What a week!! Am I glad it is over? Pheux!!!
One week ago on a Friday like today, I was in Kilifi. It was a one night trip that saw me pick a bug or a virus – I still don’t know what it was, maybe a bacteria.
I was visiting KEMRI – the place where they research about viruses and all kinds of things. My trip involved visiting the labs and the local hospital. I had arrived the previous night and retired to bed with a massive headache.
On my way to Kilifi, my phone went off, I forgot my password and I had to borrow my friend’s phone and make an SOS call Safaricom so I could get a new PUK. I do not even know where I have kept my sim details. I was surprised to learn that you can actually do a voice recording instead of having a PUK number. A story for another day.
So, the next day I wake up still nursing a mild headache and an irritant cough. Oh…. And my back was aching. The last place I wanted to collapse was in a research facility. I hate the Mombasa heat. And now my body was protesting. What is going on?
As we were going around learning about pneumonia, malaria, sickle cell anaemia etc, I kept wondering if maybe I had contracted one of the diseases. My head was in a spin. “What if I faint? Will they put me on quarantine?” Oh boy!
In the evening I was on my way back to Nairobi. It was a 5 hour commute from Kilifi to JKIA. By the time I arrived home, I was tired, cranky and my throat was on fire. I was terribly sick.
I started my week with a visit to the doctor. A blood test showed my immunity was low. Hmmm… I was put on antibiotics and a multi-vitamin.
Day 1: I am feeling lethargic. During the day all I want to do is sleep. For the first time, I am sitting in a meeting and my eyelids are heavy. Fortunately, I sit through the meeting and leave for home. I am in bed by 8pm and out my phone on silent. For some strange reason, when I wake up in the middle of the night to drink water, I see three missed calls from my boss. Wololo!
Day 2: Sleeping has done me some good. My head is no longer paining. I am still a little bit lethargic but not as bad as the previous day. I had contracted a fundi (John) to do some repair work around the house. The previous day, I had called him and his phone was off.
I leave the office early and manage a walk around the estate. The fresh air does wonders for me. I feel much better. At about 8:30 pm, the doorbell rings. Guess who? It is John!!
“Habari madam?” he walks in looking all timid.
“Mzuri! Karibu!” I respond. At this point I have nothing to say. I contracted John 2 weeks earlier, I even gave him a deposit and he went MIA.
“Madam I am sorry. I had some goods I was sending to a client in Kisii. They got damaged on the way and I had to deal with that emergency. Pole sana. I will start your work tomorrow I promise.” I look at him and smile.
“Will you complete the work by the weekend?” I ask.
He says an emphatic yes. I know he is lying.
Day 3: Fundi shows up bright and early. We meet before I leave for the office. I tell the House Manager to ensure she cooks for his lunch and serves him tea at 10 am and 4 pm. I decide not to fuss about the fundi. We will go at his pace.
Meanwhile, I have an important document I have been waiting for since Monday. My deadline to submit it elsewhere is getting close. If I miss the deadline I will lose cash for a deposit I made. I keep checking the online portal to see if there is any progress. I can feel my stress levels are going up.
Wait…. I forgot a friend has a birthday and I had not ordered the cake. Damn!! I call a baker I know and request for the cake to be delivered on Friday. She says she can make the deadline, she tells and I do not even negotiate.
Day 4: There is still no progress on the crucial document. There pressure from my other friends. They are also worried we may lose money. I tell them I am positive I will get the document by Friday. Deep inside I am praying and telling God to work a miracle.
Oops! Then I realise I left the house and forgot to take my medication.
Later in the day as I am checking the progress of the document, I get a number on the website and call. For me to speak to a customer care officer I have to pay!! Oh dear!! When I finally go through, she checks the system and says the document is ready. I have to wait because there is nothing she can do. Then she hangs up. My heart sinks. After two minutes I get the email I have been waiting for all my life. The document has been approved. Thank God!!
I get home and I am told the fundi left in the early afternoon to shop for screws. He did not return.
Day 5: I call the fundi. He says he will try to finish the work. He has some paint work to do and he hasn’t told me to buy paint. At this rate, I know the work will go on for another week or two.
I decide to call the baker. She doesn’t answer my phone. I wait. I text her after an hour. I take it as a sign that the cake will delay. Grrrrr!! Another stressful situation. Oh dear! The baker calls but I am on another line. I call back and she says how she is cooking for another client and will try to deliver as per the time I requested. I am appalled! I have no words to say. Mind you I paid her a deposit.
Anyway, I decide not to get emotionally entangled and continue with my day. She organises a taxi and the cake arrives 2 hours late. I pay for it. The words on the cake are not as I requested. I am livid.
“I am very disappointed,” I text her.
She responds giving reasons. I respond and tell her it is OK. “I will send the money tomorrow,” I text her. At this point I am on the verge of screaming and pulling my hair.
Three lessons I have learnt
Now you can see why I am happy the week has ended. I have been sitting through an exam on patience. As I look back at my week, I have learnt three important lessons:
- If you do not CONTROL your mind, it will control you and take over your life. Thoughts end up as worry and stress.
- Do not allow your heart to be entangled with the circumstances especially when things are not going as expected. When I thought logically about a situation I was much calmer. When I took it to heart, I got upset.
- People are never going to put you first. It is always about them even when it is clear that they have hurt you. Learn your lesson, forgive and move on.