Life gives us lemons. Its not that we ask for them; we may not even expect them. Then–suddenly–there they are. Your best client calls to tell you that their business has taken a downturn, and they will be using your services a lot less starting today. Your business partner doesn’t come back from vacation, and you open the bank statement to find the accounts drained. your life partner tells you that you can spend all the time you want at the office; he (or she) is leaving you. That casual aside about your boss that you thought you said in confidence after one-too-many drinks now has you sitting in front of her desk.
What we are often told is, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Sometimes, a lemon is just a lemon. There is nothing that we can do with it.
Sometimes, lemonade is a good option…especially if you like lemonade and it is a hot summer’s day. For many years, I thought this was a great response to the negative surprises–large and small–that are a part of life. However, I have learned that while it is sometimes a good response, it is not always the best one.
If you permit me to shift analogies for a minute, I can explain.
When you fall off a horse, the first thing you should do is get back on.
If you are an equestrian, and you are not injured, this is the case. It shows the horse that you are not afraid of him, and that he cannot get away with throwing you.
But if you are not an equestrian, it may not be the right thing to do. It may be a signal that you should head toward the pool, or the tennis court, or maybe even get out the water colors and easel.
The simple truth is, not all of us belong on the back of a horse. You may have grown up on the farm or ranch. Perhaps you come from a multi-generational family of horse riders. Or, you thought you could gain fame and fortune on the back of a horse.
But, when you fall off a horse, it may be a good time to re-assess your reasons for riding in the first place.
Whether you have been riding for a day or for decades, is it still right for you tomorrow?
If it is, then get back on the horse. (Sometimes lemons are just lemons.)
If it is not, then do you continue to pursue a riding-related option such as barn manager or blacksmith? (I would see these as the equivalent of making lemonade.)
Or, is it time to step back, reassess things, and go in a totally new direction?
Sometimes the best advice is, When life gives you lemons, make cherry pie a la mode. Don’t be a victim. Don’t stick to what you know even when you know it is not right for you. Go for what you want. For me, cherry pie a la mode wins out over lemonade any day!
What is your cherry pie a la mode? Are you going for it?