Navigating life’s ups and downs

Good news, bad news, bad news, good news, good, bad, good… And so on and on it goes. Life is a continuous series of hopes and disappointments. Ups and downs. It’s been especially so for me these past weeks.

And there’s little to do but to stay in flow.

Take last week, for example. My honey discovered that a few of his external hard disks with data he’d prefer to salvage had irreparable bad sectors (bad). On FB’s Marketplace, he found a good deal on a couple of slightly used hard disks (good). After we returned home from picking them up, he scanned the two disks only to discover that they, too, had a bunch of bad sectors (bad). We expected that would be our loss. But no, it wasn’t—when we informed the seller, showing him the scan results, he instantly wired back our money (good).

That could have been a bumpy emotional roller coaster ride. Fortunately, it wasn’t.

Instead, we took the bad parts in our usual stoic win some, lose some stride. Yet we took rational action. And ended up with our faith in humanity reinforced.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Mahatma Gandhi

Another example: I had ordered a couple of compression socks on sale online (good). After ten days, I received an email message from the seller that the parcel had been delivered. There was nothing in our mailbox (bad).

I emailed the seller, who insisted the Canada Post had delivered it. So at first I thought someone else in our apartment building had taken the parcel; I was even thinking of putting a sign out by our mailboxes to ask for the return of my socks. That thought made me feel less than loving toward my fellow tenants, and I was relieved the moment passed quickly.

Several days later, I thought to check the tracking information and discovered that there was a question about our address. I looked at the mailing address and saw that the apartment number was missing (bad). I was able to connect to a Canada Post bot to rectify the address. The system works—two days later the socks came (good) and they are marvelous (good).

I rolled with the punches. And another overly bumpy emotional roller coaster ride was averted.

Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

My third example is the reason I am telling you any of this and is more related to my health journey.

I’ve already reported that my ocular oncologist arranged for a slew of tests just over three weeks ago. And I’ve been delighted by how fast the various testing clinics have accommodated me (good).

The day before I went for the fourth and final test, a diagnostic mammogram, her assistant called me to tell me the doctor was now prescribing a full-body PET-CT scan for me. She gave me no clue whether that was needed because the other tests were merely inconclusive or because they revealed a problem (bad).

A few days later, the cancer center in Vancouver called (good) and asked whether I’d be willing to go to Victoria to have the scan done, as there were no available slots here soon and my case was urgent (bad). I felt I had little choice and agreed.

My appointment is noon this coming Thursday. Wednesday afternoon my honey will drive me to the ferry, and I will walk on the ferry and take the local express bus from the Swartz ferry terminal into Victoria in order to save the C$150 in ferry fees for the car. A silver lining is meeting up with a cousin and spending a lovely evening with her.

I now have to admit this fresh development is trying my usual Taurus patience. I have so been looking forward to a resolution.

Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.

Roy T. Bennett

My eyesight is not seemingly deteriorating, yet my left eye bothers me more—I’m aware of a dull ache.

But I am still calm. Rolling with the punches. Adapting to the changing situation. Walking in nature. Focusing on the now instead of ruminating on worst-case scenarios.

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.

Paulo Coelho

How have you embraced the journey of self-discovery? In what ways have you learned that the challenges you encounter can contribute to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world?

PS. If you’re finding any value in my posts, please share them or the journal with others. Note that I moderate comments to minimize spam and I respond to every comment. You can sign up for an email notification when I post by clicking on the hamburger (three horizontal lines) on the top right of every page.

PPS. Should you be in need of compression socks, I have a discount coupon. Ask me.


  • Thank you for the way you light up the fullness of life…with both the light and the dark. I copied a quote recently (without citing the author) into my journal “Patience is a muscle. Waiting is the exercise.” Seems to fit with the quotes you share. You continue to be in my prayers…and in my heart, for you give me so much wisdom and hope through the generosity of your writing.

    • Yes, waiting is the exercise, Ardis. An apt quote, for sure. I’m so grateful you are in my corner, too. Your words are precious to me. And perhaps there’s a fair exchange of energy, as you give *me* wisdom and hope through the generosity of *your* writing! 🌸🙏🌸

  • Francisca, you are truly one of the strongest women I know. Your blog will help others navigate their own health journeys.

    • Health is my focus, yes.; yet I hope a post like this can have more universal resonance. Much like your posts focused on the creative journey. Thanks for your support and love, Lisa. 🌸🙏🌸

  • Ohhhh if only good compression socks could soften the clench around my heart reading the news. That ups and downs depiction of life has been so present these last weeks here too!!

    We – good – are far and away more up than down gladly! And…BEST NEWS…I’m planning a visit out there in February 🥰❤️. Shorter than usual these last years but YES I will finally get that long overdue hug!!

  • Dearest Francisca. First, I love the literary style of (good) (bad). Ingenious! . . . I walk with you, and swing with the (good) (bad), and am grateful for the here and now of enjoying your blog. Much hugs. Rosa

By Francisca

Want to know when I post?

Enter your email address to subscribe to my journal and receive notifications of my new posts by email.