Sunday, February 14, 2016
So happy to go, so sad I couldn't make it work.
I know, I know. I'm a jerk for being such a critical person, and I feel terrible about it. I've had a stressful few days, and the prospect of not being able to support my family (by even looking at a home that was way above our means) really hurt my feelings. In hindsight, I didn't realize that "a girl can dream," and I was smashing her dream with the heel of my boot, and I should have just stayed quiet and not bust a gasket when I heard my wife speaking about wanting beautiful things. I just take her so seriously, especially since I try to give her everything she wants, and I was feeling like a failure that I wasn't able to give her the dream home that she wanted. I was also feeling very threatened, since we cannot stay here in Beitar (or anywhere in Israel, as the work hours are not long-term doable for me), and I was feeling that I couldn't afford Denver's more expensive homes either. So I felt painted into a corner.
Anyway, I have been thinking long and hard, and I cannot have more good things to say about Israel, the land, the beauty, the holiness, and even how wonderful it is for our kids to have friends and for me to have a community in which I am thriving both as a person and as a Jew. Beitar has been a wonderful solution for us, and I'm actually saddened that I'll be saying goodbye to some really good friends I've made over the past few months.
Now you may shoot back at me telling me to "make it work." I've tried, really I have. I've shifted my hours later so that I work from 7pm-7am (and then I go to minyan in the morning). I've shifted my hours so that I work 3pm-3am, still no dice. I've also tried 12pm-12am, but then I cannot do my work since my law firm operates in the late afternoons/evenings simply because of the nature of my clientele. I've pumped myself full of coffee, I've taken naps during the day, but no matter how I cut it, I can't make the hours work for me. Maybe someone with a better constitution would be able to handle this, but for me, it is too much to handle... especially considering that I cannot "relax" and defuzz in the mornings, and I cannot nap in the afternoons, and while I would never do so openly, I blame my wife for it not working out. No way in hell have I been able to take a nap while she is stuck with the six screaming kids -- I felt like a loser and that I was slacking on my responsibility every time I tried to close my eyes to prepare for my evenings, while I would hear my wife get frustrated with the kids all hanging on her competing for her attention. I felt terrible for her having to deal with everything, and on top of that, I was asleep during the mornings as well. Aside for a few precious hours in the late morning / early afternoons, I really had no time to run any errands, or to do anything except to work. Life was work and work was life -- there was really no room for anything else.
I tried to help with the dishes, with the laundry, with the chores, with watching the kids whenever I could in order to lessen the burden on my wife, but really, all it did was drain me and I was unable to work that evening. I lost so many evenings that way rescheduling appointments with potential clients to the point that I lost many of them because I could not muster the energy, the discipline, or the organization to balance both an Israeli day, and then an American work day after that. My work and the time zone shifting each day (and the lack of sleep or energy that went with it) was consuming my life.
With full respect and love to Israel, I am happy that I am leaving in a few months. I feel as if I have been in a one-room prison all year without the ability to roam free or to move about freely, and it has been a miserable experience. I hope my wife, my kids, my friends, and Hashem forgive me and don't judge me because I couldn't make it work. G-d knows I tried to make it work. I still can't shake the feeling in the back of my stomach that I am a failure for making this work, and "if only I did X," or "if only I tried harder, or did XYZ differently," we could have made it work. Really, it was not working, but I don't understand why I have to convince myself of this fact. I'm so happy to go home, but so sad I couldn't make it work!
NOTE: Image taken from Pixbay, CC0 Public Domain, Free for commercial use, No attribution required. Link.