Ups and Downs


You know those days that just click. Everything seems to be great. Things are functioning smoothly. All is well with the world and life is good.

Then there are days where nothing goes as planned, things are so frustrating and we wish we never left the comfort of our bed. Such is life apparently. The ups and downs are guaranteed.

When I was younger I had this crazy idea that if I did all of the things I was supposed to do, that life would be smooth sailing. That sure set me up for a big surprise. Sometimes life has no rhyme or reason, it just is what it is.

We were in a parking lot earlier today when we saw a truck that said, ‘Cancer Sucks’. When we walked closer it, it had a boy’s name and the year he was born and died. I bet that parent never imagined losing a child to cancer.

I bet the boy’s parents were probably great people who didn’t do anything to deserve losing a child. It was probably the most difficult situation they ever had to face in their lives. Life is like that – extremely unfair at times.

This week is the one year anniversary of ‘Bell Day’ in our household. One year ago, my hubby finished his 12 rounds of chemo. After months of treatment, he got to ring what looks like a fire station or boxing bell, to signify the completion of his ‘rounds’.

The nurses, doctors, volunteers and patients all gather around and everyone in the cancer ‘suite’ cheers and claps.

Three people rang the bell that day and it was extremely emotional. I couldn’t hold myself together when I heard it the first time, right before my husband’s turn. It opened the floodgates of emotion because he made it, after months of not being sure if he could.

It was a wonderful moment, while being so difficult to watch. I was never more proud to see him standing there.

One year has passed and it has been all good news from there. Although there are moments when we realize the good news could change in an instant, we quickly revert to feeling positive and thankful for healing and progress. There is no use worrying about what might happen, life is much too short to waste on what ifs.

In this journey called life, there are times when we may feel at peace with our lives and the world. We can then look around and realize how beautiful nature is or how dynamic the sunset is. This morning, my husband and I saw the most remarkable sunrise I had ever experienced.

We were driving and had to catch it on the fly, but it was so powerful. After rushing to get the camera out and snap through the window, the clouds faded and the display was gone. I was grateful to capture it when we did. It was fleeting and temporary, but so beautiful.

In the next moment, a white SUV runs a stop sign and almost T-bones us, at highway speeds. This is a reminder to me that we have to catch the good stuff when we can…

When we have plans, life laughs and does whatever it wants. We can have a special event that was planned for weeks and then get violently ill on the day we need to be the most collected. We can finally get financially ahead and then get a $10,000 income tax bill.

We can have a wonderful trip planned and spend hours in the washroom on the long drive, feeling like we are dying and then arrive at our sunny destination to a sky filled with clouds and rain.

Even when life knocks us to the curb, we can choose to spit out the dirt, brush off our scraped knees and put our best foot forward anyway.

We can accept that life is like that – full of ups and downs. This is the reality. To expect anything else will only set us up for disappointment.

Choose to look for the positives. Choose to see the silver lining. Choose to find something beautiful to look at, even in the midst of a dark sky. Choose to be grateful, even when situations are looking bleak.

You just might find that your optimism is contagious…

‘Dear life, when I asked if my day could get any worse, it was a rhetorical question, not a challenge.’ ~ Author Unknown