How To Ride The Roller Coaster Of Life

Roller coasters have never been my thing. I experience motion sickness riding in the back of cars sometimes. I shut my eyes when the sensations caused by IMAX films become too realistic. I can only imagine what an actual roller coaster ride must feel like.

Photo Credit: paulbr75 via pixabay

While I may not have physically experienced a roller coaster, the past couple weeks have been quite the emotional ride. My journey has taken many ups and downs during this latest period of time. Here is a synopsis of the major events.

  • We scurried around to wrap up the details on a home purchase.
  • We had an important doctor’s appointment for our daughter.
  • We closed on our new home purchase.
  • We moved to our new home.
  • Our daughter spent three days in the hospital.
  • One of the leaders at my place of employment resigned.
  • I resumed studying for a professional exam in the fall.

Does this sound like quite a bit to handle? I feel like it is. However, I must admit that it has renewed my appreciation for life. I recognize that every day people all around me are probably going through similar stuff. We all have to deal with situations that arise unexpectedly amidst an already full life.

What do we do when this happens? How can we cope? Here are some tools that help me:

  1. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Since life continues to move forward I find that stopping is not much of an option. There are absolutely times to cry and mourn, and those should not be neglected. However, there are always steps that can propel us forward to make the next day better. In that regard, my wife has been inspired lately to just “do the next thing”. No matter how small the distance, take a step forward towards a better tomorrow.
  2. Remember what is “Important Forever”. I read a story recently about a family whose house burned down due to a wild fire. Their reaction to this event was influenced by an exercise they read about that goes like this:
    As you leave work at the end of the day there are two piles of sticky notes on your desk. One pile is labeled “Important Forever” and the other says “Temporary Stuff”. As you leave, take one sticky note from each pile and put it on everything you notice. Do the same when you get home.
     The family in the story recognized after the fire where “Important Forever” sticky notes should go – on the ones they love and those who love them. The relationships with those closest to us – the ones who will laugh, cry, hurt, and rejoice with us – are what we must hold on to through life’s difficulties.
  3. Faith. This is, without question, the most important aspect for me. I am able to put my trust in God the Father. My wife remarked recently that He loves our daughter even more than we do. Truthfully, I do not completely understand why but something in my heart was shifted by that statement, and it gave me a new perspective. I am infused with a peace beyond understanding. The Bible offers words of reassurance and hope that everything will work together for good for our family. A walk of faith supplies relationships that are invaluable during life’s unexplainable storms.

At times it may feel like we are riding the roller coaster of life alone. I assure you that this is not an accurate assessment of the situation. People all around us experience the ups and downs as well. I pray that my experience would be an inspiration and encouragement to you.

Question: How do you deal with the wild ride of life? What tools do you use to persevere? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Jim Moore

    Mark – And this will certainly not be the last week that you will feel overwhelmed as you well know but that constant refocusing on what’s important will sustain you. And blogging about it is incredibly therapeutic!

    • Mark Maenche

      You are are right on the money Jim! Thanks for commenting and the encouragement.