This month I’ve stood in a 90-minute queue for something, had two separate hospital visits (nothing serious) that both involved lengthy waits, and endured a three-hour flight delay. Every time I was waiting, I kept expecting to get restless or annoyed or impatient.
But nothing happened. I didn’t constantly look at my watch. I didn’t swear (no more than usual, anyway). I didn’t even tut. I just stood/sat there, waiting for events to take their natural course.
Turns out I’m, like, totally Zen. Which is weird.
It’s Bulgaria’s fault. The country has gradually chipped away at my natural impatience until there’s nothing left. Somewhere along the way we just got used to simple things taking a whole morning, and the fact that everything – EVERYTHING – takes longer than you think. Now, faced with an inconvenient delay, all I can muster is one of those typical Bulgarian shrugs. (You know the type I mean. That downturn of the mouth. That almost imperceptible rise of the shoulders. The look that just says, meh, what can you do? That shrug.)
And it’s brilliant. I feel like – how to describe it – a grownup? I’ve finally evolved from a petulant being who wants everything now goddammit to someone who’s learning not to get worked up about things I can’t control. It’s liberating. What’s more, all that shuffling and complaining and looking at the clock was tiring. Now all I have to do is shrug. It’s way more energy efficient.
So thanks, Bulgaria, for teaching me the virtue of patience. All I need to do now is apply the same Zen attitude to Brexit news, and I’m pretty sure I’ll achieve actual enlightenment.