Lately I have been feeling like my life is a roller coaster. I’ve been clinging to the safety bar as if I may fly out of my seat and wind up as a red puddle on the pavement.
And then my youngest daughter made a very profound comment to me. She is 14, just starting 9th grade, and she began wearing makeup last week. I told her that I was sad to see her wearing makeup because it made me feel like time was flying by too fast. I told her that I felt like I was on a roller coaster.
“That’s the funnest,” she said. “The fast rides are always the best, especially if they have a lot of turns and you don’t know what to expect.”
“But that’s scary,” I said, ever the conservative parent.
“You told me you used to ride all the scary rides,” she said, and she had a disapproving frown plastered to her face.
“Yeah, I did,” I said. “When I was younger.”
“Well, what happened?”
“I got older,” I said.
“That’s an excuse,” she said. I swear she even clucked her tongue at me. “You can still enjoy the ride,” she said, and then she walked off as if continuing the conversation was pointless.
But that little bit of disapproval began to resonate with me. I haven’t been enjoying the ride; I’ve been gripping with fear and wishing for the impossible. It’s time to just relax and let the ride be what it is. It is scary – at times, but it can also be exhilarating. It does yank me around, but it can also make me laugh. I want to keep thinking I’m in control. I should know better.
I’m prying my fingers from the bar. I’m remembering to have fun instead of worrying about things that are beyond my influence. I’m putting my focus back on the things that matter.
I know, I know – I’ve said all this before. I’ve even meant it before. This time, I’m putting both hands up in the air and trusting that it will all be okay. And if I do wind up as a big, red puddle on the pavement, then I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen. Somehow, I don’t think that’s where I’m headed.