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Ups and Downs

Life is not a carnival. Life is not a bowl of cherries. Life is a rollercoaster ride. We all know that.

One day you learn that one of your books has been optioned for film. The next day your agent shits all over your new proposal. One day one of the guys you work with at the prison wins first place in a national writing contest. The next day another of the guys you work with is denied parole. One day you watch four hummingbirds feast on the crocosmia. The next day the deer break into the garden and eat all the lettuce.

You can choose to be on the rollercoaster, which means that when lovely things happen, when good luck befalls you, when the sun shines, you are ecstatic. But when the tide turns, when the clouds roll in, when the shit hits the fan (choose your cliché), down you go. You ride the rollercoaster, alternating between various degrees of bliss and despair.

Or not.

You can adopt a detached attitude. You can watch the rollercoaster but not get on. You can appreciate a turn of events without yourself turning. You can note that life has its ups and downs without losing your lunch over it. No expectations. It is what it is, as they say.

They say. Not me.

I am a rider. I know that sometimes this makes me anxious, cranky and unhappy. But I also know that sometimes I can really soar.

Years ago I noticed a small lump on my shoulder. Since, as everyone who knows anything (and many who know nothing) knows: lump=cancer, I immediately imagined all of the kinds of cancer it could be, including ones I made up. I imagined going to the doctor, who ordered a full body scan (or maybe exploratory surgery). I imagined the doctor coming back after the procedure to tell me that there were tumors everywhere, that there was nothing to be done. During the week I waited for the actual doctor’s appointment. I ate little, slept little, worried incessantly, mentally sorted through my possessions to decide which kid would get what.

A week later, an actual doctor, not the one in my head, looked at the lump on my shoulder. For a split second. She declared it a lipoma (a completely benign rather common lump of fat that occurs between the skin and the underlying muscle) and asked if I’d like it removed.

An hour later, lump-less,I treated myself to breakfast at The Glenwood. I ordered a mushroom, onion and cheese omelet. It was the best omelet I have ever eaten in my life.

3 comments

1 Richard Greene { 07.20.18 at 4:32 am }

try the Mediterranean omelet next time

2 Nancy { 07.20.18 at 12:21 pm }

Remember, I’m always there for the ride and especially the omelette!

3 Lauren { 07.23.18 at 8:21 pm }

Don’t I know it, my friend, don’t I know it.

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