I’ve always seen that as an odd expression. Generally means ‘you win some; you lose some’ or something similar right? I use it as much as the next person (which admittedly isn’t often) but I couldn’t for the life of me determine which is supposed to represent the winning side.
Having thought a while and asked Google, it turns out it’s a shortening of “what you win on the swings you lose on the roundabouts”. This does answer the ‘which is which?’ question but then throws up the puzzle of how to go about winning on a swing. Or losing on a roundabout for that matter. Maybe I’m just not competitive enough (unlikely, I’m the sort of person who,on finding this out, would actively try and beat everyone to become the least competitive person) or don’t spend enough time on either of them. Against that, I did spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on a roundabout a couple of days ago.
It was one of those days when you are in a state of general pissed-off-ness for no real reason and have no motivation to do anything, productive or otherwise. It was at this point the GF decided we were going for a walk. I don’t really like walking at the best of times; I prefer sitting down sports and generally ones that move fast on wheels or water. For some reason though, much as I bemoaned the prospect and put on my best whining child impression, I went along with it feeling that I ‘ought to’.
We walked in a direction I’d not been in before and was all the better for it. I enjoy exploring. I was still outwardly miserable and grumpy (I believe ‘Mardy’ was the term used) but I was starting to get away from whatever was bringing me down. What made it better was finding the path we were following led to sports centre/youth centre place that had playground outside. I’ve been too old for playgrounds for a long time and always have to force myself to walk past them with their “under 12s only” signs to do grown up things like grocery shopping. This one seemed to be aimed at anyone. While I admit I didn’t look particularly carefully, I didn’t even see a sign telling me I was too old. I sat on a roundabout. And then a swing. And then a different roundabout. And then a different swing. It even had a see-saw that worked properly for non-toddlers. How can anyone experience such things and still not be a laughing, smiling shadow of their former self?
I’ll count that as winning.