Buddhism aside (whew! I do worry about this blog getting religious.), I read a thing about how people had the best moods when either their minds were on what they were doing, or they were engaged in "positive mental time travel": looking forward to good things in the future, or remembering nice things in the past.
I've been doing that a lot recently. It helped get through that retreat. It may not be what I should have been doing, but still. It also helps, say, when I'm cold, simultaneously lonely and sick of talking to people, and fighting spiders. In mental fantasy land, I've never fought with anyone, you're all radiant angels of goodness, and my life's future holds 8 months of joyful and fulfilling vacation followed by an equally marvelous career and life back at home.
I'm not going to debate whether this is a good strategy or not. (see? no Buddhism for now.) Let me just say one thing, though: thanks to you all for helping me to create such nice memories and things to look forward to!