Riding the roller coaster
Dec. 28, 2018
by Ivan Raconteur

I’m a little surprised that this roller coaster ride that has been 2018 is about to end.

Despite the fact we knew it was coming, we reached the end before I was ready.

It has been a long time since I was on an actual roller coaster, but that is the best way I can describe the past 12 months.

If I’m remembering correctly, those amusement park rides start out slowly, and build up speed as they go.

In the beginning, you have at least some idea of what the layout of the ride (or in this case, the year) will be like. You can see how things are progressing, but then, before you know it, the scenery becomes a blur as your speed increases.

Occasionally, there are parts of the journey during which you can catch your breath as you approach a particularly steep summit. There is a brief opportunity to assess where your progress has taken you. Then, off you go again, hurtling toward your destination even faster than before.

Most people who have been around this theme park of life as long as I have agree that, overall, the pace at which time passes generally increases each year. Even taking that into account, 2018 was an especially quick one for me.

Back in January, I thought I had a reasonably clear idea of how things were going to go. I distinctly remember things like planning my vacation in July, but the next thing I knew, it was September. I’m pretty sure I missed the entire month of August this time around.

What is frightening to me, in addition to the increasing speed, is the fact that the sections of the ride that I don’t remember seem to be getting larger. I’m not just missing a day or a week at a time; now I’m losing entire months.

This makes me apprehensive about what the year ahead will be like. I know that there will be some large and important changes in my world in 2019, and I’m uneasy about how to prepare for them when time is passing so quickly.

I’m worried that I might be preparing for March, only to find out it is already June.

This is compounded by the fact I’ll be losing some of my support network in 2019, so planning and adapting to changing circumstances will be much more difficult than in the past.

It is clear the familiar course will be changing, and I don’t know what things will look like at the end of the year. I suspect all I can do is brace myself, hold on tightly, and hope for the best. The only thing about which I am certain is that it’s going to be a wild, frightening ride.

If you hear any wild shrieking emanating from the direction of the editor’s office, that’ll just be me barreling along on another lap around the calendar at breakneck speed with no safety net in sight.

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