I didn’t write yesterday. I was going to, but I realised I didn’t have much to say. I have less to say now my mental health situation is better and I’ve got my autism/Asperger’s diagnosis, plus I want to try to carve out some more time for recreational reading (which is also “learning how to be a writer of popular fiction” reading).

I’ve done some redrafting of my novel over the last two days (I was working this week on Wednesday rather than Thursday), completing three chapters, about fifty pages. If I keep up that pace, I’ll be finished by Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year, in September), although I don’t really want to make that a formal target in case I can’t keep up with it.

Other than that, things have been the normal mix of stuff. I feel a bit overwhelmed some of the time, mostly when I stop to think, but I’m doing some things, even if not always everything I want to do. I do still feel that I only have half a life though — working two or two and a half days a week (if you count voluntary work), but somehow still struggling to fit in the other things that I want to do that other people working full-time seem to manage. It’s also hard to have a long-distance relationship when we have literally no idea when we can even be in the same country. On the other hand, it is scary to think that E and I could be married in a couple of years — not scary in itself (OK a bit scary as it is a big decision and at least one of us will have to emigrate), but scary to wonder how we could cope with about one average income between the two of us. It does give me another reason to want to get my novel finished and to start to try to get it published, to see if I really can make writing a career, or at least a serious career-supplement, or not.

Watching Babylon 5 the other night, there was a line about, “There is no normal life, Michael. There’s just life,” and I guess that’s true. There isn’t a standard or normal form of life that everyone has that I’m diverging from, and I guess blogging shows me that lots of people are struggling with their lives and feeling that they aren’t coping well, even if they aren’t necessarily struggling with the same things as I am. It’s a little strange how some social media prompts people to “filter” (literally and metaphorically) and present a “perfect” view of their lives while blogging often seems to encourage people to tell the truth “warts and all.” I guess people who want to write usually have something to write about, often something negative that they want to get off their chest or find help and support for, whereas Facebook and Instagram allow to post photos of a fantasy “perfect” live.

***

In other E news, we’ve been continuing watching Doctor Who together (at the same time rather than in the same room), following the 2005 season with a couple of original series stories (first City of Death and now we’re halfway through Genesis of the Daleks), mostly because I was curious about how E would react to the original series, and I couldn’t really face watching the whole of the new series uninterrupted. E is getting really into it, which amuses me a lot. City of Death seemed to me a story with a similar atmosphere to the 2005 episodes, but, while E liked it, so far she prefers Genesis of the Daleks, which I was worried would seem overly-serious and cheap compared with more recent episodes.

In the past, I’ve been wary of sharing Doctor Who with non-fans, and tend to turn the conversation away from it if it comes up, being too jaded by years of mockery at school, when Doctor Who was off the air and distinctly unpopular, but I’m curious to see how E responds to more stories, both original and new. The current plan is to finish Genesis of the Daleks, watch The Mind Robber (another favourite of mine, but distinctly different to anything we’ve seen so far, both in content and production values) and then rejoin the new series with David Tennant’s first episodes.

***

I did get up earlier today, I’m not sure how, but I’d like to do it again, to get to shul (synagogue) tomorrow and to get a bit more time out of my non-work days in the future. I certainly got more done today than I expected.

***

I feel sufficiently jaded by politics not to react to this story (and picture) with anything more than curiosity as to why the Health Secretary has apparently adopted Tintin as his hairstyling guru. Next he’ll be turning up to the House of Commons in plus-fours and a small white dog.

20 thoughts on “Adventures in Time and Space

  1. I think you’re right about blogging. So many of us are writing to express things we are sometimes afraid to share in our regular lives. It’s more about sharing than impressing.

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  2. That’s cool about E enjoying Dr. Who. That quote is so true about normal life. It doesn’t exist, except in our imagination. (and in some of our routines)

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  3. I’m not sure why you describe yourself as having only “half a life”. You do a lot: part-time paid work, volunteering, working on a novel, possibly more than one at the same time (you’ve mentioned starting on the second in other posts as well as redrafting the first), reading (as part of research for being a writer, Torah study (including a weekly dvar Torah), Talmud study, observing Judaism generally (imo, a relatively time-hungry religion), maintaining a long-distance relationship, maintaining relationships with other family members, and managing an autism/Asperger’s diagnosis. I think people who appear to be doing more either a) have lowered expectations in one or more areas and are not really “doing it all”, b) have additional resources to fill in gaps, and/or c) are lying, I am guilty of all three.

    I think you’re right about social media vs. blogging.

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  4. My big question, with no real answer, is how do you live if you can’t do it all and decide not to make working full-time your top priority? As you know, I used to feel like I had no choice but to do whatever it took to make that happen, but for me at least it kind of leads to a life not worth living… but focusing on what actually matters to me doesn’t leave me with enough energy to make quite the kind of money modern life requires.

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    1. Right. I feel like I can’t make full-time work a priority, because I will just burnout again and have another major depressive episode… but I can’t support myself financially either at the moment. I don’t know what the solution is.

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      1. Yeah, I feel like if I have to go back to a rigid 5-day-a-week in-office job the same thing will happen to me and, among other things, I will end up destroying our relationship. But now that my magical unicorn of a semi-tolerable work situation that (more or less) allowed me to support myself has fizzled… I don’t know what to do.

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