I’m wondering if the Very Scary Task should be renamed the Very Stressful Task, as that’s how it seems today. I wanted to get up at 7.30am to be dressed and have davened (prayed) the long Chol HaMoed prayers before I had to deal with it, but I was too tired and didn’t get up until after 9.00am. At 9.30am I did some work phone calls, still in my pyjamas, and discovered that things were a little bit better than yesterday evening. Apparently computer problems among the bureaucrats delayed the paperwork yesterday.

I had to try to set a time for something where everyone involved wanted different times. Actually, most people wanted one time, but one person was being difficult, so I tried to move it half an hour later to help them, but that annoyed someone else who swore at me, which was unprofessional, especially as he was just trying to leave early. It’s hard juggling these people and knowing what to say or do sometimes. I want to please everyone, which is probably a bad trait in some ways, and I don’t know the job well enough yet to tell when people really can’t do something or are just being difficult. As ever with social things, I need a guide to the unwritten rules of human interaction, like so many autistic people do. Then someone had to have a COVID test and I had to find a potential replacement in case he tests positive and can’t do what he needs to do. It seemed a nightmare.

I got it finished in the end, although I’m worried that something will go wrong. In particular, the person who wanted it later has not confirmed that he had my confirmation text. I told him about the new time on the phone, but I felt he wasn’t really listening and worry that he’s going to suddenly say he wants it even later. I guess the blame is on him if that happens, for not listening to me, but I’m still nervous about it.

I should feel good about what I achieved, but I just feel drained and exhausted, as well as anxious that something will still go wrong. Possibly I’m mentally taking responsibility for things that aren’t under my control. I don’t know if this is just a really hard task generally, or if I’ve been unlucky in having things go wrong when I’ve had to do it, or if I struggle because of autism or social anxiety or all of the above. Not knowing what the problem is makes troubleshooting difficult. Obviously there would be little point in asking for adjustments for autism if the problem is that the job is inherently stressful and draining.

After I got everything sorted, the anxiety turned into a sort of lethargy and it was hard to do anything. I wanted to write, to work on my new novel, but I didn’t want to do writing for money on Chol HaMoed. For the same reason, I didn’t want to send out query emails for my written novel. Instead I went out for a walk and to do some shopping. The nearest kosher supermarket unfortunately has for poor COVID compliance, with all staff members and most customers not wearing masks. I was only in there for two or three minutes, but I felt uncomfortable. Then I watched my weekly Twin Peaks episode, delayed by Yom Tov (Jewish festival). Now it’s nearly time to get ready for shul (synagogue) for Shabbat (the Sabbath).


I was wondering recently if my life would have been different if I had been born into a frum (religious Jewish) household. I wouldn’t have had to have struggled so much to become frum. On the other hand, I may have found it stifling and stopped being frum, the opposite trajectory of my real life. I might have gone to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary) and fitted in to frum society better as a result, or I might have had fallen into depression (as I did at university) and dropped out. I might have got married to someone who was willing to settle for me (or even really wanted me) or I might have been a weird reject in the shidduch (arranged dating) scene. I don’t think about this much now that I’m with E, but I used to wonder a lot if I could have been married and happy (and I don’t think I thought much about being one without the other) if I had just been born into a different, more religious, family. The whole train of thought assumes there’s a ‘me’ that is somehow separate to my experiences and I guess the only really worthwhile thing about it is that it shows how uncomfortable I feel with my current place in the frum community and how unlikely I feel it is that I could be more comfortable in it or find somewhere else that’s a better fit.

17 thoughts on “Tomorrow Never Knows

  1. I can’t go into the specifics of my profession here, but one thing that helped me deal with the feeling of not pleasing people at work was accepting that making people happy (in particular, by telling them what they wanted to hear) was not a goal I could realistically achieve regularly. I’m not a jerk or anything, and I try to find more workable solutions, but I had to accept pretty early on that I would not necessarily make people happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think I need to accept that. I hope to tactfully talk to J about some of the people we deal with, one who always wants things done as early as possible and one who wants it late, which established the dynamic I got stuck in.


  2. I agree with JYP about the fact that there are professional whiners and those who would be impossible to satisfy. Do your best and then it’s on them, not you.(although they try to make you feel like it’s your fault)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I do wonder again how other high functioning people on the spectrum get through it, and Orthodox life in general. Logically, there ought to be some, and even if they drop out on reaching adulthood, they must have some experience of growing up in the community. But there don’t seem to be people talking about this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meant to add – about the “what if I’d been born to a frum family”…..you really never know with the “what if”s.

    My Husband (raised frum and no longer frum) has often wondered if he hadn’t been raised Orthodox and had gone to co-ed public school instead of all-boys yeshiva, would he have had an easier time with dating?

    I pointed out to him that a) dating did not work out that badly for him in the end (I mean, he is married) and b) it is very easy and very, very possible to go through public co-ed school and never go on a date.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there really is no end to the “What ifs?” once you start going down that route. It’s hard not to sometimes, though, which I guess why alternate history fiction is so popular.

      LOL, you can tell your husband that I went to a co-ed state school and then a co-ed university and I didn’t go on a date until I was twenty-seven!

      Liked by 1 person

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