One of the best parts of marrying Patrick is the joy of being part of the lives of his family, including grandchildren Samantha and Jack. Now 15 and 12, we don't see them as much as we did when they were younger. And we were all looking forward to our special date to go to the San Diego County Fair on what was sure to be a lovely summer day!
First stop: The Fun Zone, though all the rides were silent and stationary for another hour, it was easy to tell which rides were scarier than others. I loved observing Samantha and Jack navigate and negotiate, choosing the rides they wanted to go on. They were both really clear that they didn't want to lose their lunch, they selected rides that had just enough action to make them exciting - a few roller coasters, a water flume, flying swings and whatever else that looked thrilling and fun. Patrick and I skipped most of them, but joined them for the Ferris Wheel and the Sky Train, both with sensational views of the whole Fair.
In the middle of the rides and the excitement, I had an epiphany, courtesy of the San Diego County Fair And I welcome you to come along for the ride…
When kids line up to get on a ride, they are quivering with anticipation. Two by two or four by four, siblings or friends, they take their places and fasten their seat-belts. The ride begins. For the next few minutes, they have absolutely no control over the speed, the direction, or the stability of the equipment. But they have every expectation that it will be fun and that they will pull into the end of the ride safe and exhilarated.
Aha! I got it!
Life is like a ride at the amusement park. And like the children we were (and still are, no matter our ages), we can be on the ride with pleasure, certainty and excited anticipation. Or we can try to second-guess how the ride will go and live in fear every step of the way, out of control and anxious.
The whole point of going on the ride is BEING on the ride, DO-ing the ride. It’s not about when the ride stops. HOW we take the ride is everything. The joy IS the journey....and it's the JOY too.
So take your seat, fasten your seat-belt and have a great ride! (Samantha and Jack sure did. We did too!)