(Title quote from Worried about Ray by The Hoosiers.)
My boss mentioned today that the situation with my contract (which expires in April) is as precarious as I feared. Apparently things are “up in the air” (which I assumed alluded to the internal politics and economics of the college in ways that I don’t fully understand and wouldn’t share here if I did). So I’m somewhat worried about my financial position in the months ahead. A cost-saving move back to my parents’ house later in the year might be on the cards. I guess it gives more urgency to the thought I wanted to give about my career direction during half-term next week. I’m not overly worried, though, perhaps a sign of the relatively low importance I ascribe to money in my life (money bores me, really), or perhaps a sign that I find it easier to believe the Talmudic teaching that all of one’s income for the year is decided on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and, as long as one does a minimum of work, how much you do makes no difference to what you earn than I find it to believe the other Talmudic teaching, that one’s spouse is ordained before birth.
Speaking of half-term, I’m doing some extra work, partly to pay of my time off in lieu, partly to earn overtime. There’s a library project at another campus (not the one I go to once a week, one a lot further away) that my boss is concerned enough about to offer overtime to those of us willing to help out, hours negotiable. I thought I would burn out if I did four days in a week (my usual hours) even without the extra-long travel time and, anyway, I have things I need to do at home, but I volunteered to do two slightly shorter-than-usual days on Monday and Wednesday. Hopefully alternating work and holiday days will keep at bay some of the extra depressive feelings I get on holidays. And I arranged for a 10.00am start so hopefully I won’t have to leave earlier than usual and may even get to leave a little bit later despite the longer travel time. I’m also doing an extra two hours tomorrow (we open late on Thursdays) to cover my boss being away, again to pay off more of my TOIL and basically to get in my boss’ good books after making mistakes this year. It does all mean that I’m unlikely to get the time to sort out my books and DVDs at my parents’ house after they got boxed up because my parents wanted the room decorated. I don’t know when I’m going to do that, as it’s a big job.
I made more of those mistakes today, although some of them might be me being hard on myself. I’m not sure how I should have dealt with the student who insisted a book must be in the library because her teacher told her it was even though the catalogue was showing that all copies were on loan. The other mistakes might stem from depression-induced lack of concentration or Aspie poor executive function or social anxiety in dealing with people, but they might just stem from incompetence on my part. After all, I made a real mess of using the self-service check out at the supermarket this evening even though I’ve used it hundreds of times before. I did at least make a phone call for work today, which is a big thing as I hate using the phone. It seemed to go OK, but writing this I realised that the person I spoke to didn’t get back to me as she said she would, which might mean a follow-up call or might mean that I gave the wrong email address, which would be embarrassing. I certainly began to give the wrong address, but I thought I corrected it in time.
I’m still waiting for a response from several of the shadchanim (matchmakers) who deal with people with health issues. One asked for my shidduch (dating) profile, but hasn’t said anything since I sent it, although it was only yesterday. My Dad spoke to his rabbi to see if he knew any suitable shadchanim. The rabbi suggested that the shadchan his daughter used might help, even though she doesn’t specialise in people with health issues. I’m sceptical, but will probably send my profile off in a day or two anyway, although as my financial future is now as uncertain as my mental health future, I’m not at all sure that I should be doing this any more. I think this whole dating business is not only more an art than a science, but probably pot luck more than an art. One has to be lucky not just to find one’s spouse, but to find the shadchan who will bring you together. Someone I know online who recently joined the ranks of the marrieds thinks that most matches are made by friends or relatives who know both parties, not by professional shadchanim, but as I don’t know very many people in the frum (religious) world, this leaves me in a difficult position.
Today’s moment of insight: I want to be part-Jewish tzaddik (saint), part eccentric English intellectual, part geeky fanboy, equally at ease discussing Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the English Civil Wars, Lewis Carroll or Doctor Who. The reality is that all of these things are forced poses, at least to some extent, rather than who I really am (whatever that means) and they wouldn’t really fit together even if my mental health and borderline Asperger’s weren’t wild cards that would make operating with even one of these identities almost impossible. I’m not sure where that leaves me.