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Riding the Rollercoaster: The Quest for Equanimity

June 5th, 2021 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, what is the secret to riding the coaster to our final day?

We live on an emotional rollercoaster these days. Rising to dizzying heights and plunging to great depths driven by the fast-paced, unpredictable nature of 21st century life and exacerbated in the last year by the pandemic and the restrictions associated with it.

I am the sort of person who keeps trying to achieve stability and some mastery over my fate. But I am coming to realize that there are times when this is beyond my grip.

I had such high hopes for the Maple Leafs this year. I allowed myself to believe that Matthews, Marner, Tavares and O’Reilly, together with our collective faith in them, would translate to a deep playoff run. The rollercoaster reached the top when they went up 3 games to 1 in the series. Alas, it plummeted back down as the Leafs collapsed and bowed to arch rival Montreal.

52 years and counting for the Stanley Cup drought. I was around the last time they won it, but it is too far back to remember. 17 years since they won a playoff series. Oh, Hockey Gods, how long must we wait? There is always next season is wearing very thin.

At least we are out from under the Stay at Home order. Hallelujah, the shackles have been unlocked! Three stages yet to go through as the province reopens at a snail’s pace. The rollercoaster is slowly chugging up the incline again. We’ve dropped off the edge twice before with the second and third wave. But the jab in the arm will hopefully save us this time.

The downside of that particular rollercoaster may ultimately rear its ugly head when we have to start paying off the mountain of government debt that is still accumulating. I am not sure how many digits it will ultimately reach. But I fully expect that my paycheque will get dinged big time for that purpose. The deficit is a famished monster that must be fed lest it devour us alive.

We have made strides forward and upward, albeit much too slowly, towards racial equality and reconciliation. But the rollercoaster nearly went off the track altogether with the shocking discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the site of one of Canada’s largest residential schools. The weight of that shameful legacy burdens us all.

On a personal note, I am labouring the last few miles up the 65 year mountain to retirement. I can see the summit far off in the distance – a speck at the outer range of my vision. My hope is that I make it there with good health, my sanity intact and enough money to live simply.

Here’s hoping that the downside of that rollercoaster ride is slow, gentle and comforting like a sailboat on a calm lake on a sunny day that goes on and on and on. But I know there will still be some storms to weather.

With 63 years and counting under my belt, I know that life is a continuous rollercoaster. We all have battle scars from the downhill dives. We have each won and lost, succeeded and failed, zigged when we should have zagged and collected a carpetbag of regrets. Happiness depends more upon or ability to endure the rises and falls with equanimity than with fortune or chance.

But oh, if the Maple Leafs could just raise the Cup one more time before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Is that so much to ask?

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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