When Life Gives You Lemons

Updated: May 3, 2020

This age-old adage has never been more relevant.

A global pandemic. Life completely upside down.

We have the lemons. It's time to make lemonade.

"It's not what happens to you, but how you handle it. If Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the lemons are rotten, take out the seeds and plant them in order to grow new lemons."     

- Louise Hay

Some of us have made the most of this gigantic pause in our lives, and some have done nothing but complain and muddle through. Are you at one of the extremes, or somewhere in the middle?

Of course our general outlook week to week, maybe day to day, or even hour to hour might depend on many external inputs. Are you or someone in your household working every day with the sick or the general public, is someone in your immediate family sick, has COVID-19 impacted your financial stability, are you under extended orders to shelter-in-place, are you helping with school assignments for children who are used to being in a classroom. And on and on and on - so many variables.

Our entire lives, we've had to navigate how external inputs impact our own reactions and our overall attitude, spirit, fortitude, and disposition. Being a bit pessimistic in our approach to life might even be beneficial.

Today, I am choosing to take these lemons and make lemonade. It is supposed to be sunny and warm. I might be able to take a few of my afternoon work calls from the deck. I will look forward instead of back.

Annually, the first Sunday of May is National Lemonade Day. Usually, it's a day when children from all over the country tap into their entrepreneurial spirit to set up lemonade stands and operate a small curbside business. This year, things will look drastically different. Maybe you can be the family optimist and "chief idea officer." Suggest a virtual lemonade stand with friends and family on a video call, or consider taking "pre-orders" for a future family or neighborhood gathering. A quick brainstorming will generate many more ideas.

Life's lemons make sweet lemonade. I plan to take this weekend to pause, slow down, and reflect on how I can bring my best self, at least at this moment in time, into next week. What about you?