Accepting the Roller Coaster of Life

When I was little, my family would go to amusement parks, and my dad used to force me to go on roller coasters. He would say with confidence, “Abigail, it will be fun; you’re going to love it!” I typically disagreed and dug in my heels until eventually I was persuaded to just stand in line with my parents and brother. Once I was in the line, I would proceed to ask a ton of questions. Is it a big drop? How fast does it go? How are you strapped in? Has anyone ever died? When I was not bombarding my family with questions, I would quietly hyperventilate to myself and pray for everyone’s survival. I could not stand that I did not have all the answers. Not knowing what I was in for felt too risky and too risky always scared me.

I thought about this memory from my childhood as I reflected on the last 365 plus days since I publicly launched Pearls of Prudence. Just like when I was younger, I almost let fear inhibit me from trying something new. Would people like the blog? Would anyone even read it? What if people hate what I write? I posed these questions to Bernard who has always been a risk-taker quite the opposite of my cautionary personality. Bernard often responded the same way to every single question I lobbed his way, “So what? At least you tried!” My husband thrives in the unknown and the unpredictable. I, on the other hand, panic, and grasp at everything I can control and even things I cannot trying to micromanage an outcome with which I am comfortable. When Pearls of Prudence publicly launched I felt like the little eight-year-old version of myself, I quietly hyperventilated and prayed. I experienced a very brief moment of acceptance afterward where I recognized that I could not control other’s opinions and feelings and with that came a small sense of relief.

I say a “brief moment of acceptance” because my need to be in control has been a constant burden in my life for as long as I can remember. I struggle to accept life as it is and the brief times when I do reach a place of acceptance I find myself perplex by how it was achieved. I would compare it to getting a strike in bowling; I am ecstatic that it happened, but I have no clue how I did it or if I will be able to accomplish it again. Focusing your energy on what you cannot change and even what you can is draining. It can have adverse effects on your health both physically and mentally, and your relationships. I am mindful of the impact my need to control has had in the past and I am aware of the future detrimental effects that could arise. Currently, several things in my life are entirely out of my control, and I am struggling.

Submitting to life as it comes is not something that will be easy, but what I would gain from learning to accept far outweighs the challenge it will take to achieve it. Cultivating a deeper relationship with God is a suggested requisite. Several articles say greater self-compassion is a necessity for acceptance. Mindfulness of the things you can change and the things you cannot change is another essential. Learning better coping skills and how to manage expectations are also fundamental aspects of submission to life’s curve balls. I will have my work cut out for me, but I feel now more than ever, a strong desire to master acceptance in my life. The journey will be one that certainly inspires therapeutic writing – which is what every single Pearls of Prudence post was in some form or another.

Just like my dad said about the roller coasters, the past year of writing for Pearls of Prudence has been fun, and I have loved it. I am excited to see what this next year will bring, not just for the blog but also in my life.

As I am the only one writing for Pearls of Prudence, I find that to keep myself fresh I need to recognize when I need to take a break. Therefore, I will be taking a short hiatus and will return to posting in mid-January. My hope is during the hiatus I can reassess what worked, what did not, and seek outside expertise moving forward in the future.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.