Skip to main content

Merry-Go-Round Thinking: It’s Time to Get Off the Ride

Sep 09, 2022 01:26PM ● By Daniela J. Jaeger

The merry-go-round, or carousel, has always been one of my favorite rides at the fair. I love the feeling of happiness and boundless freedom as the platform, with all of its ornate horses and benches, turns around and around. Some go fast, others move at a more relaxing pace. Always, the merry-go-round turns in the same direction, and the world passes by in a carefree blur.   

Spinning blissfully on a carnival ride can be pleasantly distracting. You lose track of time when you’re going in circles. Soon, the trip ends, and you have to step off and rejoin the throngs, reabsorbed into the background that only moments ago was just a streak of motion. This is the kind of merry-go-round you would like to stay on a little longer. There is another kind, though, that is quite different. 

The term merry-go-round is also used to describe a state of commotion—a whirl of activity. Often, our thinking can resemble this kind of merry-go-round. Our thoughts go around and around but never seem to take us anywhere. Recent world events have caused many of us to get stuck on this ride. We get caught up in all the bad news and can’t seem to get our thinking to change direction. 

Everyday life can also get us stuck on a carousel. When I underwent surgery on my left shoulder a few months ago, I had to learn to avoid the merry-go-round of wondering how the team at TOTI Media was going to handle the extra workload. If not for trusting them, my thoughts would have gone around and around with worry. Likewise, they had to trust that I had prepared and organized work for my absence. Together, we avoided the merry-go-round of negative thinking, and we all did our best.  

It’s wonderful to sit on a carousel with people who are sharing in your fun. Togetherness makes the ride even more enjoyable. In the same way, getting through tough times together makes rough rides more bearable.  

This month’s edition of your favorite magazine has an art and design theme. We’ve also added a special section titled “Southwest Florida on Wheels,” beginning on page 60. Though the wheels described in this section are of a different kind, I was reminded that a merry-go-round is like a giant spinning wheel. Maybe when things in your life seem as if they are spinning a little too fast, you can slow the pace by going for a leisurely drive to take in the sights around Southwest Florida.    

As for art, I am reminded of a potter’s wheel. When working with spinning clay, or “throwing” it, you might spend time wondering when your piece is finally going to take shape. It can seem like forever before the turning is done and you’re looking at a beautiful work of art. But like the merry-go-round, the pottery wheel will eventually stop.  

What will you look like when you come to the end of your ride? I’m hoping that once the spinning has stopped, you’ll be better than you were before.        

Let’s all get off this ride and stop the merry-go-round thinking. For inspiration, enjoy the articles in this month’s issue. Find some time to appreciate art (page 18), take a historical tour (page 24), or just let loose and dance (page 44).  

Remember, whenever you feel like your thoughts are going around in circles, you have the power to change them; just mentally step off the carousel and return to forward progress.  


Happy reading!   


Daniela J. Jaeger 

Group Publisher, TOTI Media