Keeping Busy

I had an extremely stressful experience the other day. Long story short, the police at the Sofia checkpoint didn’t want to let us into the city, where we hold permanent residence. The reason? Subjective, hostile and, above all, inaccurate interpretation of the rules. Anyway, they finally let us through but we were all pretty shaken up and yes, I will look for ways to file an official complaint.

So that was Monday. I didn’t get much sleep on Monday because I was still shaken. That’s how bad it was. As a result, Tuesday was a total loss, too, especially after I read the government was considering making the checkpoints long-term. That’s a lot of potential for anxiety. I have to say I can’t remember the last time life looked so bleak.

But then I slept through the night. A good night’s sleep makes a lot of difference, I can tell you that. I had nightmares, which is understandable, but I got the rest I needed and I was ready to resume life with a goal of making it as busy as I can to get my mind off unpleasant, depressing thoughts.

My first order of business was to respond to an email from Coursera, where I’ve taken two and a half courses over the years. The half is a course of basic physics that I simply ran out of time for. This one was about medical research and how to make sense of it. It was subtitled “Why Your Facebook Friend is Wrong”. Clearly, there was no way I would miss that. I love the whys in life.

With that taken care of, I did some work, made the dough for my bread and planned three business-related appointments. Well, no, I lie because one of these is for picking up my new glasses from the office of the optics company. I’m also planning a trip to the supermarket for vegetables and shampoo. Then, after my work day is over around 1-2 pm, I will immerse myself into the whys of medical research. It’s a seven-week course. That should keep me busy for a while.

So far today I’ve managed to keep the bad, heavy thoughts about permanent checkpoints and frequent police abuse of power at bay. The effect will wear off, however, so I will need to find more things to do. Also, I’m making an effort to get used to the new situation.

So, maybe they won’t let us leave the city (it’s a very real possibility, rules be damned. If they don’t like you, they won’t let you through, apparently). We’ll have to stay but we’ll try again a week later. And we will keep trying until they do let us through. I realise the situation I’m describing sounds like something out of a dystopia and I’m sorry for this but, in a sense, it is a dystopia, just not really the kind I expected.

The good thing, no, the great thing, is that we’re at home. I shudder at the thought of all the people stranded abroad and unable to go home because of travel restrictions. We are home and it’s a nice home, and it’s not like we haven’t spent months here before. We just don’t want to spend months here right now, given the infection numbers in the city.

Anyway, we’re stuck for the moment so I’d better accept the facts and keep looking for ways to keep myself busy. I’d rather die prematurely from a tobacco-related something than a stress-related something. Off to my Italian lesson for today.

To clarify: I’m all for restrictions. A viral pandemic is not a joke and, yes, we should all relinquish some of our rights and comforts to survive it with as little damage as possible. But I insist that all rules are applied equally to everyone. if the rules state I retain the right to return to my permanent place of residence, then I must be allowed to return to my permanent place of residence. That’s all. Complaint filed. You know what? I feel a little better.

Pictured: A big kiss for the world by Lil C. No idea what the brick heart’s point is but it looks nice.

5 thoughts on “Keeping Busy”

  1. .. Hope you are all well. Some of this is frighteningly familiar, except that so far, we haven’t dared return to the office we secured when the firm wanted many staff to WFH, long before covid. .
    Leaving our via forbidding road signs, a month ago, we accidentally left behind some essential equipment. Risk of not being allowed back to our home in a National Park high, police vigilant, some rules still unclear – but also wish, for pandemic control, that restrictions had been imposed earlier. Mask policy changed only yesterday … Like your yeast, I ‘ve just found some, ordered in a
    ‘what if ‘ panic, years ago, still in their sealed pack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you on the yeast. It’s precious. Re the police, I don’t mind restrictions but can we please have them for everyone? What’s the point of having checkpoints if you’ll let almost anyone through save the few cheaters who weren’t very good at cheating and the confused idiots, like us, that you can pick on because you’re bored? Just today, thousands are leaving the city AGAIN because it’s a long weekend. What the hell? Happy Labour Day…


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