My eyes opened this morning at around 6:15. No real reason. Perhaps the fact that the sun is up well before that these days was part of it. Regardless, I remember popping the lids feeling much better about life than I did a mere 24 hours prior. Again, no real reason. Just a new mindset had taken over.
There is no real constant to life. It comes and goes in waves. Some good. Some bad. Some big. Some small. I think we all want life to be one consistently calm ocean. We want our journey to be easily navigated on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, I don’t know that such a reality exists. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, short or tall, married or divorced. The truth is, there are highs and lows, there’s good and bad, and the only constant is that there is no constant.
I actually find some sense of comfort knowing this. Especially on days that are full of negativity or when my mind is just ‘murky.’ There’s a sense of peace knowing that the wave of negativity will eventually pass and a new wave, perhaps a much more ridable one, will soon follow. There’s always the possibility that a storm will come along and cause an even WORSE wave to follow, but at some point all storms pass and calmer more manageable waters prevail.
And what if you’re riding a string of good waves? Should you be concerned that a bad wave will eventually come along? Well there’s a danger to that way of thinking. For example, my father always warned me that if you’re having a good day, watch out because it means a bad day is coming. He never appeared to get amped about a good wave. He always seemed to be anticipating a wipe out, even when he had complete control of the wave under him. I really don’t think that’s the answer. I mean, what’s the point of working your way through a string of wipeouts if you’re not going to enjoy life when it’s crankin’? When life brings you positives shouldn’t you relish in them? Milk em’ for all they’re worth? Ride that puppy as long as it’ll carry you?
What’s the point of wasting your energy worrying about wiping out or the wave over taking you? Isn’t the whole point of surfing to enjoy the rush? If you’re having a good ride, just acknowledge that it will likely end at some point and enjoy it while you can.
Learning to ride the waves of life is truly a skill all its own. Not over reacting to any one wave seems to be the best course. Do your best to surf through the bad ones and enjoy the good ones. Easier said than done I know. But I think coming to terms with the fact that a bad day isn’t necessarily the end of the world is one of the gifts of aging. With every wave we ride, we learn a little more about the feel of it and all of the nuances of the wave. We grow accustomed to the speed, to the feel and to the power beneath us.
If you ever watch seasoned surfers, they’re always looking forward, focused on where they’re going. Rarely do they look back. If you watch a novice, they’re usually fearful of the wave over taking them which typically causes them to wipeout. Perhaps the lesson is to just keep moving forward and to stay focused. Don’t worry about what’s coming up behind you. Don’t worry about a wave crashing over you. Just know that if you DO wipeout, a new wave will be coming up shortly. The point is to get back on the board.
As a parent every wave is an opportunity for us to teach our kids how to surf life’s ups and downs. They watch every move we make and are aware of every motion. Let them learn not to be clucked when a wave approaches, big or small. After all, the last thing you want to raise is a frube. (One too many I know. Just humor me)
Teach them to embrace the waves. To appreciate the rush that each one presents us with. Let them see that wiping out from time to time is o.k. They teach us limits and that falling in the ocean isn’t always that bad. Let them witness you riding the good AND bad waves like a pro. Teach them to appreciate the fact that life is constantly changing and that to ride the wave successfully, sometimes you just need to ride it out and not fight it. They’ll remember that as their lives present them with waves of their own to ride. And trust me, it’s going to happen.
As I got out of bed this morning, I tried to acknowledge that today was a good day for surfing. I can see a swell forming and I know there’s a good chance I will indeed wipeout, but if I’m going to have any fun I think it’s important that I attack the wave and hope for a good ride.
I truly believe that. I’m not sure I could survive if I didn’t.