I was sitting in the corner, with large windows behind me. The clouds were low, darkening, and it started to rain heavily. After a while it stopped, and the ladies facing me from across the office started pointing and laughing. Through the window, behind me, was a large, bright rainbow. I turned to look at it, and the colours were broad and clear. The ladies informed me that from where they sat, it appeared to come down into my head.
"Ah yes", I said. "I am the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in an otherwise dark and dismal world."
I was, of course, joking. I can be grumpy along with the best of them, and I actively have to work to remember to smile at gatherings of family and friends in case they think I am bored and angry with them. But it did remind me that it is important to maintain a positive outlook in these times.
Recently, I felt slighted. A social media post I made (no surprises there) resulted in a stupid and thoughtless comment. Instead of responding, I simply deleted their comment. My wall, my rules, and I can say what stays on my wall.
For similar reasons, I left a couple of Facebook groups which I used to enjoy, but were bringing me down with their negativity. And do you know, I haven't missed them at all.
Some may have noticed that, for the most part, I try and maintain a positive attitude on social media. There is a fine line between keeping an "up" attitude online and creating a fake, happy persona. I don't want to the be the guy who makes out he has the perfect life, posting only images of holidays, meals and so on, but I do want to not be brought down by the angst and anger which pervades social media.
And so into my real life.
I started each week at work (from home) with some gentle, pleasant music. I am well aware of the emotional effect music can have on me, and so I figure choosing the right tunes early on can shape my mood for the day, if not the week. I login to my team's chat and try and say hi, offering virtual coffee, and having a laugh with anyone who happens to be around.
I get up from the desk and stretch, take time out to play with my dog, and go for walks. I also try to eat healthily and not drink too much coffee.
And that's all we can do, isn't it? The best we can in trying times.