My husband and I always say to each other that life is a roller coaster. There are ups and downs; sometimes you are jerked from side to side, and every once in a while you are thrown for a loop.
As I have grown older, I have learned to deal with these disruptions and try to take the Zen approach to life that you canít control everything, the only thing you can do is deal with the facts.
It is what I try to do, but it becomes difficult when you feel like you are the rat in the whack-a-mole game of life.
One day last week, I woke up to no electricity because a city transformer had blown, a dead cellphone that I forgot to plug in the night before and a flat tire. Just one of these things would have been enough, but wait, thereís more.
The tire shop called me after I had dropped the car off to inform me I needed four new tires. I knew they were getting worn, but this was the worst possible time for this to happen because we are trying to save for a beach trip next month. Then to top it all off, my husband had my credit card, and the shop wouldnít take just the number, so he had to drive all the way from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to bring it to me.
I guess if you have to look on the bright side, at least it happened all in one day. Unfortunately, it has seemed like every day has been a struggle, every day has some obstacle that has to ruin all of your plans. For example, last week I had two interviews cancel on me and one story that just disintegrated because I found out afterward the report I had was outdated and incorrect. When you have the responsibility for a story in the paper that day and the one you are working on falls apart at 2 p.m. it is a huge stress to find something to replace it.
At least I donít suffer alone. Several of my friends have had computer problems, car trouble, family discord and health issues. The funny thing is it seems to become worse if you are preparing to take a vacation. I donít know how the universe knows, but every time you try to work ahead in preparation for taking time off, it seems like it is an uphill battle, and all you are trying to do is be responsible.
Most of us try our best to laugh it off because the only other alternative is to cry. I was chasing my fellow reporter Darrick Ignasiak around the office on my day from you-know-where threatening him with my bad mojo. He banished me to my own desk and refused to come near me for the rest of the day. Laughter is always good medicine and helps you make it through.
I am sure it is just a case of the grass is always greener, but sometimes it is hard not to become bitter. I try not to be jealous when I check Facebook and my friend is posting photos of her wonderful vacation in Santa Monica or my cousin describes how much fun she had on the familyís boat. Meanwhile Iíve spent my weekend drenched in sweat scrubbing the bathroom and folding laundry.
Canít I just have one of my friends get a flat tire, a backed-up toilet or a summons for jury duty? I realize Facebook is not reality in the sense people donít post the mundane things in life, but it can get to be too much when everyone is apparently living the high life, and Iím still stuck at the bottom.
The only thing I can say is to take each day as it comes, whether itís good, bad, ugly or just darn frustrating. Every night I try to remind myself of the blessings I have and to remember there are many other people who have much worse problems than me. Iíve always liked roller coasters anyway, so Iíll just try to enjoy the ride without becoming nauseous.
Sharon Myers can be reached at at sharon.myers@the-dispatch.com. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @LexDispatchSM.