This week, the first week of the new semester, has been abundant in energy. I’ve been at work every day, sometimes well into the evening. I have gotten through so much teaching preparation – I think I’m now set up for the next ten weeks. I’ve written an academic blog post, been asked to do more friendship workshops in schools by reputation, and run a #TimetoTalk day in the Department, taught several lectures, learnt how to create a multiple mediation statistical model, analyzed some data and shaped it into the Results section of a paper. And now it’s the weekend, I’m getting the last things ready to lead worship tomorrow, with two others: a cafe-church service on mental health.
It feels good to know that my teaching topic was the most popular option among the third year students this term; that more of them wanted to be taught by me (or about my research area, or both) than I am allowed to teach. It feels good to be organized, and not to have students emailing me reminding me to do things, but instead me responding to them in a reasonable time frame. It feels good to have them in my office; to know that they trust me enough to be talking through their own mental health problems. To know that I am approachable.
I feel as if I have been moving at a hundred miles an hour; like the past week has flown by in a flurry of activity. And I’m writing this, still in that energized state, because I know it won’t last, and I want to remember that I can feel good sometimes.
I know that right now, with the preparation for tomorrow, and the teaching, and the writing, I am very distracted from all the other stuff going on. Family changes. Relationships at church. I know because I can talk, even think, about these things as if they are happening to someone else, without any emotional engagement with them. I’m not sure I can engage emotionally with them right now. I want to be doing stuff instead.
I like being like this, being able to do stuff again. Having energy feels good. Disconnection from [negative] emotion feels good. But I am disconnecting from God, too. I know that if I fall into prayer for long enough, I will end up remembering. I have to distract myself from the desire to pray. In paradox, I pray that, one day, I won’t have to distract, or fill my life with doing, at all.