This morning I read that on the whole people are grumpier than they were three or four years ago. Workers who deal with customer complaints or have frontline roles in retail and hospitality report being abused frequently, often by customers whose demands are quite unreasonable.
I personally feel a little more easily hurt or provoked than I used to be. There's been a lot going on and we've needed to be resilient over and over so of course it all wears a bit thin.
But Monday is Run day and after a week of rain, worrying about floods and how to dry laundry on the towel rail, and dealing with contentious emails, I'm keen to get out. There's a break in the weather mid-morning but by the time I've changed and tied up my shoes it's raining again. I'm going anyway. I sing softly along to my iPod as I walk down the hill.
My nylon parka doesn't really keep the rain out but it acts as a kind of wet suit. As I get moving I'm quite warm in spite of a steady drizzle on my face and the trucks which spray me as they pass and blow me to the edge of the path. It's exhilarating to be out, looking at an oily, leaden sea which has recovered a little from the mass of silt which washed down during the week, turning it baby-poo yellow, but is still heaving logs and other debris back and forth. Signs warn of contamination from sewage overflows – don't swim or take shellfish! We're still in flood mode.
There are not many people out on the path but those I pass exchange complicit grins. We're not letting the weather stop us. A young man floats swiftly by on long slim legs, disappears round the corner.
When I get home, I feel warmer, happier, stronger. My shower is a pleasure and I will deal with the pile of sweaty, damp clothing later.
I sit down at my computer to say to you: if you feel angry, don't bite someone's head off, don't even try to be nice through gritted teeth. Get outside. Get moving. If you can't run, walk. Do Tai Chi in your garden. Hand jive in your chair. It makes all the difference.