Judy Kucharuk: When the merry-go-round spins out of control


Do you remember the merry-go-round from your grade school playground? In case you've forgotten, it was that heavy, flat metal disc with metal bars welded for handrails. The goal was to rotate the disc while holding on with one hand and using your leg as a propellant. You would kick and kick and then you would jump on as the disc turned wildly.

The little kids stayed near the centre, where the force of the turn wasn’t quite as nauseating, but I never did – I tried to stick it out near the edge, hanging on for dear life.
Falling was expected. Getting yourself hit in the head with one of the handrails was a common occurrence. Vomiting happened occasionally.

They were dangerous, but they were fun.

As I'm now older, I no longer ride on the merry-go-round of the schoolyard. No, I now ride on the virtual merry-go-round of adulthood that tends to speed up and slow down at a much faster and unpredictable rate. I find myself staying closer to the safety of the centre – trying desperately to avoid a fall. You know, broken hips, concussions and all.

The speed at which I am spinning creates a different mindset.

The last few weeks my personal merry-go-round has been a bit out of control, and I am finding myself hanging on for dear life, the centrifugal force forcing me further and further away from the comfort of the middle. 

Adulting is hard. Trying to maintain control is difficult. Giving up control and going with the flow is terrifying.

No, I'm not dying of an incurable disease or facing a life-altering decision (thank goodness), but I have been inundated with change at a rate that has pushed me far beyond my comfort zone.

My ducks were in a row. I liked the order of my ducks. My ducks were happy ducks. I was a happy duck.

Through no fault of their own, my ducks are now askew with absolutely no sense of order. It has me a little freaked out.

Lacking resources, I have sought the comfort and guidance of Google and typed, “how to deal with change” in the search bar. The first tip was “find humour in the situation.”


Judy Kucharuk is a lover of sarcasm, witty people and footnotes, and lives in Dawson Creek.

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