Friday, June 15, 2012

Ups and Downs

I was exercising yesterday,
huffing and puffing along
as the machine that I was
on graphed my progress
on its monitor.

So much of life these
days seems to be presented
to us in graph form,
such as,

the Stock Market
unemployment rates
real estate sales
new housing and construction
presidential popularity
currency's rise and fall
the weather report

and on and on.

But then, life really
is like a graph, isn't it,
with its highs, lows
and plateaus?

When I was younger, I
yearned for the excitement
of the highs ~ going off
to college, landing my first
real job, travel, dating,
love and marriage,
pregnancy and children.

But as the years have
unfolded, I've found that
the genuine joy on the
graph of life is those
plateaus, the calm seas,
which to me signify

Into every life some rain
must fall and when you
graph it, those rainy times
are the lows on our life's
graph, be it illness, the death
of a loved one, divorce, 
job loss or other sorrows
or struggles.

I have experienced 
those dips and witnessed
them in the lives of many 
that I hold dear.

Luckily, when our graph
hits rock bottom, if we
survive it, there is no where 
else to go but up.

I have a close friend whose
early life was fraught with
lows on her graph.  Now,
all grown up and the mother
of three, it is difficult for her
to embrace the peaceful,
straight line that embodies
the present condition
of her life.

I'm always waiting for the
other shoe to drop, 
she explains.

Are you able to savor the 
plateaus in the graph of your
life, or do you worry that there
is a low just around the corner?

Do you long for more high
points, or are you grappling
with a low point right now?

As my great-grandpa Bill
used to counsel his kids
during the Depression,

It's a long, long road that
doesn't have a turn.

If you are at a low point on
your graph, I pray that
the road will turn, soon.

If you are at a high point,
enjoy those dizzying

And if,
your graph has a nice,
level line, I wish you
the presence of mind to
really, really relish it.

What a gift.



NanaDiana said...

What a great post, Suzanne. I think ti would be interesting to do an actual graph of my life. I used to have that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling...but I have learned to rest in the level patches and love being there. I savor the occasional high but realize that it is not a forever thing. xo Diana

Julie said...

well put, Suzanne... I'm sure many many many need to be reminded of this - including myself. I was down puttering in a spare room this week and read a quote hanging on the wall by Helen Keller: "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." Somehow reading your post brought that quote back to my mind alongside of your words...So much of life can be the "straightways" you speak of, and the journey between two thresholds of a door shut and a door opened. We DO need to relish and be 'all there' in the PRESENT!!! Not yearning or waiting for something that is NOT there... I hear ya girl...I hear ya!!! Thanks for the refreshing and inspiring reminder. Love ya!xo

"Create Beauty" said...

I love how you put your wonderful thoughts and feelings into words.

A treasure...


Jill said...

As always, so inspiring. You have such a gift with observing life and putting into just the right perspective.
Hope all is well in the land of 10,000 lakes!

Lisa at Shine Your Light said...

I could use a nice level line for a good long time! But life is full of the peaks and valleys and learning to deal with them with a positive heart is what I wish for for my kids and husband and self. Not always easy but having the valleys certainly helps us to appreciate the steady and normal and regular days!

Shelly W. said...

Such wisdom here, my friend. I love this. Like you, I have really learned to love these "level line" days. I don't long for the highs (I'll leave those for my girls who are entering young adulthood), and I thank God that He has spared us too many lows so far. But should those lows come, I feel prepared.

Yes, life is good. All of it.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Suzanne, each time I come here I feel as if you wrote the post just for me.

I have a huge family...and sometimes it does feel like we are buzzing around and with a few of the members we are always on edge waiting for the next "jerry springer moment". Otherwise my life is wonderful!

Have a fabulous weekend!


Jo said...

Another gem posting ~ you have such a talent with words!

I'm ready to enjoy some quiet time after a long {and challenging} school year. I know the cycle will continue and I'll have highs and lows but thankfully the season changes and I know it won't last forever.

Have a wonderful weekend ~

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Amen to all that! Your analogies are absolutely amazing. Mostly my life is even keeled with the daily little speed bumps we all encounter. I definitely prefer a calm, peaceful existence. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

Mary Timmers said...

