The R’s of Life – Chapter One – Rollercoaster of Life

Welcome to my new book that I will be writing via my blog for the next few months.  I thought that I might enlist those of you who drop by, to kindly act as beta readers; it also gives me an opportunity to edit as I go. This means that I will take chapters down after a short period of time and re-work for the final version.

I do have some fiction projects on the go but this book shouted at me when I was dipping into a thesaurus the other day in the R section and realised that it was loaded with words that described many of the emotions and life events that many of us face.

When I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking of The R’s of Life as the title – he thought I meant the backside of life and I suppose in some circumstances that might be closer to the truth.. to the title has stuck. I do not intend this to be a life coaching event but more of a satirical look at life from the point of view of a rambunctious sixty-something who has experienced most of the R’s in the thesaurus.

Chapter One – Rollercoaster – Buckle Up.

Anyone who says that their life, relationships, waistline, bank balance, health, belief system is perfect is probably deluded or being paid to say it. We have expressions to explain away the less than perfectness of our existence such as Ups and Downs, Swings and Roundabouts, That’s Life, and from a time when needlework was a prominent pastime; Rich tapestry of life.

I have been a nutritional therapist for 18 years and along with advising people on how they might rearrange their diet for a healthier lifestyle, there has been, by necessity, an exploration of why a client might have health and weight issues in the first place.  I had gone through a lengthy process on my own journey to lose 11 stone, discovering that I had unresolved issues from the previous 40 odd years that needed addressing. This involved making some changes to the way that I approached life on a daily basis,the people close to me and those that I touched base with in passing.

sally wedding day 1980

I discovered that my problems with my weight and health at that point in 1995, were not all about what I had put on my plate and then into my mouth for a number of years, but was the accumulation of life’s ‘hiccups’ that required attention. I studied nutrition and also learned about the human body so that I could identify what I needed to do to recover physically. But, it was the emotional and mental exploration of my past that highlighted why I had resorted to my addiction with food that was to prove to be enlightening.

As I worked with clients over the next few years I discovered that whilst we proudly state that we are unique; there is still a very common and shared response to our experiences and the impact it has on our overall health.

Life can at times be like riding a rollercoaster. We work hard to achieve what we perceive to be ‘the good life’ which is represented by the slow, and by nature, labour intensive uphill track on the ride.  Then as we crest the top of the wave successfully instead of carrying on along a level track; we can be faced with a sudden plunge downwards with the prospect of another steep uphill climb ahead of us.

It is likely that for most of us, our preferred method of transportation through the funfair of life is the carousel, riding well behaved wooden horses and listening to a pleasant piece of classical music. Unfortunately, unforeseen events have a way of intervening  on this pleasant and sedate idyll, and most life-changing experiences are rarely planned for. Optimistically we deny their likelihood with the repeated mantra ‘It will never happen to me!’

One minute we are sailing along complacently and the next we are hurtling down a steep and slippery slope hanging on tightly to the nearest solid object; screaming at the top of our lungs or mute with terror.

At the time we tend to think we are the only person in the world undergoing this unexpected and unwanted intrusion into our carefully orchestrated journey through life. But in essence, all of us will experience some form of dramatic or life changing event at some point in our existence.

There are those of course who live amongst us, who are adrenaline junkies; living life on the edge all the time through choice. They walk determinedly to the front of the available cars on the track of the rollercoaster ride; turning around giving smug looks over their shoulders at the apprehensive horde behind them. They are the ones, as you plummet over the crest of the first obstacle, who take their hands off the safety bar and wave them triumphantly in the air all the time screaming at the top of their lungs.

From experience however, those with this level of ‘bravado’ experience the same or even more intensive physical, emotional and mental health issues than the rest of us further down the line.

The young by nature tend to be more resilient and it is only with age as we layer our experiences, that we become more reticent about leaping into the action. It is only natural that as we get older, life-changing or more seriously, traumatic experiences become embedded in our nature; impacting our emotional, physical and mental well-being.

As I explore the R’s of life in the following chapters you will discover that it is not just the major events in our life that leave their mark on our overall health. It is also about how we communicate with ourselves and others. How we regard ourselves and those we share our space with and the way we approach seemingly trivial aspects of everyday life.

This is not intended to be a formal ‘how to’ book on how to improve your life but an exploration of the R’s we come across in life and their impact on the way we see ourselves and others.

The first R I shall be exploring next week is Respect – both for others and ourselves.

©sallycronin The R’s of Life 2016