Years ago I went on a school trip to a place in Wales called Pencelli and I was there for about a week. One of the things I did there was go up in the mountains (where there were abandoned castles and wild horses) for exploration and climbing. On the way back, I was walking along a very narrow path on the edge of a cliff. One of my teachers was a little bit behind me and everybody else was quite far ahead. All of a sudden I slipped and started falling sideways so that I'd go over the edge of the cliff.
"Oh no," I thought to myself, "I'll die if I fall down there."
But then, rather reflecting on that, I started thinking about something else entirely. Specifically, I started to think about the German lessons I had at the time, I had a strict teacher who I didn't like very much and I thought he was a bit silly, but I quite liked him too. I used to sit at the end of a row of my friends, the one on the end had done the work and everybody else consecutively copied it. And I was just thinking about that. Luckily, I grabbed onto the edge and my teacher helped pull me back up.
Another time I was staying at a friend's house and I was in a spare room doing some reading. It was quite late and my friend knocked on the door and came in for a chat. Everything seemed fine, but after a short while they broke into tears and went down onto the floor. They were very upset about certain things and asked me if I wouldn't mind holding them. As I held them in my arms while they sobbed quietly, I found myself thinking "It'd be funny if Mike Wing walked in now". I hadn't seen him in years and I smiled as I thought of his crazy antics, such as the time he wanted me to compare chests with him and the unusual night that followed. Of course, I was very sad for my friend, but at the same time Mike had randomly popped into my head, which was nice.
I could list other examples too, but I don't want to make this entry too long. I wonder if this kind of thing is some kind of natural defence mechanism? Every time something sad or stressful happens, my mind sends down an old happy memory, or something like that. Does this happen to anybody else?