We have all been there before- some terribly unfortunate situation occurs and you reach out for advice and someone inevitably will say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” Easier said than done, right?
A student in one of my classes once said, “I know they say ‘When life hands you lemons make lemonade, but what if you don’t have any sugar?” I paused. How had I never considered this very logical concern? You can’t make lemonade without sugar for sure- it’s just lemon juice; horribly acidic and too sour to drink.
If there is one thing that I’m sure of it’s that life will most certainly hand you more lemons. So, now what? Are you expected to keep some unrelenting mound of lemons around? Or are you supposed to serve unwanted houseguests your brand of unsweetened “lemonade”? Or had I missed the point of that saying all along?
I can’t say with 100% accuracy that I’m right, but here is my new take on this common situation in life:
Life can throw you some pretty ridiculous curveballs. Life is hard. Life is like hitting an amazing line drive and making it around all of the bases only to be tagged out at home. Life is like taking a long road trip with too many people in the car trying to decide where to eat, and you inevitably end up with a Slim Jim and a diet Coke from a nearby gas station.
Tough life situations aren’t going anywhere- they have been around since the dawn of time. But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon all hope. Every time you encounter a difficult life issue, you have to remember that you have dealt with scenarios like this before and undoubtedly will again. You will become a stronger, wiser, more well rounded person each time that you are able to move past something bigger than yourself and what you thought was possible.
I’m not sure if whoever thought up that lemonade saying ever considered that someone may be out of sugar, I think they were just trying to be positive. Sometimes being positive about a bad situation is all you have. The more you are able to deal with those lemons and drink that bitter juice, the more you will realize that these lemons aren’t so bad after all. (Hey- at least they ward off scurvy!)
So the next time life hands you lemonade, just say thanks and move on.
by Kristen Keyes