Hanging On For The Ride
So…August. I had so many ideas and plans for my August blog that I thought would’ve been entertaining material—big family vacation, end of summer, back to school, etc… But you know what they say about the best laid plans, right?
Everybody said to me, “You should write a blog! You have so many interesting things that you do-you’d never run out of material!” And of course…”It’ll be fun!” And I admit, when I contemplated writing the first one, I pictured in my head this very put together chick, sitting somewhere cool in the world, writing down her thoughts on a laptop…you know, very Carrie Bradshaw-ish…yeah. I gotta say, usually it’s more like jotting down a few ideas in the Notes section of my phone while I’m waiting in the drive-thru line at Whataburger. Turns out me and Carrie don’t have that much in common.
The vacation, I have to take time to say, was amazing and we all had the most fabulous time! It was a very welcome respite from the usual chaos that normally surrounds me. Having said that, after 9 days I was definitely ready to get back home and jump into the whirlwind again. And boy has it been spinning! Seems like someone hit Fast Forward while I wasn’t looking and now I’m just doing my best to keep up!
As far as the end of summer, well you won't find me moping around about that either. I love Fall--particularly the energy of it! Kids are starting a new chapter in their lives, the weather will soon begin to cool off... I don't know, just something about it that strikes a chord in me on a very good note. There's probably some uber-scientific reason for it, but I really don't care. I just like the vibe.
Most of you that know me know that I’m not really a sugar-coat it kind of gal. And the older I get the more that’s true. So, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that everything that has happened to me this month is a great, wonderful, can’t-believe-it’s-happened-to-me kind of thing. Life, as it happens, is not a merry-go-round, it’s a roller coaster. Ups and downs, highs and lows. Lots of each. And you either hang on for the ride, don’t look down, and meet the challenge…or you don’t. One thing I have learned in half a century of being alive, is that I personally don’t regret the chances I took that didn’t work out the way I may have wanted them too. But I would definitely regret being too afraid to take a chance that I believe could be life-changing. Fortunately for me, I’m blessed to be married to a kindred soul who feels the same way.
So, on the one hand, we were presented, this month, with the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m absolutely thrilled to say that we took it. Obviously, we did our homework, got some advice from experts, weighed the risk against the reward…you know, all the things you’re supposed to do before you jump. That’s the easy part. The hard part, for sure, is the jump. I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m not a bit nervous. But we just discussed that I don’t sugar-coat things so that’s not going to happen. Yes, I’m nervous. And insanely excited. Probably 2% nervous and 98% excited, maybe the other way around—you get the idea.
On the flip side, some other events took place in a different part of our world that we weren’t expecting and, if I’m being completely honest, felt a little like a gut-punch. It never fails to amaze me the range of emotions that bad news brings out in people. At first, you’re just in shock. Then, when you can take another breath and feel your legs again, you get angry. When your anger fades into sadness, that’s the real dangerous point. I’ve seen a lot of people linger way too long in the sadness and it can be overwhelming. For sure it’s important to feel it, otherwise you’re just putting a bandaid on it, but then you have to let it go and move on. That’s just my opinion and it’s worth exactly what you paid to hear it, but that philosophy has always worked for me to move me through the challenging times of my life, so it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So, in case you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to encounter the high and the low on the roller coaster simultaneously? The answer is yes, totally possible. Does the high give you a little help coping with the low? Absolutely. Does the low take any joy from the high? Maybe…but only to the degree that you let it. You have to choose how much momentum you’re going to give each element, so you’ll either run out of steam in the valley, or barrel over the mountain. Personally, I’ll choose the mountain every time and not look back.
Which I guess explains why my life always seems to be going at turbo speed, but I’m totally okay with that. So maybe I won’t be the cool girl with every hair in place and all my ducks in a row all the time. That’s just not me, and seriously, y’all wouldn’t recognize me like that anyway. I read a quote one time that said “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow, what a ride!’” I couldn’t agree with this more, and at this point I have made it my mission to arrive in just that manner.
So to my family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues: If you’re waiting on things in my life to settle down a bit so I can get it all “together”…well, I have bad news. Things just hit another gear…again…so that whole “together” thing…yeah, that’s not super high on my priority list.
To my doubters and haters: Think I can’t handle it? Watch me. Go ahead and bet against me—I dare you.
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around, you could miss it.”
My addition to that: Don’t stop to look around so long that you miss the boat. Or get run over by the train.
But above all else, just hang on and enjoy the ride. It won’t last forever and you don’t get to go around again.
For me, well I got my glass raised in one hand and a good grip on the “oh shit” handle with the other! Here’s to the next mountain—bring it on, September!