I don’t have much to say today. I mostly avoided worrying about my autism assessment over Shabbat. I did sleep too much though. I went to bed earlyish, slept for twelve hours and then had two half-hour naps in the afternoon. Not good. I am beginning to worry about this. I did quite a bit of Torah study yesterday, but not much today because of napping and because after Shabbat PIMOJ and I watched a film (Inside Out) “together separately” i.e. at the same time, but in different places. Then we Skyped afterwards.

One thing I did struggle with a bit was leafing through an old Jewish Chronicle from a month or so ago and seeing a big article about a schoolfriend/peer of mine. His life ran parallel to mine for many years and in some ways has the life I thought I would have. I knew he is a historian now and has written books (I catalogued one in a previous job), but somehow seeing the latest one promoted with an interview in the Jewish Chronicle raised thoughts about the way our lives had gone. Still, I think I managed not to drift into envy, jealousy, bitterness, frustration, self-criticism or the like. I do wish I had a clearer idea of where my life is going though, and whether I’ll manage to do anything worthwhile with it.

7 thoughts on “Mini-Post: Shabbat and Jealousy

  1. It is definitely important to define worthwhile and figure out if what you consider that is realistic or optimal. In retirement I started out thinking that I would only be worthwhile if I volunteered or kept busy doing things. But then I realized that I spent 37 years of my life getting up at 5 and working hard all day, then coming home (for part of that time) to parent, cook, take care of my house, etc. My expectations of myself in retirement have relaxed, especially during this pandemic. In your case, you’re figuring out the trajectory of your future, so it’s much more critical.

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  2. It can be pretty painful to see how a peer has shot ahead. I’ve one who worked for Google and now runs her own artisan soap and lip balm shop, and I admit to feeling I’ve wasted my life. My therapist pointed out that while envy is human and not harmful, I shift into blaming myself for not reaching where I feel I “should” be. Like you, I want to do something “worthwhile” with my life… but then again she asked what do I define as worthwhile? Am I setting myself too harsh of a standard where I completely forget we all start out differently, have different strengths and limitations?

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