I had a weird dream about Napoleon.  Maybe I want to conquer the world.  Actually, I know I want to conquer the world.  I just wouldn’t know what to do with it afterwards.


I felt really apathetic today.  It’s easy to get sucked into depression, thinking nothing can change, even getting sucked into “I don’t want to be here” (meaning, “I don’t want to be alive, here in this world,” although not actively suicidal) type thoughts.  I have to remind myself that I want to build my relationship with E., that I want to write my novel, that I have friends and family who care about me…  It’s hard on mornings like today, when I’ve overslept and feel drained and exhausted and a bit lonely and wish E. was here and can’t face the day and am worrying how I will write my devar Torah (Torah thought) for this week and a whole bunch of other things…  Even after lunch the feelings didn’t go.  I had to force myself to do things when I really just wanted to vegetate.

I probably do have a negative tendency to seek not just perfection in myself, but brilliance.  In other words, not just to avoid errors, but to produce things (blog posts, stories, divrei Torah) that are outstanding.  This is probably just setting myself up to fail on two counts, because no one can be perfect all the time and no one can be brilliant all the time.  It occurs to me that the last year or two I have slowly been coming round to the idea that I’m never going to be a tzaddik (saint) and stopping trying to meet certain halakhic (Jewish legal) requirements that I simply don’t think are achievable for me at the moment, and possibly not ever.  I think I still want to be a serious literary novelist, but I don’t know if I have it in me or how to go about it.  Like I said, I want to be Napoleon, I want to conquer the world.

I did at least spend nearly two hours drafting my devar Torah.  It was very draining on one level, as I did a bit of research online, tracking down resources about honouring, or not honouring, abusive parents, but I was glad to get it done, although I still need to proofread it tomorrow.  I decided that I felt well enough after all that to go for a run, which was OK, but complicated by social isolating; I had to cross the road a lot to avoid people and at one point got stuck on a traffic island in the middle of the road, avoiding two dogs and owners on both sides of the road (although I would avoid dogs when running even without COVID-19).

I also joined in some of a Skype call with my parents and Israeli family.  I was a bit reluctant, as I get annoyed that it’s always assumed that I will join in with family stuff whenever it suits everyone else.  I know I’m the person least likely to have anything else going on, but it does annoy me.  I do have some kind of life.  To be fair, my sister couldn’t make it at all because it was short notice, so it’s not just me.  Anyway, I joined in.  It was a bit crazy, but not as much as I had feared.  My Israeli family are mostly extroverts and like being in the limelight; there’s a fair amount of diagnosed or presumed ADD/ADHD, so it can get pretty loud and distracting, which I don’t find easy either in person or on Zoom.  It did eat a chunk of my novel-writing time, though, thus further encouraging my nocturnal habits.

I suppose I feel vaguely resentful of losing quality writing time.  I worked on my novel for a bit, but late at night when I was tired.  I gave up at 10pm.  I was just too tired.  I lost track of how much I wrote today, but it wasn’t much.  It’s not my family’s fault, but it’s not my own fault either.  It’s not my own fault that I’m still depressed in mornings, that my devar Torah sometimes seems a big commitment (I didn’t mean to spend nearly two hours on it today), that exercise seems to eat up more time than it should with changing and showering, warming up and cooling down.  I wish I could be a normal person managing seven productive hours a day, plus family/social time, plus exercise time, plus religious time.


I got an email from the editor of a Doctor Who book I contributed to years ago, asking me if I want to write for a book on The X-Files.  I don’t know anything about The X-Files.  I wanted to try to get into it a few years ago, but reading about it online convinced me it was too scary for my tastes (I’m a wimp).  Said editor asks me to write for books on subjects I don’t know enough about every so often.  I wanted to be part of the second Doctor Who book he edited, but he didn’t ask me and I didn’t hear about it until all the slots were taken (so my Fear Her appreciation will have to go unnoticed by the world).  I pitched my Doctor Who book to the same publisher and got rejected.  There’s a moral there somewhere.  Speaking of which, the money for my Doctor Who book sales finally arrived in my bank account today.  I hope I get some more; right now I haven’t sold a copy to anyone not known to me personally.

I have a Skype therapy session booked for Monday with a new therapist…

6 thoughts on “Napoleon

  1. Glad to hear about the therapy session booking and hope that this therapist is a good fit. Could you ask the editor about appropriate places to send your short story? I would think that some kind of science fiction anthology would be your best bet.


  2. Wow, what an honor to be invited to write, and X-Files! I haven’t watched more than an episode or two, but it sure was wildly successful. I hope you take her invitations as validation that you *are* a writer and a good one!

    I would be very interested in hearing the main points of what you said in your devar torah about honoring abusive parents if you feel like sharing.

    Frankly, I don’t know how you do as much as you do. I think maybe you mentioned something in the past about gradually increasing activity levels. I don’t know anyone who is “normal” and does 7 hours of work plus all of those other activities you listed. I guess they’re used to it?


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