Every cloud has the potential for a silver lining

Published on 4 March 2022 in , , , ,

There was a period in my life where I got a bit negative.  I wasn’t enjoying work.  Things were getting to me.  And when you’re in a negative frame of mind, it’s easy for it to spiral downwards.

Now it never got that bad.  Really, it was never that bad.  Just a bit negative.  And since then I’ve tried to think more positive.  And to try and look for the positives in what may look like a bad situations. 

Recently I was thinking about Covid-19.  Hey, it’s the kind of thing that you can’t escape thinking about.  And I began to wonder if there was anything positive that came out of it for me personally.  Anything at all. No matter how small.

And I thought of five things.  Here they are.

Item 1: Friends

I got to catch up with friends in London more than normal.  Okay, until we all got Zoomed out.  But it’s difficult being in a different part of the country to good friends.  And I don’t get to see them enough.  So it was great to be able to.

Item 2: Lane swimming

When the pools reopened after the first lockdown, the swimming sessions I go to on a Tuesday and a Wednesday evening changed to lane swimming.  Before there’d been one swimming lane, and the rest of the pool was a free for all.  After lockdown they decided they needed to put capacity limits on who was in the pool and the easiest way to manage that was to have defined lanes.  So they introduced a fast lane, a medium lane and a slow lane.  And it’s stuck.  It’s so much more organised.  So much easier to swim. 

Item 3: I do more cycling…

I learned cycling near where I live is easier than I thought it was.  I live in quite a hilly area and I was a bit unsure if I’d be able to cycle all the hilly roads.  I tended to stick to very flat routes.  During the first lockdown I found my normal exercise method (swimming) abruptly closed.  So I got on my bike instead.  I learned some places weren’t that long a cycle to get to.  And found most of the hills were a lot easier than ride up I thought.  I started cycling more, and when the weather is appropriate, time available and – and am by myself – have been trying to replace some car journeys with bike ones.

Item 4: …up big hills

I learned that I could (after a LOT of trying) cycle up some very steep hills.  I live near Marple Bridge.  There it’s 82m above sea level.  A road leads out of it towards the village of Mellor.  The road goes on and on for two and a half miles, where it reaches its summit of it’s 278m.  It’s a long slog.  But it’s okay.  Well until you get to a point where the road goes level.  Then it goes downhill slightly and then it goes UP again big style near the Oddfellows Arms pub at 215m above sea level.  The first time I tried it I could get a little beyond the pub – to a bus stop a bit on.  But not all the way. 

It was the same many times after.  And then one day I did it.  I got past the bus stop.  I got all the way to the top.  It was amazing.  And I did it again and again and again.  I realised I could probably do all sorts of cycling with a bit of practise.  I even thought about doing the Pennine Cycleway.  A multi-day cycle across the north of England.  I’m still thinking about it.

Item 5: Exercise

I’m doing more exercise than I used to, pre-Covid.  Back to the swimming.  When the swimming pools first re-opened the sessions were shorter than they used to be.  To do the same amount of swimming as I’d done before, I had to go more often.  I started going four times a week instead of my previous three.  As sessions started getting longer, I kept going four times and increased the amount I did.  And so, I now do more exercise.

Increasing my exercise regularly was something I’d tried to do for years and hadn’t succeeded with. But now I have.

Of course there were many, many, many, many negatives. And I have to say I think when push comes to shove, I’d still much rather Covid never have existed.  But it all happened, and we can’t change that.  Still, it does show if you look hard enough, you can find some small wins in a world of crapness.

I’m still looking for anything positive to come out of Brexit though.