Thursday, June 30, 2016

When you think you are so smart, maybe you're an idiot. "Common sense. Don't leave home without it."

I just wanted to take a few moments on the eve of us leaving Israel, coincidentally on the Parsha concerning the Meraglim (the "spies").

I am filled with bitterness and pain from this experience, not because it was Israel, but because of the circumstances in which my life has been lived in the past year or so. 

In short, the idea of "working at night" was stupid.  I don't know who thought I could do it, and I question the motives and good intentions [having my best interests at heart] of those who would allow me to be awake overnight EVERY NIGHT and then have me switch back to the daylight hours for Shabbos.  This is torture, this is unhealthy, and it is a crude thing to do to a human being. 

I cannot believe I was so stupid to even think that such an arrangement would even be possible.  Did I think that my wife and those around me would allow me to sleep late every day without any consequences?  Did I think that I would really be allowed to nap during the day while the kids are playing and screaming down the hallway?  Did I think that my wife wouldn't be passive aggressive and allow the kids to make noise or make comments that belittle my contribution to the family, our life, our experience?

Or would it have been smarter if I realized that people are limited both in their abilities and in their moralities, and no matter how much money or financial abundance a husband brings in the late hours of the night, if he is walking around the house all day (or he is at the beach, or working out, or walking around the city) while you are slaving with the housework, then the kids in a foreign country... when he wants to nap in the afternoon you will no doubt feel a bit of resentment (ignoring the fact that what would be a 45 minute nap would be what he needs to stay up until 6:30am the following morning?)

I don't know, in hindsight, I don't think it was a smart idea to come here, and it was an even dumber idea to think that working at night would work out.

I also don't know why I was so stupid to allow us to only have one car (as every Israeli family typically does), or to think that my wife wouldn't be the one to dominate that car each and every day [shopping, going out, picking up the kids, etc. at the expense of me not being able to use that car to drive to or from work or to move freely around town to run errands with that car], but in doing so, I would inadvertently isolate, jail, and seclude myself to the point where I would be a slave in my own home -- where everything I would do would be under the peering eye of a well meaning, but no doubt resentful wife who would be paying close attention to everything I do to make sure every moment of my life was filled with as much strife as hers would be.

Why was I so stupid to think that I could work from a home office without renting office space out of the home?  Why would I be so stupid as to jail myself in a situation that would only cause me to feel like a slave, a lab rat, a prisoner, a jailed person, a useless slob who mopes around the house all day tiring himself out, only to start work after everyone else's day has ended?  Why did I think this was a good idea?


Anyway, now that we are going back, this is my own personal yetzius mitzraim.  The first thing I am doing when I return is [after getting my family in order and purchasing the necessities for my wife and children, including a car for my wife,] buying myself a car and renting an office so that I can leave the house in the morning, and not return until men return home from work.  I will be once again on my own with my own autonomy, with my own space to breathe, to think, to plan, to work, and to live, where I can provide for my family working more than 10 feet from said family in my face and me in theirs, etc.

I say this without animosity towards my wife (now twenty paragraphs later after implicitly attacking her).  Really, I have every belief that she tried very hard to accommodate my awkward schedule.  She took the brunt of the responsibilities in running the home, she took the brunt of the housework, she took the brunt of the kids' homework, their education, their feeding, their playing, their raising, all of which while I did the best I could to be involved in my wife and kids' day life (but really, my focus the entire time was planning my hours so that I can minimize the jet lag that I would inadvertently live with every day).

I ran on three cylinders.  My business (which once flourished) withered and is on its deathbed.  I am not healthier than I was when I left.  My family and I are not closer, but rather, I resent them for expecting me to live two lives -- one during the day and one during the late night, and not having either life diminish or lose out.   Did they think I could live two lives at the same time? 

I am also not more religious than I was when I arrived here.  Rather, I have lost my faith in G-d, and I have lost my faith in humanity.  I have become dark, angry, ...dark pretty much sums it.  I am also jaded, both in the miracles of Hashem, and in the "life of tranquility" I thought I would provide for my children, where the community would provide my children everything they needed spiritually, and my wife and I would be happy as they integrated into Israeli society while we lived the life of flourishing ex-pats, focusing on our parenting skills, our religious experience (and G-d would leap over mountains for us to accommodate our every need because we have taken the leap of faith to move to the land of Israel, the land of milk and honey).

Yeah, right.  I no longer trust people, I don't like people, and I no longer think people are good.  Further, I resent people because I do not think that anyone can fully understand what I have just been through.  I feel isolated, I feel alone.  I feel dead inside.  Oh, G-d!

Hopefully when we return, I could resume the activities that had our family running in good shape.  I was involved in the community, I was involved in my children's upbringing and their education, I knew their teachers, and I was part of their lives.  Sure I was not always productive at work, but at least I had my own space and my own time to iron out any issues that arose in my business.  I had space, I had time, I had room to think, money to breathe, and time to enjoy it.

We were bored.  We thought we could do better for our kids.  We thought life would be more comfortable when we are sitting on a cloud being gently guided by a kind G-d, a G-d who warms us, nourishes us, and protects us from harm.

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