Tag Archives: ups and downs

Stop this thing! I want off.

Recently my 13-year-old son did me a really big favor.

He gave me some parenting advice – and some much-needed perspective.

After sharing something he was upset about – and after my feeble attempt to “problem-solve” – he looked me square in the eye and said, “Mom, sometimes I just need you to say it sucks!”

I took a moment to recover from feeling like the worst mother in the world and overcome the shock and pride I felt that my son was willing and able to so simply, yet eloquently communicate his needs.

Then I replied, “Yes, bud, I can do that. I’m sorry. That sucks.”

After all, this past month has been a time of very high highs and very low lows.

I’ve celebrated the big wins of some of my favorite teams. And mourned the losses of some of my favorite candidates.

I’ve received joyful birth announcements and endured devastating news of deaths.

I have managed the stress of running one company experiencing many changes while navigating the growing pains of developing and launching a second company.

I’ve let go of some longtime dreams…and picked them back up.

I was physically ill for the first time in…well, in I can’t remember how long.

I had people I count on exit my life – for now. And new people enter my life with whom I must develop trust.  I’m not sure which is harder?

I’ve wrestled with disappointments, faced unknowns, felt defeated, lonely and downright beat to a pulp at times.

Do I have to see it that way? No.

In the grand scheme of things, is it really that bad? No.

To others looking in on my life, does it appear to suck? No.

Does anything I’m thinking or feeling make it absolutely so? No.

But in the words of my son, “It just kind of sucks right now.”

The scales are tipped greatly. The unknowns far outweigh the certainties. And quite honestly, it all makes me feel just a little uncomfortable.

Or more accurately, I’m FREAKING OUT!

Kind of like that moment when you find yourself sitting in the car of the latest, greatest roller coaster at the hottest theme park, wondering what the hell you’re even doing there.

When I’m navigating the pitfalls of suckdome, I have a tendency to do the exact opposite – internalizing, analyzing, withdrawing, shutting down, holing up, putting on the brakes, distancing myself, and second-guessing myself – of what needs to happen.

I freeze up and let fear run the show.

In this particular case, I didn’t write a single thing, send out a single post or create anything new for The Adventuresome Life in the past month.

The main thing that lights me up in life, and I decided it would be a good idea to not focus on it, not share with others, and not continue to explore and expand my greatest passion and creation.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

NOT.

My favorite quote of all time, attributed to Jesus Christ, is this: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

As the quote reveals – pulling away from my passion quickly revealed its capability to destroy me. The general suckiness of one day compounded, dragged out and endured as I spent more time and energy on what was stressing me out rather than on what lights me up.

And now – the moment that I sit down in front of my keyboard – I can see the dark clouds clearing.  I can feel the weight upon my shoulders lifting. I can grasp the lifeline thrown.

So when life hits you with a series of sucktitude, what do you do?

  1. Admit something sucks. Accept it. Name it. Claim it.
  2. Remember that everything is temporary. This too shall pass.
  3. Loosen your white-knuckle grip. Open your eyes. Quit holding your breath. Throw up your hands. Yell “Wahoo!” Nurture and focus on whatever lights you up, makes you happy and fuels your aliveness!

Life is full of dips, drops, loopty-loos, long climbs, jerky turns, rumbles, death-defying plummets, flips, mach speeds and screeching stops. And sometimes they suck, unequivocally.

But whether you close your eyes and hold your breath, scream bloody murder the entire time, get pissed off that you’re even on the ride – one thing will never change – you can’t get OFF the ride.

So come up for air in the straightaways. Embrace the thrill. Relax and enjoy the exhilaration that is life. Your life. Your own personal roller coaster.