Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life Gave Me Whiplash

I have heard throughout my existence, from various sources, that life is like a roller coaster ride with all of its highs and lows. I have also heard, from Forrest Gump, that life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you're going to get. I happen to think that these analogies are inaccurate. 


I mean, unless you're riding a roller coaster in the dark (like Space Mountain) you can pretty much see what's coming your way. Not only that, but you've been checking out what you're getting yourself into as you await your turn. Once you're buckled into the ride and the car you're in clickety-clacks it's way slowly to the top, the anticipation and fear build because you know what lies ahead. As you reach the crest of that first roller coaster mountain, knowing of the rapid descent that awaits,  you begin to clench your abdomen to prevent your stomach from rising into your throat and clench your legs to prevent something else... 


All I'm saying, is that you know what's coming. Not only that, but you stood in line for it!


As far as the box of chocolates thing goes-- it's not that tough to figure out what's inside, you know. Just ask a frequent partaker of chocolates from a box. In case you weren't aware, I'll let you in on something-- the shapes and little swirlies on top indicate what each little chocolate morsel contains. So, if you're smart and observant you should be able to figure it out. 


But, the good thing about chocolates is that if you still happen to make a wrong choice, the situation you find yourself in can quickly be remedied by just spitting out your chocolate mistake. Whether you do it grandly into a trash can with a loud "PITOOEY!" or discretely into a napkin is up to you. 


Either way, the fact remains that you don't have to live with your choice. Not only that, but you can custom order a box of chocolates so it contains only the pieces you like. That means no surprises, no consequences, no harsh reality.... and it's not like chocolates just happen to you. Not so much like life, huh, Forrest? (I mean, I like him and all, and he's really good at ping pong... but he's just wrong on this one)


Bumper Cars. 


That's what life is like. It's like riding on the bumper cars. I don't know about you, but as a kid I didn't really ride the bumper cars for the bashing and slamming. I rode the bumper cars because I wanted to DRIVE! I tried to avoid all the other cars, hoping to pick up speed and do a few laps before our time was up. I liked to cruise along, minding my own business, just enjoying the ride.


But, eventually,inevitably, I was bashed and slammed. Usually from behind so I had no idea what was coming, or maybe from the side so my peripheral vision had just barely registered the future jolt before it was upon me. Oh, there were the head on crashes, too. Not all things in bumper cars, or life, are unexpected and surprising. 


My least favorite bumper car experiences were those where I was hit from all sides at once, trapping me, making me unable to progress in any direction. I think life feels like that sometimes, too. 


And even though I hated the crashing and bashing that came along with riding the bumper cars, I always rode again the next time I had the chance, hoping to get just a few moments of freedom to drive and make some unimpeded forward progress. That's all we have to do in life-- just keep trying to make forward progress despite all the crashes and bashes that come our way.


Feel free to ride a few roller coasters for fun and eat some chocolate for comfort as you go. Just wear your seat belt.

14 comments:

carmar76 said...

Right on!!!

mk said...

Haha this is great. And you're a really good writer!

I think I might come over and bash into you tomorrow or something (nicely, of course) ... just a heads up.

Becki said...

I love this. You should publish it.

The Laundry Queen said...

Thanks, folks! I wasn't even sure it was coherent, since I wrote it while recovering from anesthesia... glad you could make sense of what I wrote!

Pat said...

I've told you before and I'll tell you again - you should be published. Send something in to a magazine. Google something like "submit article to magazine". Come on, try it! Parent Magazine, Women's Day, etc.

e. said...

Indeed.

jwise said...

So true! Well said!

SassyMama said...

Very, very true.
Funny, I had never thought of it that way:)
I agree with the bumper car analogy.

Here's hoping you get a few more good laps in before the next crash...

patti's place said...

You are talented at writing. I think if I could write like you do I might have been doing journal writing all through the years, but I'm trying to record a little now before its too late.

sueandelin said...

Yes, you are a talented writer. And I think writing as personal expression can be very therapeutic too, don't you? ;)

Pete Pages said...

Well said. Hope you are cruising around the track right now :-)

Jen said...

Ditto to everyone. I love this observation!

JP31428 said...

Wow. I am vaguely recalling a time when you were tearfully angry at me (probably at Lagoon) after I bashed into you and you ended up stuck. Probably one of the other cousins hemmed you in as well.

I apologize.

The Laundry Queen said...

JP31428-- apology accepted, although apparently I'm scarred for life. ; )