What profound thoughts prompted by your workout machine! I have learned that life is hard, and mostly a down, BUT the high times and mostly plateaus are for savoring. And there is much to be learned from the low times-- the ability to identify with others is one. Hope that comes from God turns my attitude and feelings around every time.

Thanks for the sweet words and encouragement. Have a good weekend!

Jeanie said...

Right now my graph has taken a bit of a dip -- a big dip. But I know it has been high before and with the sun and lovely weather and the promise of summer and finally time to simply be, I feel it's on a slow rise.

I have to say, I so admire how you THINK -- and how you put words and images to what you say. You are quite amazing.

Stitchfork said...

Great words! I'm slowing down to relish it!
xo Cathy

Olive Cooper said...

What an insightful and delightful post my sweet friend. I have learned to embrace the highs and the lows. I have had my share of lows and learned a vast amount of wisdom in them.

A Vintage Chic said...

SO beautifully put, Suzanne...and so very, very true. We are blessed at all points, I think--it's just much harder to see when we're at the bottom of that "graph", isn't it?

Thank-you for sharing your perspectives on life, dear friend...I love visiting here...


michele said...

i have experienced many lows in the last few years but the beauty of course is that if you looked at a graph of my spiritual growth you would see peaks! i am reading an iyanla vanzant book from a few yrs back called FAITH IN THE VALLEY, and it's sooooooo helpful and excellent and raw and wise. we are all on a journey toward peace and the only way there is through some valleys.

smiles to you, friend.


Jemsmom said...

I say it every time, but you are an EXCEPTIONAL writer! You have such a gift! I relish and treasure the plateaus. I think I have learned and grown into the woman that I am today from the lows and highs. Some of my lowest lows have made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I am a blessed woman.

Palomasea said...

Amen to all of this, dear Suzanne.
You have a gift with words, you really do.
Love your wisdom...
And I am learning to embrace it ALL, really...
And that brings me contentment. :)
Warm hugs,
- Irina

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

And through it all, GOD is consistent in His love and promises, and I know that you KNOW THAT...for how else could you shine so? Anita

Leslie said...

Hi Suzanne!

Such a thought provoking post. I'm sure you've heard "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - resilience and personal stamina. People seem to fair better overall when they can bounce back quickly. WE ALL have the peaks and valley's and I've become wiser over the years and realize that I MUST live in the moment, appreciate the good times and realize that the sad times will continue to be part of living. My father is entering the later stages of dementia and has heart problems. I know my time is limited with him and I am preparing myself for the valley ahead.

Enjoy your weekend :)


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Wonderful post, Suzanne! I have lived long enough to experience many of the high and low points in life and am really appreciative of the plateau I am on right allows me to live in the moment. I'm afraid sometimes I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...from life experience, but I am learning to relish the simple little moments of each day that pass by so quickly!

Biz said...

Amen Miss Ma'am!
Of course I am always excited for the UPS!
But I learned a long time ago to relish the plateaus.
I honestly feel contentment when things seem to be what others may call boring.
To me they are the times when, because I so used to the consistency, I hear God the loudest.
Assuring me that this is part of his plan.
We don't need excitement all the time, it'd be exhausting, at least for me.
Thank you for putting it so eloquently!


Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Lots of highs & lows around here and I am SO thankful I am able to most always find my "calm." It is intentional though. I work on it. My joy is in HIM, bottom line. You've spoken to me...again. Soul Sista!

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I can. Find the calm; however, i am intentional. I work on it cuz, our road a twisted one. :) My joy is in Him - bottom line! xoxo

Tiffini said...

I struggle the same as your friend. Life has always had the other shoe drop but now that I'm more aware of myself and older;) I am learning to just let go of all the things each day that I cannot control. And enjoying the plateau's..I DO have some:)
love ya friend...hoping your too are enjoying a nice level plateau...

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning, Suzanne!

Reading your wonderful piece here again reinforces my faith in the CONSTANTS that we can know just alone, in the sciences. Then as I ponder on the GREATNESS of these constants and what I believe to be the source behind them, I again know that the road upon which I travel has got to be planned out for the GOOD, by the God that has planned the wonder of existence.

