Carousels: Fun or Frustration?

One of my favourite films is the musical carousel; not least because it’s got that fabulous song, and anthem to many, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

A few years ago, my Mum made me a beautiful and delicate musical carousel, pictured just below.
Carousels were always the mainstay of old fashioned fairgrounds. The beautiful painted horses that rise and fall with such grace, the music and the lights all creating a feeling of floating around, lost in the moment.

The fun of the fairground was encapsulated in one ride.

There was no need for the scream and whoop inducing scary contraptions that seem to dominate today’s theme and “fun” parks. Nostalgia’s a wonderful thing.

And yet…

  • Am I forgetting through the passage of time that all too often I got motion sickness from going up and down and round and round for waaaaay too long?
  • Is my memory clouded by the good blocking the bad?
  • Was the “fun”, actually frustration; of wanting to enjoy the ride because it looked like fun and I wanted to love it and yet I didn’t really?

This dilemma of wanting to think and be a certain way and not (yet) being able to do so is my current mode @75% of the time.

I know that contributing factors are

  • The injury to my back that is restricting what I can do, which in turn is…
  • limiting my ability to plan my next adventures, holidays and things I want to learn (physical at least)
  • feeling isolated and lazy – I’m spending a lot of time at home doing not a lot but reading and writing or if it’s really bad day binge watching Gilmore Girls – again!
  • Spending too much time eating out v cooking at home, to compensate for that feeling of isolation

And I’m sure there are more.

These factors are simultaneously real and an excuse.

I feel I’m on a carousel going round and round and up and down and I can’t get off until this particular ride is over.

I know it would be foolish to do to much physically, until my back has healed sufficiently, so I accept that I need to be patient and allow time for my body to heal, which it will do in it’s own time. (Note to self – Beverley you need to work on your patience!)

However all of those other thoughts and feelings I can do something about. And yet, I’m stuck on a horse going round and round feeling slightly nauseous wishing this ride would stop.

Our ability to think what we want is within our grasp all of the time, if we choose to use that ability and make the better choices.

So why does it feel hard at times?

  • Why am I attached to thinking and feeling this way?
  • What do I get from these thoughts and feelings?


Even though there is physical and emotional discomfort, it’s “easier” to stay on the ride. It’s easier to do nothing and “hope” time will miraculously shift something and yes it might, but…

Even as I’m writing this (in a café) I feel guilty, self absorbed and a little foolish.
I know better.
I can be better.
I am better.

So I choose to accept where I am in this moment, trusting that this too shall pass.
I choose to let go of my judgements and show myself a little love and compassion.
I choose to lift my head and look for someone else whose day I could perhaps make a little brighter.

And maybe as this carousel ride comes to its close, I can offer to the person next to, across from or behind me, a smile or an act of kindness that says, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

  • Whose day could you bring a little love to today?
  • What judgement of yourself could you turn into compassion?


  1. Amy
    26th March 2019

    Well-written Bev. The carousel is an excellent metaphor for those times when we seem to get stuck on a never-ending loop. And we seem to have areas of life where we’re more prone to loop.

    I had a disappointing wellness loop recently of grief, migraines, being sick, not working out like I typically do… I tried to focus on the areas of life where I wasn’t in a loop. Some days I was successful with this, some days not.

    You outline wise advice, because it’s much too easy to beat ourselves up for not immediately being able to get off the carousel.

    Maybe sometimes we just have to wait for the ride to finish?

    • Beverley Hamilton
      26th March 2019

      Amy, getting off the carousel often seems the obvious focus especially when we aren’t enjoying the ride. I’m experimenting – not very well I have to admit but “trying” to stay on the ride and explore what it is showing me. Doing that through pain can be very challenging. I’m willing to expert with any new way that is going to either make me feel better or teach me something.

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