decision, my parents sensed my sincerity. Dad said, “My son, you are mature enough to fly on your own. I wish you good luck.”

I jumped, full of joy, and said, “I promise, trust me, I’ll be serious. I’ll not disappoint you.”

“Usually people call her ‘Mum.’”

The next day, I rushed to the city centre to meet a house broker and commissioned him to find a house nearby my workplace at an affordable price. He sympathized with my wishes and found a modest apartment with a lounge, one bedroom and an outside kitchen.

Then, I asked him, “Who is the landlord of the house?”

“She is a widow, called Beatrice, but usually people call her ‘Mum,’” he replied.

The nickname  inspired confidence. Since the house was available, I asked to meet the owner and paid into her bank account to confirm the booking. Not long after, I bought the kitchen furniture along with additional necessities such as a sofa, personal radio, mattress and bedsheets, and moved to my new residence.

“How will you manage it with a family?”

Life in the ghetto was not easy. From time to time, I experienced a shortage of money, not because my salary was insufficient, but due to the lack of experience in money management.

For instance, after the first two months, I used rent fees to buy new clothes and new CDs, and to have a good time with friends, before paying the landlord and buying monthly food provisions.

The day it was time to pay the rent, my wallet was clean empty. I called Beatrice and politely said, “Mum, I have no money. I have had more expenses this month. Please, can you allow me to pay it next month along with the previous?”

She laughed and said, “Jean Pierre, if you don’t manage your salary yet, how will you manage it with a family?”

With a scared voice, I replied, “Mum, I’m very sorry for that. I’ll be more serious next time, trust me!”

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