“When life gives you lemons make lemonade.”
We all know the saying. It sounds so optimistic, so positive, and so strong.
I don’t know about you, but when life gives me lemons, I don’t feel like making lemonade.
Four-and-a-half years ago, a truckload of lemons drove into my driveway. I live in Manitoba, the coldest place on earth. There is no way those lemons came from a nearby orchard.
The lemons symbolized my husband’s diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The diagnosis happened when suppressed memories of childhood abuse surfaced.
Our life was upended. I left the workforce three times because I needed to be at home with my husband and our daughters. I didn’t know if I’d work again, or if our life would ever be normal (as if there is such a thing!).
During this time, I struggled. I wrestled. I hated the lemons. I wanted my life back!
Several months ago, I read a book by trauma specialist Babette Rothschild called 8 Keys To Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies For Reclaiming Your Life.
Key 8 is Make Lemonade.
To make lemonade means to rise above the lousy hand you were dealt, making the best of it and helping others despite or in spite of it.
I couldn’t stop thinking about that.
Make lemonade, Heather, make lemonade.
A year ago, I reconnected with an old high school friend. We hadn’t seen each other for almost twenty-nine years. This weekend, I’m attending Breathe, a writing conference that she and several other writers organise. My connection with her helped me begin to make lemonade.
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve always dreamed of writing a book, or ten! And I’ve always wanted to help people who are hurting.
I’m making lemonade by attending this conference. I’m making lemonade as I write this blog, and share resources on this website.
Making lemonade is not easy. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Some days I’m better at it than others. But, little by little, day by day, the mountain of lemons in my driveway is getting smaller.
And you know what? I’m beginning to enjoy making lemonade.