The Wild Mouse roller coaster is a seemingly tame ride because portions of the track are flat. Even though we’re up in the air in a little open car clinging to a steel track, the flat parts seem calm. And then we hit a 90 degree turn and the car jerks in a new direction while my stomach goes in the opposite direction. Wham! another sharp turn and another until I’m convinced we are all going to die on this ride while a camera snaps a commemorative photo.
Day to day, my life is pretty even-keeled. Listening to podcasts as I go to and from my 8 to 5 job, cooking, reading, exercising. It’s not boring, but predictable and comfortable. Then wham! something flies in from left field. These events are usually opportunities to show flexibility, resilience, and curiosity, but they may come with a heaping amount of adrenaline: a surprise project, a fender bender, an unexpected bill.
Even though I should know that everything is subject to change, I catch myself thinking that things will always be the way they are now. Maybe it’s because I like “now” and it’s appealing to project it into the future. However, during times that were tougher, I worked hard to remind myself that things eventually change – it was a hope to hold onto even if I didn’t see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
When my life trundles along on the flat tracks, I sometimes forget that I’m still on a roller coaster. This week I hear the tick tick tick of the coaster cars climbing to the top of the massive wooden scaffolding. Perched at the top, the view is breathtaking, but in a moment I’ll shriek through the white-knuckle plunge towards the earth. After multiple climbs, drops and sharp turns we’ll come to a stop and the adrenaline will dissipate. And then it will start again.