Release Yourself to the Ride

When I was a little girl my dad took me on my first roller coaster ride. As we bumped through the twists and turns, I braced my arms and gritted my teeth and tried to keep myself in place. I was NOT having a good time.

Finally, as we slowly ratcheted up to the top of the next hill, my dad leaned over and said. “Let go! You’re strapped in. You’re safe. Release yourself to the ride.”

Though I was pretty sure he was nuts, I figured it couldn’t be any worse than what I’d been doing, so I relaxed. And…. it was FUN!

That’s how I feel every year as I get to May.

Every year I forget about the downhill run to summer. Even after twelve years of experience, I inevitably forget about the end of the year crazies. So here I am again: eighteen things I really need to do and time for about seven.

Maybe.

As a young mom, I would frazzle my way through these last spring days panicked about the things that weren’t getting done, or beating myself up because I wasn’t getting them done “right”. I was positive that if I would just get my act together, things wouldn’t be this way.

But a few years back I came to a realization. As much as I want to be a mom who leaves a wake of peacefulness and perfectly finished projects behind her, whose children arrive early with combed hair and pressed clothes, I am not that mom.

I am the mom that throws five peanut butter sandwiches in a bag and says, “I just remembered there’s a puppet show at the park. If we hurry we can make it!”

I am the mom who says, “Sure. Bring your friends home after the concert.” (Who needs sleep?)

I am the mom who whirlwinds through the house grabbing clean pants from the dryer, socks from the basket and a bag of grapes as our contribution to the potluck that started five minutes ago.

I discovered a store in our town that has an indoor ferris wheel and took my husband there for a surprise. Indoor Ferris wheel! This has to be amazing, right??

And it was! For the first two rotations.

Then I was done.

Despite the novelty of going round and round inside a sporting goods store, I realized that I am just not a Ferris wheel girl.

So here I am in May. Every night seems to have an “end of year” event; every birthday party seems to land on the same day, and every week, I feel like I am running from one thing to the next, bumping through the twists and turns of all the things my family has going.
On these days, I have learned to look in the mirror and remind myself that I have chosen this. That I have chosen this crazy roller coaster.

And I release myself to the ride.