Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday Would You Rather: Flatline VS Rollercoaster?


Recently, I got a comment that got me thinking. It was from the Midlife Guru, and the comment was left on this post about why I don't vlog even though I'd like to try - the commenter said (in part): "I bet [...] that your dinner conversation is a lot of fun!!"

That ended up sparking a whole post segment series for me, because dinner conversation between my girls and I usually IS a lot of fun (especially when it's just us and we're free to speak openly - and sometimes even loudly). We're the kind of weird people who actually like dinnertime conversation, getting-to-know-you questions, date-night interviews, would-you-rather questions, and all that kind of stuff. So naturally, I thought that would be a great aspect of my life to share here.


My kids and I have had some really great chats over the years, and I like to think these conversations are part of why our bond is such a tight one - we've gotten to know each other so well, not just as mother and daughters, but as people.


We've talked about lots of things that wouldn't really come up in everyday conversation too, like:
  • "Would you rather be famous for your singing, or famous for your dancing?"
  • "If you could say anything you wanted to anyone you wanted, consequence-free, what would you say?"
  • "Sight, smell, touch, taste, or hear - which could you give up?" And conversely, "If you could only keep one, which would you choose?"
  • "You just got informed that you're incredibly wealthy and can now have/buy literally anything you could ever want. What's the first thing you buy?"

And of course, the obvious ones like:
  • "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?"
  • "If you were suddenly invisible, where would you go?"
  • "Iced tea or hot tea?"
  • "Snickers or Twix?"

And now for today's question: "Would you rather live a lifetime of ONLY flatline (boring, ordinary) days, or would you rather live a lifetime of ONLY rollercoaster (always ups and downs) days?"

So yeah. We're starting out easy, right? Not.

I mean, who wants to live a boring life, am I right? One flatline day after another, the kind of ordinary life made up of moments where the most excitement you'll EVER have is listening to the sugar falling into your coffee? Days upon days of nothing ever happening? I mean, sure, there's nothing bad - but there's nothing good either. No grief, but also no thrill.

But me, I've already had the rollercoaster life. I've already had thirty-three years of grief intermingled with elation. I've lost loved ones. I've loved people who didn't love me back. I've been rejected, lied to, denied. I've been cheated, I've been hurt. I've seen some of the very worst this world has to offer, from violence to mental illness to addiction, to sexual deviance and abuse, to the true toxicity of what a textbook narcissist really is. I've been ignored, neglected. I've thought more than once, "I've had close, personal contact with a real-life psychopath," and I've got the psychological scars to prove it.

But I've also created life, brought into the world two little girls who began as nothing more than specks within this body I spent so many years despising. I kissed their impossibly tiny toes. I brushed their hair, showed them how to set lost teeth out for the tooth fairy. I've helped them prepare for Santa's coming, celebrated their birthdays, recounted the stories of their beginnings. I've loved, fully and wholeheartedly, with sometimes reckless abandon. I've worshiped at the temple of a man's body, had a man worship at the temple of mine. I've had butterflies. I've known the joy of feeling truly accepted, the freedom of knowing someone's out there on my side. I've felt the pride of earning my own money, the joy of driving for the first time, the surge of emotion that always accompanies getting the puppy-eyes look from Chance. I've been loved, trusted, cared for. I've been held. I've been asked for guidance, for advice.

I've born the weight of what sometimes feels like impossible responsibility, with all its burdens and all its joys, all its ups and all its downs.

And the truth is, I wouldn't trade the rollercoaster for the flatline at all. After all, this is the ride I was born on - I might as well have the courage to ride it out.

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In The Comments:
  • What was your answer to today's question, and why did you choose what you chose?
  • What questions would you like to see on future Would You Rather posts?

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46 comments:

  1. As my life has been a rollercoster growing up with a Dad, who due to his PTSD from Vietnam, was very abusive. I've also dealt with sexual abuse both as a child and in the army. I was able to get counseling for both and rise above. I think my life has made me the person I am and I don't think I would be if i had a flat line life

    Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing?
    Sweet tea or just tea?

