Cartoon by Maria Scrivan, Tribune Content Agency, LLC

My friend posted on Facebook, asking, “So how come every time things are going great something bad happens?”

It seems that way, right? I mean, we’re tootling along, following that proverbial primrose path, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the tank is clean (Nemo, anyone?), and then WHAM—we get smacked down like a bird flying into glass waking up stunned and immobile on the ground.

But, is that really how it is? It may seem like it, but what we can forget is: that’s life. Life is a roller coaster, up and down and all around. Good things and bad things happen, sometimes simultaneously. Like Frankie sang, “You’re riding high in April; Shot down in May!”

One way we can offset the feeling of having the wind knocked out of our sails is to realize that not everything is going to come off perfectly. Our lives in alignment and chugging smoothly along with our days is not our normal. Here is where gratitude enters the picture.

When we are grateful for our lives going well, in little and big things, we can see the peaks more clearly. When we don’t accept the peaks as our base point, as our normal life, but as gifts, lovely and divinely offered, we appreciate them.

Got fresh water from the tap today? Is your belly full, do you have clothes, did you laugh? Did the lights come on when you flipped the switch?

We do ourselves a disservice when one million and one things in our days happen flawlessly yet we concentrate on the few that went wrong. That doesn’t mean that a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis or a child’s death isn’t cause for our world turning upside down, but I’m not talking about disasters. I’m talking about fender benders, inconveniences and annoyances.

While I was writing this blog post, my keyboard stopped working. I spent a good portion of my morning trying to fix the issue. I did, but I let it derail me. Not totally, I took a break and worked on a project I need to finish by next week that didn’t require a computer. But, even with the knowledge, yes, even as I’m writing about it, even as I’m fervent about it, I still let the snag get to me.

Like you, perhaps, I’m a work in progress.

So, we need to remember, in all things: perfection is not our base line. When we embrace that, we can more easily handle this roller coaster called life, with its ups and downs and all overs. And, maybe with some effort, we can even learn to enjoy the ride.

As long as my keyboard works…and my car starts…and, well, I’d better re-read this post and try again.