In ten years' time four humans will arrive on the surface of Mars, never to come back again. A Dutch entrepreneur's project, sponsored by a TV company, is seeking volunteers for a one-way trip which will provide the red planet with its first human settlers. We're told that they won't be able to return to earth, as the mission will render their bodies incapable of life back home.
The 'Mars One' project sounds pretty far-fetched, perhaps one of those ideas that never quite sees the light of day. Who (on earth) would apply?
Well, thousands have already done so, each posting a video on the Mars One website in an effort to garner public support (apparently there's an element of X-Factor voting in determining who'll be packed off in the rocket in 2023). Who'd have thought it?
Consigning the rest of your life to be spent in the company of a handful of other people on the fourth rock from the sun seems a pretty extreme ambition to me but you have to admit, it is a goal - and in general, it helps to have things to look forward to.
Smaller things, though, I'd suggest.
The trouble is that when you're going through a difficult time, it can be hard to summon up even the slightest piece of anticipation, let alone a hunger for inter-planetary exploration.
Hard, but not completely impossible, so long as you set your sights realistically.
Maybe you'll look forward to a sandwich at lunchtime. Perhaps you'll put your mind to phoning a friend, simply to say hello. A book at bedtime? Or it could be that you'll anticipate the pleasure of listening to some favourite music later in the day.
My goal? As someone who really doesn't like goodbyes, it's to make it through my last day at Moodscope tomorrow with most of my emotions intact.
You'll make it easier for me (if you haven't yet done so) by registering your details at my post-Moodscope website, details below. That way, it won't be 'farewell' but simply 'see you later' (although not, I suspect, on Mars).