If you, like me, suffer from Climate Apocalypse Anxiety on the daily, it can be hard to summon up the strength to plan for the future. Which is expressly shitty, because if you also happen to be a parent, you’re essentially forced to. It’s hard to be optimistic about Momo’s future when I’m half-convinced the only responsible course of action is teaching her how to collect water, grow her own food, and fight dirty.

I don’t know, guys. I’m regularly paralyzed by anxiety about the future, and it’s hard to stop. People tell me they’re looking forward to having kids and my brain is just like [KILL BILL SIRENS] because my grief weighs so heavily on me.  I read books to Momo about the world’s wonders and I can’t help but worry they’ll forever as unreal to her as unicorns.

I try not to let this spill out too much, especially on social media where We’re All Just Trying to Get By, Man, and I have a lot of words blocked. But this phrase, or something like it, passed by my scroll the other day and it gave me an unexpected jolt of strength and hope, both of which are thin on the ground. I did some digging and it turns out it’s paraphrasing a hadith – parables of Islam written outside of the Quran – but the message is essentially the same: even though you may never see the fruits of your labour, though you may have no hope for the future, you should continue to do good and act with kindness.

There’s a similar saying that I’ve taken strength from before, usually falsely attributed to Churchill: ‘if you’re going through Hell, keep going.’ It reminds me that giving up is always the worst choice, while acknowledging that this is difficult business. It is Hell. But stopping here isn’t an option.

I’ve also been playing Dragon Quest Builders 2 a lot since I got laid off, and I just finished it today — and even that was poignant, because the whole plot revolves around building things (and communities and friendships) even though destruction is inevitable. Getting hit with the double-whammy of the universe trying to cheer me up today, I guess!