Anticipate life’s ups and downs

Life is like a roller coaster: it has its ups and downs, but it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.

Life’s ups and downs:

Are inevitable

Life is a series of ups and downs. The cycles run daily (my morning goes well, the afternoon stinks), weekly (Monday is a bummer, Tuesday gets better), monthly, and yearly. It’s unreasonable and impossible to stay on the top side of the cycle, but neither should we acquiesce to staying on the down side. Having ups and downs is the status quo.

Take on different forms

We’ll oscillate in most areas of life: emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, and others. One day we’ll feel elated, the next day we’ll feel discouraged. We’ll enjoy good health for a season, then suffer from sinus infection for six weeks. For years we’ll be financially plush, then go through times of want. Spiritually, we’ll experience droughts and seasons of plenty.

Most ups and downs are temporary

The story is told of an Eastern monarch who charged his wise men to invent a sentence which would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. Following months of careful thought, they presented him this sentence, “And this too, shall pass away.”

Abraham Lincoln, upon hearing this anecdote, commented, “How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

Good times don’t last forever, but neither do difficult times.

[This brings up another thought which I’ll pursue in another post: during times of prosperity we should prepare for times of adversity.]

Should not be experienced alone

A burden shared is a burden halved; a joy shared is a joy doubled. Don’t experience life’s peaks and valleys by yourself; you need a soulmate (or several) with whom you can bear your soul. When we wrestle with challenges, alone, we’ll be thrown to the mat. When we celebrate happiness, alone, it will be lacking. We need to share our life experiences with people who care and we need to reciprocate and be attentive to them.

[reminder]What are your thoughts about this essay?[/reminder]

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6 Replies to “Anticipate life’s ups and downs”

  1. Don, thank you for this post for it is a timely reminder to me today of where I am in the “cycles” of life. The cycles are truly in all areas of life and they occur at different time frames and take on different forms. Nothing seems to be constant, except that I know that ups and downs are truly temporary and that “for Thou, O Lord are my shield and portion forever.”

    This was encouragement I needed to read at a crucial point and anticipate the next turn on the roller coaster!

    Blessings friend!

    1. Dave, it’s so good to hear from you. I have fond memories of our friendship and times together. Let me know if I can help you in any way as you negotiate this season of life. Don

  2. Great thoughts as always Don. I appreciate the reminder: Good times and bad times don’t last forever. That is a thought fraught with implications for all of life. Thanks

    1. Steve, thanks for taking the time to write words of encouragement. I like your phrase, “good times and bad times don’t last forever.” Don

  3. “It is what it is” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and also the Serenity Prayer helps.

    You’re of course correct. Life is a series of ups and downs and even though I’m mindful, etc. sometimes it feels like it comes out of the blue.

    1. Thanks, Ram, for taking the time to respond. It’s a simple, obvious truth but I have to remind myself often. Don

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