It's like a binge of teaching.
I'm a teaching fool. I taught summer school on behaviour down in north Toronto on Thursday and Friday of last week and this week I taught, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday a three day series of classes on sexuality. The sexuality classes are being taught via video-conferencing to 29 sites throughout Northern Ontario, this is a whole new experience for me. Seeing Sault Saint Marie or Thunder Bay or Red Lake pop up on the screen in front of me, to ask a question or make a comment, is very, very, cool. I'll admit though that it's taken a little getting used to. Then, it's back to Toronto to finish up the behaviour summer school on Thursday and Friday.
It's been a long while since I've taught 7 days running. And it's been perfect. The process of putting together the classes and then teaching them have pulled me out of the torpor that's come with the grief I've been experiencing. There is something incredibly life affirming in teaching - the idea that what you are doing in the present is soaring into the future. Seeing, mostly, young faces taking notes or thoughtfully pondering an idea, is a wonderful tonic. I feel like I'm DOING something that matters.
As someone who tends to depression in the first place, I find activity a tonic. Setting about to write something, create something, teach something makes me feel like it all matters. I'm not very good at sitting and brooding. I find that I need to escape into activity not retreat into thought. So all of this work has had an uplifting effect on my spirit. I'm sleeping again, even sleeping in a bit. I go to bed tired. I wake with the anticipation of what comes next.
Sometimes it's important to be pulled out of yourself. Like, when I became a wheelchair user, it was just before a lecture trip to the United Kingdom. I didn't have time to consider anything other than the trip, the work and the travel. The wheelchair - dealing with that could wait. By the time I got back and had time, the wheelchair was just what I used to get around. I'd been taken over by purpose and didn't have time for self pity.
Everyone deals with life's stressors differently. This is what's worked for me. Particularly right now. I'm busy. And that is what makes it all possible. I still feel loss keenly. I still have moments of horrible pain. Of course I do. But my busy attempt to affect the future, seems to me to be attempting, a little bit to bring about the vision of those now past.