You may be familiar with this old adage. If life hands you an unfavourable circumstance you neither wished nor bargained for, you should make the best of the situation and turn it into something sweet that everyone will be happy with. I used to find comfort in this simple philosophy. It amused me no end to think I could turn the tables on Fate.
A while back, my youngest daughter, Sleeper Girl, shared an interesting twist to this saying. “When life gives you lemons,” she said, “shove the lemons back in life’s face and say, ‘I ordered apples. Where are they?’” We both shared a giggle at the irreverence of it and thought no more of it. Well…Sleeper Girl thought no more of it. I, on the other hand, had a startling revelation about my attitude towards meekly accepting what Fate threw at me.
For years, when life handed me lemons I made lemonade. I followed this course of action doggedly because I thought Fate would eventually tire of messing with me and just give me the darned apples. So convinced I was that making lemonade was the way forward, I didn’t notice that I wasn’t going anywhere. As long as I was willing to accepted lemons, Fate had no reason to give me apples.
Now I’m not dismissing lemons out of hand. If lemonade will do just as well, then by all means make lemonade. But if you’re convinced only apples will meet your needs, don’t settle for lemons. State assertively that lemons won’t cut it and you need apples; no substitutions allowed. Stick to your guns and Fate will eventually relent and provide you with the apples you need.
With this understanding came change. I re-evaluated my goals and my reasons for setting them. This helped me sort out which goals were viable and which were just pipe dreams. The next step was to decide which goals required apples only and which ones could work with lemons instead.
It’s not easy to shed old habits. At first, I had to keep reminding myself that not only did I need apples, but I deserved them. With each apple that Fate bestows upon me however, my faith in my own abilities grows stronger.
I’m fortunate to have a family who understands my need for change. My warm and fuzzy head of household, Awesome Dude would selflessly plant an entire apple orchard for me, if he thought it would help. Bless. While I appreciate his support, there are some things you have to do for yourself. It’s the only way to build character and self-respect. It’s the only way to build a life.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grow my own apple tree now so I don’t have to depend on capricious Fate to deliver.