Ridin' that Rollercoaster
I've never been a fan of rollercoasters. Feeling like my stomach is in my throat has just never been something I've enjoyed, and the head spin that occurs afterward just isn't my cup of tea! I'm not a thrill seeker in general, preferring to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground! My husband on the other hand, has jumped from an airplane at 14000 feet! As a matter of fact, so has one of my daughters! Well, guess what? The jokes on me and all my less than thrill seeking peeps, because we are all on the biggest rollercoaster of all...LIFE!
I just went to the wedding of my best friend's - no, actually my soul sister's- daughter. I was asked to give a message, on video, to the new couple. I gave them what has become my standard comment; my 30 years married wisdom- "Life is a rollercoaster. Marriage is the biggest part of that ride, with the most twists and turns. Don't let the ride throw you off. Hold on tight to each other. Always choose each other, even in the really hard times, because if you do, you will end up on the biggest high in the end." I firmly believe that. I've lived it.
The uphill struggles are real... Add family to the ride: children; extended family; friends. Slip in that career. Add a dash (or an overabundance) of health issues. Buy a house. Financial struggles. Let's throw in one of the biggest stress inducing, time consuming, anxiety producing, bullshit throwing parts of the ride: social media. The damage that alone can do to your head during the ride is HUGE. Add a couple of aging parents, and the balance needed to maintain their independence and your sanity. Death jumps on the ride all too frequently, as do other catastrophes. I could go on and on about the lows, but let's talk highs...
These are the parts of the rollercoaster that give you the euphoric feeling; the rush of adrenaline that draws people to the ride to begin with. These are the parts of the ride that keep us moving forward; keep us wanting more: relationships with family and friends, watching your children find love and start their own families, buying a home, finding your passion in your career, financial gain, being able to spend time with aging parents... Isn't it funny how so many of these overlap with the lows? When I say it's a rollercoaster, it's no joke!
So here's my advice: Hold on tight. Hold on to your people- your true people who love you unconditionally- and love them back. Don't hold grudges. Take your mom to lunch. Spend time with friends. Hold your significant other's hand. Look for the grace filled moments, of which there are many! Most importantly, hold on to your faith. It's the only thing that can truly sustain you through this rollercoaster called life! Hmm... maybe rollercoasters aren't so bad after all...