I had some religious OCD anxieties late last night, and then a night of confused dreams which also included some religious OCD imagery. It’s probably just a sign of the emotional stress I’m under at the moment, although one dream focused strongly on the preparations for Pesach (Passover), which is now officially on the horizon, and which is always difficult enough even without Mum undergoing chemotherapy.
I seem to have lost the details of the boring, but part-time, admin job I was thinking of applying for, so I suppose that means I won’t apply for it, unless I see it advertised again.
I think I’ve worked out how the cover-maker works on Lulu.com, but I need some time to mess around with it before I finalise my design. It doesn’t help that the cover-maker seems to be rather glitchy and hard to save and return to it later. And I need to write a back cover blurb and author biography; having just tried, I realise they are going to take more time and energy than I expected.
My parents have been economising a bit. A few weeks ago we went from two weekend newspapers to one (we stopped getting a daily paper years ago), and at the end of the month we will stop getting The Jewish Chronicle too. To be honest, it just cements my drift away from politics lately. The last few years have left me deeply disenchanted with politics in general and suspicious and critical of all the major parties. I feel that I don’t have much of a voice and wouldn’t know what to say if I did, although I do still read a couple of news and political opinion sites, including the inevitable BBC News, for all its manifold faults.
As for The Jewish Chronicle, in recent years I really only paid attention to the religion and comment pages. I will still be able to follow global, long-term trends in the Jewish community on Tablet.com and my beloved The Jewish Review of Books, although both tend to have a strongly American focus. As for reading about antisemitism in our homegrown politicians and the ongoing Labour antisemitism issue… I suspect I’ll hear, one way or the other. News like that has a habit of remorselessly tracking a person down.
I do feel that the print media are almost as bad as social media in trying to make me angry and upset about things that are often not worth getting angry and upset about and about which I can do little even if they are worth being upset about. It is true that, without the Jewish community’s ongoing protests against Jeremy Corbyn and Labour party antisemitism, Labour might have done a lot better in the last election, so obviously you can have a voice if you can find enough like-minded people. But I’m not good at finding like-minded people.
I’m still feeling bad about the friends I’ve lost in the last year or so. It’s scary because often I could not see an obvious reason: the reasons given seemed like over-reactions, or paranoia. In one case, I sensed a brittleness in an online blog friendship; comments sounded more aggressive than I intended, or were perceived as such and it seemed safer to drift away while still relatively friendly than to actually have a full-blown argument one day. In other cases, I would have been happy to continue the friendship, but was told my actions crossed a line, even though the existence of that line was not always obvious to me, certainly not beforehand.
I feel bad because I’ve rarely lost friends in this way in the past, only through drifting away slowly and non-confrontationally. To lose four in relatively rapid succession, in ways that felt outside my control, has shaken me a bit as I wonder if I could lose other friends suddenly and unexpectedly. I try to be a good friend to other friends in need, but I don’t always know what to say or do.