I’ve been struggling to get to sleep this week, not hugely, but persistently. I woke up early (for me) this morning and rose “like a lion,” like I’m supposed to (per Jewish texts). I managed to get going quite quickly and say the Shema prayer and the Shacharit Amidah (the main Morning Prayer) on time, which I almost never manage these days because of depression, even though I skipped most of the other morning prayers.
My mood was quite good today, except while I was davening (praying) I suddenly had self-critical thoughts about myself, thinking that I must be a disappointment to my parents compared with my sister. Still, I’m trying not to get sucked into depression and negativity. I try to tell myself I’m on my own path. Try to focus on the present.
Today is 10 Av, according to the Jewish calendar, and my Hebrew birthday. The morning is still a sad period from Tisha B’Av and the Three Weeks of mourning, but from the afternoon, the mourning restrictions are lifted and one can listen to music, go on holiday, shave, trim nails etc. I’ve done or am looking forward to doing all those things, except no holidays this year because of COVID and Mum’s cancer. I’m not a great traveller anyway. Maybe it’s good that my Hebrew birthday always starts sad and gets better (except when 9 Av falls on Saturday, then the fast is postponed to 10 Av and the whole day is miserable).
I tried to apply for a librarian job at a charity, but the online application system said I have already applied there. I have actually applied for three different roles there, most recently in February. I assume they never recruited because of COVID and are looking again. I emailed them to check that my previous application will still be considered. I did get called for interview for one of the three jobs, so I think it’s worth applying again. I’m unsure about applying to a different institution where I also had an interview, but I felt that I wasn’t a good match for the institution’s culture. I also applied for a job I don’t think I’m qualified for, because it was an easy LinkedIn application that only takes two minutes. I’m not sure how sensible that was. My thinking was that if I’m really not qualified, they won’t even call me to interview and that the risk was worth it considering how little time it took to apply.
I’m still concerned that most jobs in my sector are full-time and I don’t think I can cope with more than three days a week (at most) at the moment. My parents say, “Apply and worry about that when you get the job.” I’m not sure. I think I need to think about other jobs in other sectors. I did go to a careers advisor before COVID, but I felt he didn’t know the library sector and skill set so well. He suggested being a private tutor, but I feel I need training in how to teach someone (including how to mark work, not something I’ve had to do before) and was not sure how to get it.
Achievements: aside from the job stuff and the usual pre-Shabbat chores, I went for a walk and worked on my novel.
I’m feeling pensive at the moment because today I’ve been reminded of a number of my friends and friends of my parents who are struggling with major health issues for themselves or their families right now. It makes saddened and empathetic, and also puts one’s own problems in perspective. The only way I can really believe in God, given the amount of suffering in the world, is to assume that this world is a “vale of soul-making” as Keats put it or the “ante-chamber” to the “banquet hall” as the Mishnah says and that we are here purely to grow, not to be happy. Not that there is anything wrong with accepting happiness where we find it, but happiness is the natural state of the Next World; in This World our natural state is to struggle so that we can make our souls (Keats) and prepare ourselves (the Mishnah), which are really two ways of saying the same thing.
I didn’t really want to end on a down note, but I need to go as we’re heading towards Shabbat now, so Shabbat shalom (peaceful Sabbath).