I need to write about my day for my private journal, so I may as well write it here; you read about the bad days, so I guess you should see the good ones too.
I got up quite early (for a Sunday), but struggled with exhaustion. I did eventually get going. I went to volunteer at the asylum seekers drop-in centre (I still think there should be an apostrophe in that, but it’s how they spell it). I deliberately arrived over an hour late because I knew I had a busy day and I wouldn’t be able to cope with four hours plus of volunteering.
At first I felt completely out of place. Even after volunteering there for several months, I don’t feel that I know anyone well enough to say anything deeper than “Hi, how are you?” I struggled with sorting piles of clothes (I can’t always easily tell men’s from women’s or adults’ from children’s… to be fair, I’m not the only person there with this problem). When the asylum seekers arrived, I went to volunteer in the creche area as I usually do, but at first I found it difficult to connect with the children; there were other volunteers there who seemed to find it much easier to connect with them. I actually thought about coming home, but after a while there were so many children there that they really needed me to help, plus I found it easier to play with some of the younger (pre-school) children, who seemed to like me. There was one little baby there in particular who happened to share my first name who seemed to feel very comfortable with me; at one point he tried to feed me his half-eaten biscuit, which was cute and slightly gross at the same time!
I then came home and vegetated in front of Doctor Who for an hour and a half to regain some energy (not exactly relaxing, though, as I’m watching as research for my Doctor Who book) before going out to dinner with my family. It was my sister and my father’s birthdays last week and this was the celebration at the local kosher Chinese restaurant (my sister’s favourite). I was limited in my food choices as I’m vegetarian during the week (I only eat meat and fish on Shabbat (the Sabbath) and Yom Tov (Jewish festivals)) and the restaurant had limited vegetarian options. Kosher meat restaurants have limited vegetarian options as a rule and I’m not entirely sure why. I suppose not being allowed to serve cheese or milk (because of kosher laws preventing meat and dairy in the same meal) limits them, but you can still do things with tofu or soya; this restaurant had one tofu side dish only, which is frustrating. I did have vegetarian spring rolls, vegetarian dim sum, various vegetable, rice, noodle and tofu side dishes (as a family we ordered five different side dishes, all meat free, and shared them around) and hot chocolate cake and parev (non-dairy) ice cream. We had a good time, but I struggled with the noise in the restaurant, which was somewhat uncomfortable for me. It’s strange that it’s only in the last few years, since I’ve learnt about autism and sensory overload, that I’ve realised how uncomfortable I can feel in noisy places. I suppose one needs to know a concept and have a name for it before one can identify it. Before then, I probably just put uncomfortable feelings down to introversion, social anxiety or depression or just went home in a bad mood without knowing why.
I ought to go to bed now, as I have the last session of my well-being group tomorrow and I’m likely to be exhausted. I’d like to do some work on one or more of the three books I am writing/would like to write if I have the energy. Still, today was a positive experience after a difficult start, which is good. I even got some Torah study in there at some point.