Thank you dear one for visiting me and NO PARIS TRIP in sight since I resigned for my job, but Ruben assures me that we will get back there next summer!!!!!!

Have a memorable Fathers' Day!!! Anita

SuzyMcQ said...

Would love a high or two, but, for now, a level line would be fine....just fine. You always seem to sense these things....don't you?

Sometimes when it seems that we are not heard, I know you are listening.....thanks so much for that, Suzanne.

Jane said...

Oh Suzanne, what an insightful post. Thanks, Gorgeous. We've been plumbing the lows for a while now - it's time our luck changed. J x

Tricia said...

Your words always create such wonderful visuals for me. My life has had more lows than highs, but it's really the contentment found in a level line that I just feels like a peaceful place.

lisaroyhandbags said...

Great post, Suzanne. With everything that's gone on for me, I realize just how high and low life has been. It's funny - I'm taking a writing course and have had to work on a plot outline for a novel, mapping out enough highs and lows to make it interesting reading. It's odd how many of my own life experiences I'm able to pull from for inspiration.
I agree, a nice steady level line would be nice for a while. xo

Michele said...

Hi Suzanne ~~~ Such a beautiful post.

Pearl 13.1


My week has had some highs and some lows. But we are doing well.

I always love your writing, Suzanne.

patty said...

what a great post... so true!

miss suzanne... so funny that you would choose that day to comment on my blog! i wrote that post w you in mind! it's been so long and when i get time, i think, i've got toget to her blog. i love your writing, the way you insert your wonderful photos, your message of possitivity. sorry that it's been a while, that time has gotten the better of me. i'm not necessarilly on the low part of my graph... just a changing time. ups and downs together, rapidly. :)

hope you are well~


Eddie Ross said...

Another thought-provoking post as always. We have certainly had our share of dizzying heights and level lines. We will remember to relish the good times.
xo E + J

Susan T said...

Having had a roller coaster ride these last few years I have learnt to seek out and cherish the level lines. They used to irritate and worry me slightly, but now I love them for what they are, a welcome respite from the constant buzz of modern life. A time to take stock and reflect.

I am so behind on my blogging I am missing posts, and meeting myself coming back, we have had a few little bumps in the road recently, highs though, good things.

Love to you from here xxx Your posts always make me reflect and smile,good things too.

classic • casual • home said...

So wise you area! I like to think of them as "stages."
I hope your graph point is high.

Teacup Moments said...

Suzanne, what a beautiful post. Your words went straight to my heart and percolated in my brain. I cherish the plateaus. I'm big on small precious everyday moments. We all have our peaks and valleys, and we can only pray for strength and grace though it all. I love how appropriate the song Ordinary Miracles is for this post! It's the first time I heard it and bought it straightaway from the iTunes store. Thank you for all you share with us!

Cindy said...

Another beautiful post! Your post are always so thought provoking. I think my life is on a pretty constant level right now, and I like it that way!

I hope you have a wonderful day and lots of smooth sailing in the days ahead!

pretty pink tulips said...

Your posts always have a deep, moving point to them, but this is one of your most poignant, I think.

I agree...I longed for the highs and now I crave the steady. The calm. The quiet. The relaxed.

My mother-in-law is currently undergoing radiation treatment for a rare type of skin cancer ..... 3 states away from where she lives. She is staying in a hotel and has already been there for weeks. Her husband will join her at the weekend. My husband, an only child, has flown the 5 hours to visit her. But, she is definitely in one of those lows right now. But, her positive attitude has been amazing and I relish the day when her graph starts to rise.

My graph is fairly level right now....and I'm going to take a moment and realize that and appreciate it.

Beautiful post!
xoxo Elizabeth

Jamie Gregory said...

Thank you for this inspiring post! I'm still trying to cope with some of my big dips from the past and it makes it difficult to focus on everything that I am blessed with now. Definitely something to work on...

Lili said...

You have just the most delightful way of looking at things Suzanne! xo ~Lili