I used to love one particular ride at the fair – the Tilt-o-whirl. You know the one, you sit down and hold on as you are spun around, back and forth, laughing and screaming and trying not to throw up.

That ride is a natural metaphor for life, I think more so than a roller coaster.   We all are used to a certain amount of whirlwind chaos in our daily lives; an unexpected bill (how will I pay that?), sudden illness (when you have no sick days), a new love interest (not all chaos is bad).   Yet sometimes the ride seems to be set on high!  Like we are thrown in the middle of a cyclone with no reference on where we are headed and no way to dodge what’s coming at us. Debris! Cow? Sorry – different whirling metaphor.

What do you do then?  You hold on tighter! You laugh and scream louder! You try not to throw up. Especially if someone is taking the ride with you.

Of course it’s easier said than done, but what are your alternatives? Letting go leads to catastrophic injury. Closing your eyes and holding your breath will not make it go away. And throwing up only makes things messier, especially at that velocity.

Eventually things will slow down and you’ll be able to catch your breath as well as your perspective.  Step off and let the dizziness pass. You’ll also be stronger for having survived the ride, maybe even taking away some valuable bit of knowledge for the next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time.  

Whirl, spin, scream, laugh, breath, learn, repeat…