Life is a Roller Coaster

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Tuesday, February 13, 2024
By Ricardo Sardina , LMHC

In a few days, I will turn 50. Many people have been asking me how it feels to turn the big 5-0; honestly, I’m not quite sure myself. On one hand, I am filled with a sense of accomplishment. I have a beautiful loving wife, two wonderful kids, loyal friends, and a successful private practice with amazing colleagues. On the other hand, I am starting to feel the effects of aging. My body aches in the morning, I don’t sleep as well as I used to, and I now require reading glasses to read effectively.

Over the course of my life, I’ve come to recognize that life’s journey is much like a roller coaster, an intricate mixture of exhilarating highs and challenging lows. As I think of reaching the significant milestone of half a century, I find it meaningful to share the insights I’ve obtained from this roller coaster ride. Despite the ups and downs, the key lies in maintaining an unwavering determination to keep moving forward.

roller coaster

  1. Embracing Change:  Turning 50 is a significant milestone, signifying a transition into a new chapter. It’s a time when both physical and emotional changes become more noticeable, similar to when we transitioned from middle school to high school, a major shift in our lives, and for many of us, a challenging one. However, just as we did then, we learn to accept these changes as a normal part of life. Life’s ups and downs can be tough, but they also bring growth, wisdom, and a better understanding of oneself.
  2. Gratitude for the Journey: Think about that roller coaster ride as a reminder to be grateful for your whole life, not just the good parts. Every crazy turn, scary drop, and unexpected twist makes your life richer and more interesting. When I think about all the different things I’ve gone through, the people I’ve met and the challenges I’ve faced, I realize how amazing life really is. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the challenges in my past and how I learned from them.
  3. Turning Tough Times Into Triumph: I learned from an early age that life’s roller coaster doesn’t come with instructions, and that unexpected challenges are unavoidable. Through the years, it has taught me the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. Whether it’s dealing with school or career setbacks, life issues or personal struggles, the ability to bounce back and adapt is crucial. Life’s lows are temporary, and the coaster unavoidably climbs back up. Again, keep pushing forward.
  4. Cherishing Relationships: As time goes by, I’ve come to understand the importance of real connections more and more. They could be a source of joy, support, and may make life’s journey so much richer. So to this, I say thank you to my close circle of friends and to my family for making my life so much richer.
  5. Spirituality: When faced with life’s challenges and the roller coaster of life is low, we tend to become negative. Frequently we point the finger at others or even at God. I have discovered that having faith, going to church, and daily prayer have not only aided me in coping with life’s struggles but have also shifted my focus towards positivity. My faith has made me more mindful and thankful for the things that I have in my life and the challenges I have gone through. I believe that faith can be a powerful tool to help us overcome obstacles and to find hope in difficult times. It has given me the strength to face my struggles and to never give up.
  6. Engaging in Enjoyable and Fulfilling Activities: It is important to follow what makes you happy and embrace new activities. Whether it involves traveling, exploring hobbies, or seeking new career opportunities, actively engaging in activities that bring joy enhances the journey through life’s twists and turns.

Turning 50 got me thinking about how I got this far in life. It made me realize that my life has had its ups and downs, twists and turns, just like a rollercoaster. To make the most of this unexpected ride, we need to embrace change, be grateful for what we have, be spiritual through prayer and build good relationships. And, of course, let’s not forget to do the things we enjoy and love!

So remember, in life there are going to be ups and downs, a lot of twists and turns. There will be challenges that will make you feel that this roller coaster will not go up, but the important thing is to keep pushing forward. Never let anything stop you from living your life to the fullest.


“Just close your eyes and enjoy the ride that is LIFE.”  Zayn Malik