The mountains, the valleys, and the times in between

When someone asks, “How are you doing today?”, nine times out of 10, we respond, “Good.” Recently, I have been considering that response. Most of us have been a part of a conversation at some point about how people either answer this question without thought, or they do not answer this question honestly. We think that everyone responds “Good” just to get the person inquiring off of their backs.

However, I have begun considering that when we assume people are lying, we are not giving them the opportunity to just be doing good. We are teaching people that their circumstances should either be horrible or great and nothing in between.

But, life is not meant to be lived running off the highs or drudging through the lows. It is meant to for us to feel, for the most part, secure and stable. It is meant to be good.

One tangible example that I believe illustrates this point is the Georgia versus Tennessee football game played in Sanford Stadium last weekend.

With just a few seconds to spare on the game clock, Jacob Eason threw a 47-yard pass. The ball was caught in the end zone giving Georgia the lead with only 10 seconds left in the game. I do not believe the reaction from the student section can be described in words, but I will try my best to encapsulate just a glimpse of the emotion.

We were ecstatic–loud—shocked—surprised—relieved—joyful—and elated. Just look at us. We were living in a high, on top of the world, and we were never coming down.


Until 10 seconds later…we fell from the peak of the highest mountain to the depths of the lowest valley. There was no soaring back to the top. We were down, and it was going to be a while before we began our ascent.

Reflecting on this very real experience was a reminder for me about how we approach our lifestyles.

When the highs come, they are unbelievable. They are fond memories that push us to seek out more exhilarating opportunities. When we ride a rollercoaster for the first time, receive an “A” on our very first college exam, get accepted into graduate school, are told “You may kiss your bride,” or hold our grandbaby in our arms for the very first time, life is great. It is great, and it is worth telling the world about.

But what about when we get into a car wreck, we are dumped, the test results come back positive, our parent dies, or our house burns down? Life sucks. It just does, and we are upset and angry, and this time, we just want to lash out at the world.

These huge life events are destined to impact us. They affect our emotions and our world views. They can even transform the way we view ourselves. As beautiful and as dreadful as these times are, I believe they are what allow us to appreciate the more mundane circumstances.

When life is just going okay, work is going well, our family is getting along with one another, our kids have soccer practice, we are tired, but we still find our job rewarding, and overall, we are just getting by doing good, I encourage us to refuse to beat ourselves up.

Be thankful that life is good and that you are in a place where you feel protected and at ease.

I want you to know that I am so supportive of the wild times—the times that we feel on top of the world and we are experiencing the highest of highs.

I am also supporting you when you feel that you are living in the darkest valley. I have crawled through my fair share of valleys, and they were never easy on me.

But I encourage you to find peace when you tell someone that you are doing good. Do not feel obligated to feel otherwise because it really is good to be good.

Xoxo, Marlee

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