Shabbat (the Sabbath) was OK, with some struggling. Shul (synagogue) was difficult on Friday night. It smelt of paint (it’s being renovated). I got there a minute late, and struggled to find a seat because it was so crowded — not that many people, but the renovations mean we have very little space, especially with it still set up somewhat socially distanced. Then the gabbai asked me to move so that a father and son could sit together, because there weren’t two seats available next to each other. I moved and I could sort of see why he asked me (I think I was just the nearest person where moving one person would leave two seats next to each other), but it did feed my fear that single people are seen as less important than families. I shot off as soon as the service finished, even faster than I usually do.

Dinner with my parents and cousin 4 (henceforth C4) was fine. There were a couple of problems, but nothing that turned into an argument as I feared. I had almost all my Israeli family down as very noisy, and most of them are, but a couple are very quiet. I had never really seen C4 without the rest of the family before, so I didn’t really realise how quiet she is. I do struggle to connect with my cousins as well as I would like, partly because of the cultural differences I mentioned the other day, partly because of the age difference (C4 is still a teenager, and basically a different generation to me), partly I guess because of my difficulty connecting with anyone (autism).

I did some more Torah study after dinner and went to bed rather late. I woke up intermittently during the morning, but didn’t get up. I guess that was a mixture of burnout and social anxiety about going to shul again. I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t know how to work on the social anxiety about shul or my general struggles about getting up early. I can get up early for work, but when working from home last week I got up very late and had to work later than I intended, or split the work over two days. I wish I understood this dynamic better.

I forgot to take my morning medication and took it after lunch, which is unlike me.

I slept again after lunch. I think I fell asleep around 4.15pm; I was woken at 5.15pm by my pre-shiur (religious class) alarm, but I fell asleep again and/or just lay on the bed for another two hours, just too drained to do anything other than lie there and try to recover from a week of overload. It meant I didn’t really have much time today for Torah study or recreational reading (I did a bit of both last night, but not today).

I decided to skip Talmud shiur and shul so I could spend more time with C4. I wasn’t in much of a state to go anyway. Seudah (the third Shabbat meal) with my parents and C4 was fine and then suddenly Shabbat was over and C4 was going. I spent some time tidying up as Mum and Dad went to take C4 back to where she’s staying and then did some Torah study. I tried to get through what Talmud they would have done in shiur today, but it’s hard to judge (the rabbi tends to bring in a lot of comments from Tosafot, which I don’t have in translation) and I ran out of energy and brainpower. And I guess that was it. I hope I’m more alert tomorrow.

Now it’s gone midnight and I’m tired, but I don’t think I’ll sleep yet. I need to do something to unwind, probably watching TV as I don’t feel up to reading. Someone nearby is playing loud music again.

10 thoughts on “More Damage Limitation

  1. I think it’s pretty standard practice that if someone solo is sitting next to an empty seat, they’ll be the first person that gets asked to move in a situation where two people are trying to be seated together. I figure if I’m on my own, it’s not important to me who I sit beside, so I don’t mind moving.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I recently found myself in the middle seat (the airline assigned it) splitting up a couple, who proceeded to talk over me and ask them to pass me stuff. I offered to switch so they could sit together and they declined. I could tolerate being in the middle seat, but not being their little messenger / person to talk over, so I glared at them angrily until they and apologized and shut up. I’m sure they thought I was a rude bitch but I don’t really care. Worse than the middle seat is the middle seat in between a couple holding you captive to their couple shenanigans.

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  2. I was once part of a traditional egalitarian minyan with a “tri-chitza” set up – men, women, mixed. In theory, I was welcome to sit in the women or mixed section. In practice, due to space limitations and the congregation makeup, I didn’t feel comfortable in the mixed section because I wasn’t attending as a family unit (Husband slept in late and never showed up till much later). That honestly wasn’t the intent of the seating, but I really didn’t like how it felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems like lots of people interactions and uncomfortable ones. I’ve been asked to switch seats on planes and sometimes have agreed, other times not.

    Liked by 1 person

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