Positivity is the thing right now, sometimes exhaustingly so. I'm very happy for those people for whom it works, but sometimes I find it all too much. And I know that I'm not the only one.
Positive people are said to be brave, especially if they are dealing with extreme difficulties in their lives. But sometimes I think that admitting that you see the world as a glass half empty is ever braver, because apparently many people don't want to hear that. We're supposed to be perkily positive at all times, maybe not always for our benefit. Sometimes I wonder if it's more for the benefit of those around us.
Yet as we suppress our true feelings, we're being told to validate the emotions of our children. Hmm.
And just try posting on Facebook that you're having a bad day. What do you think will happen? You'll be told to cry it out. Confusing, much? And I don't like crying. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable and obviously I don't want to do it in front of the children.
(Which is why many mums claim to cry in the shower, something I find very sad.)
My children want to see me happy, but I do struggle with that and feel guilty for the struggle.
And I have found my own solution to the glass half full or glass half empty debate: by avoiding looking for the glass at all...
I have made choices and I have to live with them, as well as putting the significant needs of my children over my own. I accept that, but I'm not usually very positive about it.
The future doesn't look great. The latest word is that there will be no adult day service for Smiley in September 2017, just as my son goes into the vital leaving cert cycle at school. Two years later my son turns 18 and that is when services for people with autism fall off a cliff. It's hard not to feel depressed about it all, even as I continue to lobby and fight for what I think my children need.
I worry about the future of the world too: I've said before that I naively assumed that everything would improve in my lifetime, and it has in some ways: the percentage of people living in extreme poverty is falling, vaccinations (whether you like them or not, and I'm not entirely happy) have made a huge difference to the health of most children. Cancer is more of a chronic illness than a death sentence. The status and life opportunities for women, as well as people with disabilities and other minorities in society has improved hugely since I was born.
But war still constantly rages around the world. Pollution is worse, climate change is scary, rubbish piles up on land and in the oceans. The rise and power of corporations and big banks seems unstoppable. I love the internet, but I worry about its downside: hackers, big brother and the porn culture.
It often seems too much to even contemplate. You'd never sleep or you'd give up completely with fear of what the future will bring.
And talking of sleep, last night something momentous and very rare happened. I got a full night's sleep and woke up to bird song instead of the alarm clock or a child calling for attention. I can't believe the difference in my mood, energy levels and productivity. Maybe I would be an optimistic competent person, if circumstances were different.
And if I could just bottle the way I feel today and pour it into that r*ddy glass, perhaps it would be half full all the time...