I woke up later this morning than the last few days, feeling really drained and quite depressed, even after breakfast and coffee, which usually helps somewhat. I hope I haven’t been pushing myself too hard the last few days. As I’ve said before, it’s frustrating that “pushing myself too hard” for me is not really pushing myself all that hard compared with other people. I try not to compare myself to others, but I worry what it means for the possibility of having a “normal” life, with a career, marriage, children, friends and community – all those things are very draining! Whereas the last few days I’ve been quite enthusiastic about greeting the day, today I just wanted to go back to bed and wrap myself in my duvet. I did eventually get going, but felt sluggish and depressed in the morning and early afternoon.
I made myself work on my novel for half an hour when I didn’t feel much like it. I proof-read the chapter I was working on yesterday and was reasonably happy with it, which means (drumroll)… I finished the first draft of the novel! It weighed in at just under 75,000 words, which I think is reasonable, certainly for a first draft.
There’s still a lot to do, a lot I want to change. I have three pages-worth of things I want to change, including some incidents I want to add in and characters I want to develop or change as well as more general things like adding more humour. I might pause for a few weeks and come back to it with fresh eyes. I want to read some books about writing in the meantime to see if they might help with some things.
That cheered me up a little and I managed to work on my devar Torah for an hour and do some additional Torah study as well as a few chores around the house.
I did another 5K run. It took about forty minutes. I saw two Jewish wedding parties in houses that I passed. I’m guessing they were weddings, but lots of frum people going to particular houses in good clothes. I’ll assume they were all legal and above board. The reason is that today is Tu B’Av, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Valentine’s Day (although there isn’t much of a resemblance), which was once a happy day when women would dance and try to attract husbands. It hasn’t really been a festival for about two thousand years, but it has a vestigial presence, part of which is that it’s considered an auspicious day to get married (spoiler alert: it’s not in itself a guarantee of a happy, lasting marriage). I was mostly OK about it this year, but seeing the wedding parties did make me think of being single forever again. Fortunately, the thoughts did not last long; ditto for thoughts I had earlier in the run I had been thinking about not fitting in to different social groups I am or have been part of.
I came back with a headache, but fortunately it went very quickly once I took solpadeine.
I phoned a hospital about my regular lithium level blood test. I didn’t phone the one I usually go to, but one my Mum goes to sometimes, because I thought my usual hospital was only dealing with urgent tests at the moment. I wanted to check I could have my regular lithium monitoring blood test there despite COVID. My social anxiety makes things like that hard at the best of times and it’s harder than ever now lockdown has atrophied my social skills.
Once I got off the call, I discovered that my local hospital has apparently reopened, so I’m going to try to get the blood test done there as it will be more convenient. But I did at least push myself a bit with the social anxiety.
I finished re-watching this year’s series of Doctor Who last night. Despite my intentions, I only reviewed the first story on my Doctor Who blog. I just didn’t have anything interesting to say about it. I’m not upset that I got the DVD for my birthday, as I enjoyed most of the episodes, on some level. Some actually improved now I knew where they were going (Fugitive of the Judoon and especially The Haunting of Villa Diodata, which went from nowhere to probably my favourite episode of the year), although one or two went down in my estimation (Praxeus) and I still have no idea what writer/showrunner Chris Chibnall thought he was doing with The Timeless Children (not just the “retcon,” the whole episode).
It does make me feel, not for the first time, that modern Doctor Who isn’t really for me in the way the original series (1963-1989) is, which is why I’m not reviewing the stories on my Doctor Who blog. I want that blog to be mostly positive, in the hope I can use it as a springboard for professional writing work (it hasn’t worked so far). I don’t engage with the new series in the same way as the old, even when I enjoy it. I’m not sure why that is. I did write some paragraphs probing the reasons for that, as they are somewhat tangentially related to autism and mental health, but I think probably does depart from the focus of this blog, so I got rid of them.
Whatever the reason, at the moment I’m looking forward to the animations of missing episodes from the sixties a lot more than to new episodes – my copy of The Faceless Ones arrived today , and Fury from the Deep is out in a few weeks!
Why does Spotify keep playing me adverts for joining the army reserves? What is their algorithm telling them about me and my interests?