Life is Like...

March 16, 2022

I once read an essay comparing life to a train journey. The gist is: we’re all definitely heading to a final destination, right? And we get on at different stops, and pass lots of scenery. And I think we have to show our tickets at some point, to a conductor (Jesus? That always seems to be the right answer). Now, as I write this, I guess I have forgotten some of the piece’s finer points.

But it did get me thinking about life, and all the ways it has been described. Bowl of cherries. Box of chocolates. Camera (“develop from the negatives”—this one has lost some relevance as my iPhone pix do not require development). Roller Coaster (ups and downs and screaming, I suppose). The Scriptures weigh in (“For what is your life? A vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”--James 4:14). And of course, the song Life is Like a Dice Game by Nas, the lyrics of which fail to explain the simile, but has clever rhymes like Haile Selassie and Asti Spumante, so you’ve got to give it that.

Since there are so many “life is like” quotes out there, I figured I’d add a few more to the collection, based on personal experience. Here we go:

Life is like flat ironing your hair and then you get caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella and suddenly your hair is all frizzy again: you may think you look pretty, but soon it turns out you’re really all wet.

Life is like paying a fortune to your children’s dentist, and then you let your kids keep eating bowls of sugar frosted lucky charm cocoa puffs: it’s filled with lessons you never seem to learn.

Life is like a dripping faucet in the bathroom in the middle of the night: it can be really annoying, but not annoying enough to get out of bed and do something about.

Life is like a ceiling fan: it can be very cool.

Life is like a pot of boiling polenta: it can also burn the heck out of you.

Life is like that bar of decorative soap you got one Christmas: it’s too fancy to use, so you just leave it under the sink for the next 10 years. Not sure how that one applies, but it’s definitely something I’ve experienced!

Life is like a tsunami: it looks so calm that you walk out into the water and then whammo.

Life is like an aerosol can with a clogged nozzle: you shake it, you know there’s still stuff in there, but you can’t get it out.

Life is like a skateboard: for God’s sake, be careful!

Life is like a DVD collection: now that you have them, it’s hard to find a player anymore.

Life is like a peony: a beautiful flower filled with ants.

You should try coming up with your own “life is like” comparisons, friends! It’s a fun way to waste precious moments of…your life!


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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