Write, she told me

The Vancouver Hospice Society’s director and counsellor suggested I write again.  Who knew I could see a hospice counsellor but it turns out I can.  They don’t even ask for a death certificate or anything.  Fabulous.  I think she can see me a maximum of six or ten times or something.  Fabulous.  She’s an actual clinical counsellor with years of experience, woo hoo.

And she likes my sense of humour that comes out even when I’m talking about anxiety and depression; actually, it seems to come out even more then.

And she’s got a compassionate face.  Does her compassionate face make me want to puke, she asks.  Not really, I say.

I went to see her yesterday and there are no dying people in the house yet.  It’s freshly opened and they have to go through government approvals and etc.  It’s a beautiful house in a beautiful neighbourhood. 

Write, write, write, she tells me and this may help me she says.

Others have told me this as well.

“Perhaps I will reinvigorate the blog,” I tell her.

“Reinvigorate, yes!” she says.

Her compassionate face makes me cry.  Oy.  That’s the thing about compassion; it can make a person cry.  My brain is not very nice to itself and even less nice these days – it’s winter, mom died, I’m only partly employed and have a lot of time.  THAT is a huge part of the issue – the time.  Teaching on Wednesday evening was a bit of a revelation – I went in a bit early to prep and then, well, taught. I have 10 students who are all eager to improve their business writing – high level ESL students.  A nice group, quieter than earlier groups but such are classroom dynamics.  Sometimes I look out at them and they all have a vaguely confused look on their faces.  One young fellow has a rather aggressive way of expressing his confusion.  “You are not right!” he tells me when I mention that the present perfect needs to be used over the simple past in a sentence.  I explain.  “No, you are not right!” he insists.  Another explanation and he’s on board with it.  “Oh,” he says.

Another student – a young and sweet graphic designer – asked me a few times if it is unprofessional to use the word ‘been’ too many times in a sentence.  No, I say, been is simply the past participle of the verb to be.  “Oh,” she says and I can tell she is not convinced.  “Sounds strange to you?” I ask.  “It does,” she says.  She’s finding it difficult to put in writing what she needs to tell her clients. 

Most of the students are professionals – graphic designers, accountants, engineers and the like.  They know waaaay more about business than I do so I always make clear at the beginning that we I am teaching business English, not, er, business.

So anyway, the mini–revelation.  On Wednesday evening my mind was engaged and I was around and engaged with people.  Makes a huge huge difference for me.  My anxiety, well, calms a bit as I am distracted and not alone.  The negative voices in my head that are fueled by depression and anxiety – are reduced. Phew.

This wasn’t necessarily the case when I was teaching full time – especially over the time that mom was dying (more than four years in total). That was partly I think because I had been at that one school for so long and was bored, I  think.  Yeah, that’s it.  I really do miss the great lunch times I had there – lots of laughing and we’d copy the crossword from the Vancouver Sun and work on it together and just, fun. 

I’m such an extrovert I think –  and yet I’ve become more like a hermit.  Ick.

I’m trying to get back on my sub lists and I even applied at Chapters! It was an online application and I had to answer 73 multiple choice questions, mainly about the Chapters philosophy of life and such.  It was oh brother.  That would be a minimum wage job but it would get me out and around books.  We shall see.  I’m also doing things through meetup.com – writing groups, Scrabble groups, walking groups and such.  And I’m thinking of going to a meditation thing tonight at the united church at the Canadian Centre for Peace – it is two buses away which has stopped my inert self before but hopefully not this time.  Hopefully my inert self can get off of my inert butt and out into the inert cold.  I do find my lack of connection to folks a rather desperate problem.

So here I am at my church job. .  Well, I’m waiting for the bulletin to be edited so that I can then change the mistakes and get it printed out.   It’s a huge deal on a Friday.  I apparently can be (sort of) working on a Masters in TESOL but the ins and outs of a bulletin flummoxes me every time.  go figure.  I can teach 22 unruly, hungover, opinionated but ultimately sweet Quebecois young people (Explore, 2012) but I face copying the bulletin with fear and trepidation.

but enough about me.  How are you? 




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