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    1. I'm right with you - I've had similar experiences (except that mine were not military related), and going into therapy has made such a rich difference for my life. I'm so thankful I did it, and I agree with you totally - if not for the life I've had, I wouldn't be the person I am. And I do for the most part like who I am, so I wouldn't want to chance that.

      Great suggestions for this segment - thanks! I've written them down to pull from when I'm writing future posts.

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  2. By the way I think your amazing and a great Mom from what I can see :)

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    1. Aww, thanks, Karen! Sometimes, that's all a girl needs to hear. Your comments make my heart smile.

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  3. #1 From one "B" to another, I love your signature :)
    #2 I appreciate the subtle crazy that comes from even the most boring days....but I'm always looking for something to break the monotony! Cheers! xoxo. B

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    1. Lol. #1, thanks! My B came from my high school sweetheart. We're not together anymore, but we're still great pals, and he actually still calls me that. Later on, I had an author friend from Australia who started calling me B, and so there it is, my little letter.

      #2, I agree! There's something good in both types of day, and each has it's pros and cons for sure.

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  4. I think I choose rollercoaster. Life is more exciting and full of color that way.

    XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like ;)
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | 5 reasons why you should get small bag for your next purchase

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    1. I agree with you totally. I need the excitement - although I will say I'm ready for some of the good kind after about a decade of almost constant crisis. I'm happy my life is getting back to where I think it should be, finally.

      Sorry I can't check your post - the link seems to be broken.

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  5. I'm on a rollercoaster, gladly and happily. I wouldn't want it any other way. Life is good period. It sin the trials that we figure out who we are, what we stand for, our weaknesses and strengths, our true friends and passions. If you live a life without ups and downs, nothing is happening to you, around you or for you. You could argue thats not life at all.

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    1. Yes!! I so agree! And if nothing ever happens to you, nothing will ever HAPPEN to you. Life needs excitement, otherwise it's in grave danger of being utterly pointless.

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  6. Lots of really good thoughts here. So many of us miss opportunities to talk with our kids. You did not!!! I go for roller coaster. can't know the ups without the downs.

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    1. I miss opportunities more often than I care to count - I have my share of regrettable mom moments. But I'm definitely trying every day to get it right and be the kind of mom I think my babes deserve. I'm hope I'm doing well - and most of the time, I think I am. Thanks!

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  7. Great article! I believe that a roller-coaster life is the way to go. The reason behind that is simply because we need lows in our life to experience the highs we will one day reach. We could compare this to the taste of sweetness. What is sweet if you have never tasted bitter or, what is happiness if you have never experienced sadness? Keep it up with you blog posts,they're really fun to read !

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you like it here. I love your comment, too - you're so right on the point that we can't truly know the "good" without having had something "bad" to compare it to.

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  8. Wonderful read! I would choose a roller-coaster life I guess I have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs!

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    1. Thanks! Seems like that's a pretty popular answer - honestly, I hadn't expected that at all, but I'm glad to know I'm not weird for choosing the coaster life.

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  9. That's such a tough question, but I think I would chose the rollercoaster life as well. Even when I've gone through life's lows, I've always learned something and then the highs feel that much sweeter.

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    1. I'm actually a little amazed at the number of people who would choose the roller coaster! The person who suggested this topic to me told me wholeheartedly and with utter certainty that she would choose the flatline, and I remember thinking how totally boring that would seem to me - especially after being on the roller coaster for so long!

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  10. Yes, life has allot of ups and downs. I believe that those rollercoasters make us better, the key is to grow from it and not to go backwards.

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  11. That's a hard one, but I think I would rather have the ups and downs. I would probably get too bored the other way.

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    1. I think so too. I've had a lot of crisis in my life, but I've also had a lot of great moments. And if going without the crises meant going without the excitement ... nah, I'll just stay on the ride.

