Saturday, May 19, 2007


Given the current state of my personal life, I think I'm qualified to speak about effective ways of distracting oneself from the things that are bothering or upsetting one, but about which nothing can be done.

There are the tried-and-true methods, of course, like spending time with friends, and I've been doing a lot of that: dinners, drinks, lunches, trips to the park, trips to the mall, and so on. I'm glad that I do have friends here, and that others are reachable by phone or email.

I've also been keeping busy, even when by myself: cleaning my apartment, making unnecessary trips to campus, and taking long walks around my neighborhood. I've also rewatched some favorite movies and reread some favorite books.

But those coping methods are all just common sense, and things that you can learn from the movies, your parents, or any friend you've ever had. What I'm here to offer you today--what I'd like to think of as my unique contribution to the lore of Just Getting Through It--is this discovery: when you're totally on the verge of or indeed in the midst of a breakdown, start conjugating Latin verbs. Within seconds of putting pen to paper, you'll be focused and at peace--it's like instant self-hypnosis.

My eureka-in-the-bathtub moment came about thusly: I'd been planning to spend a couple of hours each day this summer reviewing my Latin (which is pretty badly atrophied) by working quickly through my old grammar. I'd been doing so for a few days, when this morning I discovered this significant side benefit.

So there you have it: from me to you, a special gift.


Dr. Virago said...

Such activity is also supposed to keep you away from sinful thoughts -- in this case, perhaps, despair -- at least according to most monastic rules and practices. Bet you didn't know you and the likes of St. Benedict had so much in common! Although I'm not sure he thought this up in the bathtub! :)

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Wow, you are hardcore! I just turn to bad TV. ;-)

Hilaire said...

I shall try it with French the next time I need distraction!

Glad to hear you are being successfully diverted from sadness.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I'm certainly going to have to try this; it sounds very appealing. But I can't decide which old grammar to pull out and work through: Latin, Greek, Sanskrit? Russian? Irish Gaelic? Old Norse?

So many verbs, I could distract myself indefinitely... :)


Jessica said...

Holy crap!

Tiruncula said...

Hee! You know I approve of such distraction technoques.

Mr. B. said...

Amo, amas, amat?

adjunct whore said...

that is hardcore, i typically get too drunk when avoiding sadness. which, truth be told, doesn't really work.

muse said...

Ooh, I'm totally going to try this next time I need a distraction (actually, I've been feeling one coming on, rather sadly, but we'll see). I bet it works with Greek verbs too!