The Blessing Of Routine

Finally! Finally finally! I am back! Back to all the things!

Tishrei was more relentless this year, and for a few reasons that I’m not gonna get into right now, I was head-down-just-make-it-through-the-day for most of the month. It was very overwhelming and today’s resumption of a more normal and less frenetic routine (though, let’s be frank, my life is always frenetic) is like the sun coming out from behind the clouds.

The end of the holiday season didn’t really bring relief because we went right from Yom Tov into preparing for Shabbos. Again. But now, this week, this day, the kids are in school and my to-do list is written and my new Hevria post is up (more on that in a minute) and here I am, writing to you after a long pause (but you’re all used to that by now, I assume).

September’s bullet journaling was, unsurprisingly, weak. I barely had time to keep my house running at the lowest possible standard of what constitutes running, and my kids were on vacation more than they weren’t, so sitting down for 45 minutes to an hour to lay out a monthly and weekly spread wasn’t happening. If I recall correctly, it didn’t even happen until the 20th of the month, but I still did it because even if I only did it for a little over a week, I wanted to retain what little connection to organization I could.

And that’s progress, truly. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t ideal, I did the bare minimum and didn’t make it (that) pretty, and it was okay.

But October, ah, October. I was able to put more time and energy into this month’s BuJo and was it ever satisfying. This is the same layout I started using in August and I still really like it.

So satisfying

And for the weekly spreads, this time I went and drew them all out so I wouldn’t have to do it fresh each week. It took a little longer but I think it’s a better strategy.

What does wish list even mean? I don’t know. That’s probably gonna go.

I started a new thing for meal planning. I wrote out a menu of different meal choices, mostly ones that I know my children sort of like, and then at dinner last night (which was don’t even ask, it was such a hectic day and I was not on top of my game in the least) I had the kids look at the menu and decide what they wanted to eat each night.

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 10.02.30 AM

My plan, which we’ll see how that goes exactly, is to make them the food they requested, but then to also have something for me and Raphael that is something they might also try. So tonight is wacky mac, but I’m going to make a salad and maybe fish for us grownups, and then put out some of the cut vegetables and maybe even a dip for the kids to take if they want.

I have been very pleasantly surprised in the past with how much actually objectively healthy food my kids do like to eat when it’s just placed in front of them. Sadly, I more often than not fail to place it in front of them. It’s something I hope to work on this year. We’ll see how that goes (hopefully not the way of my longstanding and yet continually unfulfilled hope to exercise more).

Okay! So that’s all the good stuff, well, not all of it but a nice amount. Despite all this optimistic writing and sharing, I have been in such a funk for the past, oh, at least month but realistically, probably longer than that.

There are just so many upsetting things that have happened in the world at large, in Israel (the deaths recently, it’s heartbreaking), in the political world (I don’t want to talk about it), in our little Cleveland community, and so on, that I have grown so tired. Tired of tragedies, tired of constant vitriolic disagreements, tired of the endless judgments that are made about people and organizations, tired of the echo chambers where any dissent marks you as bad.

Yesterday afternoon I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for my Hevria post today. I was feeling very tapped out, writing-wise, and a lot of the topics that were whirling around in my head were not ones I felt like wading into.

But then someone on the internet told me that she was (to paraphrase) “tired of people like me making excuses for evil” (I kid you not. I was just trying to insert some nuance into a conversation where an organization I have a lot of gratitude for was being demonized, but apparently, that makes me complicit in the support of evil), and BAM I sat down and wrote this piece.

I’m curious what you think. Let me know!



8 thoughts on “The Blessing Of Routine

  1. A simple thought someone told me, I find that it helps sometimes: G’d does want uns to see whole humans, to be accepting and not prejudiced. So, if you try to be that way, you always have G’ds support, even if it seems that no one else supports you. – Still, I agree completely: all this is exceedingly tiring.

  2. I agree with your Hevria post. I’m tired from Tishrei and from working in a life-draining open plan office (I’ve gone back to thinking I’m autistic…) and I’m tired of politics and argument. Here in the UK we have the added issue of the leader of the opposition being an outright antisemite, but just generally in the world everything is so polarised. It’s all “you’re with us or you’re against us”. No nuance, no balance, no ‘two sides to every story’. And once a person has infringed the rules, that’s it. They are evil forever. I’m not denying that some people – I would say people who are actually abusive – should not be placed beyond the pale unless or until they give a lot of solid evidence of having changed. But people can get ostracised forever for one stupid comment in the heat of the moment.

    I’m also terrified of speaking up, in person and online. I know I should confront people making racist/sexist/Islamophobic/homophobic comments, but I’m scared. Scared of being in an argument. It’s pathetic, but my fragile sense of self does not cope well with being denounced; it’s too much like being bullied as a child all over again. So I let the prejudice go unchallenged. All that is needed for evil to triumph etc.

    Mostly I avoid. I went off Facebook years ago (albeit because of comparing myself to other people as much as avoiding arguments). I’ve just gone on Twitter to promote my Doctor Who blog, but I go on it, I post my gratuitous self-promotion tweet and then I try to get off it really fast before I fall into the trap of looking at other people’s tweets and then try to forget that i have an account until the next time I need to post.

    I feel bad about all of this, but I’m not sure what I can do when much of the time I’m barely functioning in my own life without worrying about other people’s.

    1. Such a good perspective, I honestly can’t imagine what it’s like having such an open anti-Semite in the government. Very scary. It’s simmering below the surface here, but to have it right out there is horrible.

      And speaking up is legitimately hard, it’s not pathetic at all. And there’s the teaching that you shouldn’t give rebuke to someone who won’t listen, so it’s not even always constructive to speak up. Very complicated.

      I think we all feel bad about things that we really shouldn’t have to. So many people I’ve talked to recently feel bad about having to withdraw a bit (or a lot) from society to take care of their own well-being, and I think that’s just how it is sometimes. Sometimes you have to do that, and it’s not necessarily selfish, sometimes it’s just necessary.

      1. You may be right about speaking up. I suppose I think that if someone said something antisemitic, I would want someone to speak up and challenge that, so I ought to do the same if someone says something racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic etc.

        You’re probably right about withdrawing, I just don’t know how to do it properly. I read a book recently on complex trauma which suggested I alternate between ‘flight’ (trying to do too much) and ‘freeze’ (completely shutting down). I do too much until I can’t do any more, than I burn out and do nothing for an indefinite period until I’m well enough to do stuff again. That happens in the short-term over a week (activity on my four work days, sleeping most of the other three) and in the long-term over periods of months of activity and then months of intense depression.

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