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  12. What awesome questions to ponder. Life can be a roller coaster, that's for sure. But I don't mind it, for the most part. It keeps life interesting.

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    1. That was my thinking too. It's like appreciating that people come in so many different shapes, colors, and sizes - how boring would life be if every woman was five foot four inches tall with sandy blonde hair and green eyes, size 34c breasts, size six pants, size six shoes, with a smattering of freckles? BORING!! The world and this life are so interesting BECAUSE of the variety, not in spite of it.

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  13. This is amazing.We love dinner time talking at our home.It is a really precious time.And as you said,it improves the bonding!

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    1. I agree completely. I like that it helps all of us practice good communication (Josephine), taking turns in conversation (Eden), and making sure to appreciate the little moments, both teachable and non (Me).

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  14. I will alway choose the rollercoaster. Life wouldn't be the same without it that way. Flatline is so uninteresting and you risk the chance to never learn. Which is worse.

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    1. No kidding, right? The flatline is smooth and dependable, sure - but so stagnant!

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  15. Thats a great question to ask. I like to have dinner time conversations with my family because it allows us to know how everyone is doing and what problems we can help each other out with. In my opinion, I would rather have a "roller cost" life because doing the same thing every single day and always knowing nothing "exciting", weather bad or good, will happen. Just imagine, if you where stuck in the loop of "ground hog day" you would start going crazy like Bill Murray.

    xo,
    Molly
    www.allaboutgoodvives.com

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    1. Haha! Well, I don't know that the flatline ensures EVERYTHING would stay the same - you'd still see changes in weather and things like that, I imagine. Seasons would change. But imagining a world where that's the most excitement there is? No thanks. I'll stick with my life on the rollercoaster - it might be hard from time to time, but at least it's NEVER boring.

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  16. I think it's great that you have such an open line of communication. The dinner table is one of my personal favorites for sitting down and chatting with the family. Sometimes it's the ONLY time we're able to do so - this is why family dinner time is priority!

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    1. And I feel like it sets my daughters and I up for being able to talk through things when it really matters. Because of the conversations we've had together, we're able to have more serious talks without much awkwardness - like what's acceptable treatment from friends, boys, etc.

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  17. If live wasn't a Rollercoaster I would be bored lol. Through all the ups and downs I have found myself to be happy.

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    1. I would be bored too. But I wonder - is that because I wouldn't like a calm life, or simply because I've never had one and wouldn't know what to do with it?

      I mean, I don't want a motorcycle anymore than I want that flatline - but mostly, that's because if I had one, all I could do it look at it. I don't know how to ride one, you know?

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  18. I think those who like challenges must choose a rollercoaster life, and for simple existence may go for ordinary option. But challenges can bring fun in your routine.

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  19. This is a rather amusing segment! I love the idea and why not, it's quite fun to think of the possibilities! I think if i were to choose though, I'd rather live a rollercoaster kind of life. It's how you learn and experience things. What good is life when it's dull and lifeless. See what I did there? Lol.

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    1. Thanks, Liz - I'm glad this one seems to be one that so many people can relate to! And I agree with you, a lifeless life is just not worth the time.

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  20. Between flatline and roller coaster.... It's sooo hard to choose. Flatline is soo boring! But roller coasters are stressful! Sigh!

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  21. I think it completely depends on the situation and where the outcomes lie. But a combo might work best :-)

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    1. Yes, but the real challenge is in imagining that you had to choose just one, right now. You don't get to know what the future holds either way, you just have to choose. It's like living in a choose-you-own-ending book - remember those?

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  22. Tricky question. I think a roller coaster is needed because its the bumps in the road that help shape our characters.

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    1. I'm right there with you! It's the challenges that make us what we are.

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  23. Interesting question and I really enjoy this feature! I think a roller coaster is better as I wouldn't want to live without the highs but also we can learn so much from the lows.

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    1. I love how many people totally agreed with this point. In the moments we can get caught up and just end up wishing that we had some calm. But it's in those moments of challenge that we're becoming what we're going to be.

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