I love lemonade, especially pink lemonade. And, like anyone else in the world, I’ve been given a number of lemons.
I got my first lemon right out of grad school. I couldn’t get the job I really wanted, so I settled for the one I could get. (And that was one miserable year!) I earned a degree in marriage and family counseling, but in the area in which I lived, social workers were in need and were pretty much the type of family helpers that existed. I changed direction. My path as a professional changed.
Lemonade! The education I had gained became richer with the unexpected demands of a the job I didn’t really want. I knew I wouldn’t do that job forever, so I decided to make the most of it. I still use many of the things I learned with that first job.
Actually, now that I think back, that wasn’t the first lemon. I was the daughter of an alcoholic factory worker. My family was poor. And those life conditions didn’t gain me any popularity in a society that only valued folks with money. But those lemons gave me a taste for lemonade and are perhaps a topic for another blog post.
taking the sour experiences of life, learning from them, turning weaknesses into strengths, and going on to do more than I ever thought possible. Surviving and thriving. Those had become my particular set of skills.
So, yeah. If you’ve got some lemons and you don’t know what to do with them, I have some ideas.
First, breathe deeply for a bit. Calm down. Don’t panic. And don’t accept that this is it.
Next, remember the big picture. Despite the current bump, detour, or dead end, remember the big picture. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road.” Helen Keller said that. And she was certainly familiar with a life full of lemons! It just means that you are taking the scenic route, or perhaps accidentally finding an even better way. (I actually don’t believe in accidents or coincidences.)
Now, step back and look at what the alternatives are, what skills you can pull out of the toolbox? Or, is it time to learn a new skill? Take a class. Perhaps revisit a long, unused talent. Or just reinvent yourself.
plan. What are you going to do now? Write your plans or goals in a journal. Create a vision board. Share it with a friend/spouse who can encourage you, help you remember your strengths. Or share it with me. Then get back on the road, refreshed from your lemonade, and make it happen!