“But to understand Graham [Chapman] properly, you have to realise he didn’t really work properly. If he was a little machine, you would take him back and somebody would fiddle with it, and then it would come back working properly. So he was a very odd man; he was in many ways highly intelligent and quite insightful, in other ways he was a complete child, and not someone who was really any good at taking any sort of responsibility and discharging it.” – John Cleese in Monty Python Speaks
The first bit of that quote has resonated with me for a long time. I feel someone should take me back to the shop and fix me (or replace me). I’d forgotten the second bit until looking it up just now, but it fits too, in a different way. I don’t think I’m immature in the way that Graham Chapman could be, but I do get overwhelmed by responsibility and struggle with day-to-day living.
I feel very broken today. I’m just so slow and sluggish. I slept for ten hours or more, but still couldn’t get going. It doesn’t help that I don’t want to do any of the things I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to work on my presentation, because I think it’s going to be an embarrassing failure. I don’t want to go shopping, because it’s miserable outside. I’m not sure that I even want to read or watch TV particularly. I don’t really want to do anything.
I’m still thinking about those dead whales. I’m also thinking about antisemitism. I wish I could stop thinking about both, as I can’t do anything about either. I feel uncomfortable with competitive victimhood, but increasingly our polity rewards people who shout loudest, which creates perverse incentives to do badly and blame oppression. But it’s easy to get caught up in the blame culture, especially if you feel ignored in the face of real danger (like Pittsburgh). However, I think the people with the strongest connection to Judaism focus on the positive Jewish contribution to mankind rather than on non-Jewish persecutions of the Jews. Still, it is hard not to get sucked in sometimes.
Social anxiety is beating me today. I feel bad about having sent that email about my refund on my shul (synagogue) fees yesterday, even though I know I’m right. I haven’t heard back from them yet. I texted someone to find the email address I need to write to about the security rota. I haven’t heard back from them either. I’m now worried I won’t cancel my shift on security this Shabbat (Saturday) on time and will have to find a way to get there (maybe not such a bad thing, but social anxiety-inducing in itself). I worry about asking to come off the security rota too. I feel a bad congregant for both the security rota and the refund.
I phoned The Network to try to change my appointment (work support thing, I think – it’s not exactly clear). I phoned them last week and was told they would phone me back and they never did. The same thing happened today and I have visions of this going on indefinitely, or at least until I’m supposed to have the appointment, next Wednesday, then I’ll get removed from the system for missing an appointment and have to re-refer.
I went shopping. I got the second volume of the Artscroll Talmud Brachot. I’ve been keeping up with the weekly study of this at shul so I decided to lay out for the second volume in the sale, even though we won’t reach it until the spring because the local Jewish bookshop had a sale on certain items, including this one. I thought it was a 30% discount, but the assistant said it was 20% and I was too shy to challenge it. The sign had been taken down since yesterday, so maybe they decided that 30% was too much, in which case it’s my bad luck for not going in to buy it yesterday. Otherwise, my social anxiety cost me £3.50 or so.
On the way home I got phoned by the job agency I saw yesterday. To be honest, half the time I struggle to understand what the person is saying to me, as she talks very quietly and rapidly with quite a thick Greek accent. But I think she was asking if I can apply for jobs where I may have to work on Friday afternoons, which is Shabbat in the winter. My parents and my sister always told me never to mention that until I get called for a second interview or made an offer, although it has usually come up at the first interview anyway. But now I’m worrying about whether I made the right decision on that. She also said that one of the jobs she was sending me for was in Surrey and was I OK with that; I looked online and it looks like a commute of two hours or more each way. I do not feel up to a four hour plus commute at the moment, so I turned it down, but I’m worried I’m self-sabotaging again. Sometimes I really feel like I’m in the wrong career, but I don’t know what the right one would be. Actually, I feel like I’m in the wrong life.
I was planning to work on my presentation for my job interview next week, but I’ve been struggling since I got home earlier. I can’t think what to write for it. I was trying to think about it before, but I felt too depressed and I laid on my bed. I think I probably dozed off. At any rate, I couldn’t think of anything. I just feel lousy. It’s a struggle even to read something light, let alone do anything that requires thought. I don’t know how I could actually work at the moment.