You know all those quizzes that get passed around on Facebook? I keep waiting to see if one shows up asking what kind of a carnival ride is your life like? I can envision some of the choices. Disney’s Space Mountain would be the kind of life where you just never know what’s coming next. A carousel where you can always see where you are going and can be a princess or a warrior on a fine steed riding royally through life. Or how about Ring the Bell at the County Fair where however hard you try, it’s all up hill, and most folk never get there. Climbing a greased pole would be similar. A lot of hard work for little gain. Or what about a Ferris wheel with wonderful views from the top and only momentary lulls at the bottom? Some folks might boast a life like Disney’s Small World, with opportunities to travel all over the world and experience cultures and lifestyles much different than those they were born to. And some folks prefer life like a lazy river in a water park. Gentle, comfortable, and reliable.
My life, however, has been more like a roller coaster. Roller coasters can be fun, frightening, exhilarating, screaming, alarming and so much more. I’ve loved roller coasters for as long as I can remember which is probably a good thing, because in my life the uphills have been steep and the downhills truly amazing. The views from the top have been spectacular, but then there are times when it’s totally upside down. There has been a little of the Small World thrown in – I have visited 15 countries and lived two years in a totally different culture in the South Pacific while working in the Peace Corps. There have been times it felt like I was climbing the greased pole, and short spans where it was more like the carousel, enjoying life as each moment passed at a pace that allowed for quiet thought and reflection. But on the whole, it’s been a roller coaster.
Falling in love and making love is like cresting the very top of the hill, then that momentary hesitation of knowing what’s coming next before the total rush that carries you away in sheer sensation. But betrayal and the unexpected loss of a husband only in his forties and two grandsons still babies felt more like that unending downward spiral into some dark place where you wonder if you’re ever coming back to the light. I’m a survivor. I take what life gives me and though my heart might be breaking, I cope. I look forward. I move on. I believe in the light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m not in control. That’s life on a roller coaster.
Yesterday was a mini-roller coaster in my life. My book, Falling for Zoe, was featured on the Amazon Daily Deal. I did everything I could to make the most of the opportunity, and a lot of friends and fellow writers helped as well, but mostly, it was out of my control and I was hanging on for the ride. But what a ride! My book ended up the day well into the top 100 of all books on Amazon at #59. It was #4 in romance. #5 on the movers and shakers list. Even today, back at its regular price, it has remained in the top 100 overall, in the top 10 in romance and on the movers and shakers list. I know the ride will end. Eventually all roller coasters slow their precipitous pace and level off. But for now the ride was breathtaking and I can call myself and my book best-selling!
Has anyone else out there ridden the roller coaster of life? What ride best matches your experience? Are you an adrenalin junkie like me, enjoying life on the edge, or do you prefer the lazy river or a proud carousel horse?