Sunday Gratitude -The Ride

Someone famous once said something along the lines of “without the lows, you won’t truly experience the highs.” I think that is completely true. I mean how many times have we been so happy-go-lucky in life and then BAM! Tragedy strikes in some form. Then suddenly we are reminded of how grateful we need to be of what we do have. We are more thankful and notice the little things. We tell ourselves to be more selfless. We say we’ll never take life for granted again.

Unfortunately, I think it’s the human condition that gets us every time. Eventually, we all get back into the swing of things, the hum of our day consumes us, the gentle murmurs of busywork ring in our ears until again, something stops us in our tracks. BAM! Unexpected happenings strike again.

Most of the time these rollercoaster rides are on a small scale – things like a bad day at the office can ruin your week, or your kid sassing back at your questions your ability as a parent. But sometimes, the rollercoaster dips we take are friggin’ huge – the C word, injury, death, illness, bankruptcy, job termination, etc. These are the lowest of the low times and boy do they suck the life out of you.

For me lately, it’s been recovering from knee surgery and Merlin dying. Two major events in my life that have really tested me. From sleeping 16 hours a day to hysterically crying for hours until my eyes are so swollen that the next day my dental hygenist questions me about it (thinking I had severe allergies). I could have cared less about anything. Honestly, I’ve been at my lowest point in the last week, thinking to myself that I wouldn’t care if I were in a car accident because then maybe I’d have a chance of seeing Merlin again. Yep, it was THAT bad.

Of course I had to work through all these emotions and feelings without a drop of alcohol. My choice. I didn’t even want to drink, actually. I would have loved the effect, don’t get me wrong. But I wasn’t craving the taste of alcohol at all. So that was a win.

And time. The days passed slowly and I got through them. Barely. But I did. I put on a happy face when I needed to and couldn’t wait to be alone. I do think, though, without my physical therapy and clients, I might not have made it through the last week. I know all the right things to tell people when they feel depressed or when they’re going through a low in their life – take a walk, do some yoga, take a bath, exercise and sweat, read a good book, anything to keep your mind off of your pain (stay busy). But trying to get myself to do all those things? Well, only if I HAD to do any of them, did I do them.

Time does heal all wounds, but taking the ride is what makes life so fulfilling. Because the pendulum WILL swing the other way. You just have to be patient. And when it does, you’re reminded of how amazing life is – how loved you are by those around you, and how you never want these feelings of joy to end.

Understanding that the ride is part of life – that it in fact describes life to a tee – that’s the key. Taking it one day at a time. One moment at a time. The ups are up and the downs are down. Realizing that you just need to appreciate it no matter what part of the ride you’re on helps a lot. So if you’re personally going through a down phase right now, try to see the beauty in it. Try to be kind to yourself during this time. Recognize that something good will come of it if you just trust the process.

This is why today I am grateful for the ride…

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