January 7, 2011

Riding Life’s Roller Coaster

Day 7: 18.3 miles/1:09

 “Some went on the merry-go-round.  That just goes around.  I prefer the roller coaster.” ~ Grandma (“Parenthood”-movie)

The movie Parenthood is truly one of my favorite movies.   This is a movie that chronicles the lives of four adult children, their parents and their extremely diverse lives and personalities.  In an earlier segment, I referenced one of my favorite scenes and this is a quote from my other favorite scene.

This quote comes toward the very end of the movie as Gil (Steve Martin) is lamenting the life of chaos and stress associated with raising his own three children—each as unique and special as the adult children.  As he commiserates to his pregnant wife, he complains about how difficult it is to raise children and how “messy” it all is.  Then his grandma walks in and talks about the thrill and the anxiety of riding the roller coaster at the amusement park and how exhilarating the ride can actually be.  For Grandma, the roller coaster is much more fun than something as predictable and safe as a merry-go-round.

Life puts us on a roller coaster ride at times.  Those chaotic rides of life certainly are not something we relish or enjoy.   It is when we are off the ride that we often look back and celebrate our success or experience as it relates to that period.   While we often long for the merry-go-round when life is pitching, throwing, tossing, and testing us, it is the roller coaster that brings us the thrills of experience, excitement and personal development.

This is the way things can go.  Life will hit us with things we seemingly cannot handle.  Next, we find this reserve of inner strength and determination that pushes us through to battle on and get through it.  The roller coaster can be rough; but, many times we can and do get through it.  We have all heard the saying—“you are never given more than you can handle.”  I know I dislike it when I hear it; but, I am starting to believe in its truth.

The interesting aspect of my challenge is that it is resonating with Brandon.  It has captured his attention.  His comments to me are that there is an aspect to the 100-day challenge that is very similar to battling addiction.  He said, “I am pretty confident I could stay clean for 30 days; however, I have no idea how I could go 100 days.  All I can do to get to 100 days is accomplish one clean day every day.”  That is pretty similar to how I am approaching my rides—one day, one ride at a time.  I have no idea how I am going to do this and neither does he.

While this tragedy and adversity is a painful and emotion-filled roller coaster, I have been given an opportunity to discover and learn through all of it.  And, regardless of how this story ends, I have been given the gift of the journey of discovery and understanding along the way.  Plus, this gift becomes something I can effectively share with others who may benefit from the experience and the story, as well.

Uncategorized , , ,
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.