The ups and downs of it all

The most common response to roller coaster, my word(s) for 2023, is . . . horror. Eyes widen and lips fall open. A person might event take a step away from me.

I read the thoughts: Why would she choose something so . . . erratic? Why would she invite that kind of energy into her life?

So far this year I have spent a lot of time going up and down, up and down, up and down. We skied for a week in fabulous Revelstoke, British Columbia, where the gondolas and ski lifts pulled me up, up, up, and gravitational potential energy converted to kinetic energy carried my down, down, down.

It was FUN!

One of the things I appreciate about the ups and downs of it all is that up is both a grand thing entirely and a tough old slog or a concern.

Things are looking up.
She's so upbeat.
It's an uphill climb out of debt.
The grocery store prices are up.
Something's up over there.

And down is both a breezy joyride and a depressing turn of events or a concern.

The hard parts over, so it's all downhill from here!
I'm down with that.
The best is over, it's all downhill from here. 
She's looking down in the mouth.
Something's going down over there.  

I enjoyed the up rides on the ski gondolas and chairs. I put forth no effort. I chatted with strangers. I warmed up and rested a little. A grand thing entirely.

Arlene Somerton Smith inside a gondola on its way up Reverstoke.
Riding the gondola. A grand thing entirely.

At the mountain peak, I looked down at the spectacular view and the ski trails. “It’s all downhill from here!” Whoosh! whee! A breeze.

View from the peak of Revelstoke Ski Resort. The sun breaking through clouds and illuminating a distant mountain peak.
I had to go up in order to see this spectacular view.

But if I were standing beside a bicycle at the bottom of a mountain looking up at an arduous climb, I would see it as a tough old slog. ( My daughter’s boyfriend LOVES to climb hills on bicycle. See? We all can’t seem to agree.)

Or if I missed my bus on the way to work, arrived late to an important meeting and spilled coffee on my boss, the rest of my day might go downhill from there.

Up, down, up, down, up, down.

On my 2023 roller coaster I might be riding, climbing or slogging up, or I might be whooshing, slumping or tumbling down, but the one thing I will not be doing is standing still. It’ll be fun!

What’s up with you? I hope you have everything down pat in your life.

6 thoughts on “The ups and downs of it all

  1. marianbeaman

    I hear a joyful voice on your blog today, Arlene! You seem to see the glass as half full, a good thing.

    Skiing is usually an exhilarating experience. When our kids were at home, we took several trips. Later, we enjoyed a fun time with a friendly couple.

    Today, I experienced both sensations, down and up: First, I heard that a beloved cousin died, a sad thing. Then, I sent in the completed files for publishing memoir #2, which starts a more than a month-long process before books are available to readers.

    As I reflect on both incidents, I am thankful that my cousin is suffering no longer, and reunited with her loved ones in heaven. Also, although there is another “wait” involved, My Checkered Life is finally in a queue for publishing, I hope in March.

    Your post was fun to read. Thanks for asking the question, Arlene!

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Oh, the ups and downs with each up and down! I am sorry about your beloved cousin. Losses are hard. But we can find solace even then. And I am so pleased that your next memoir is moving to the next phase. That is wonderful indeed.

  2. Endless Weekend

    I once read that we can only tell the light because of darkness, so perhaps we can only appreciate the ups because of the downs? And I love that you can appreciate both ups AND downs 🙂


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