May 28, 2012

"Making Lemonade"

"When life hands you lemons....make lemonade."

You know that familiar saying, right?

And of course there are several spins on that nod to optimism.  Like, my personal favorite:  "Unless, life also hands you sugar and water, your lemonade is gonna taste like crap."

I don't consider myself an optimist.  I'd love to say that by nature I am a happy-go-lucky, sees life with a glass-half-full kind of person, but that's simply not true.  My natural tendency is to see things through a negative lens.  To feel discontent, to find what's wrong and to wallow in self-pity.  

But living this way gets to be miserable.  I've been learning that when I dwell on all that I don't have or has gone wrong, it leads me down the path of regret.  It's a well-worn path for me.  One I tire traveling down.  I torture myself with the what-if's of life and obsess over my own share of shoulda-woulda-coulda's.

Todd and I had a conversation over the weekend about this.  About regret and wishing for do-overs in life with the knowledge we have as our current selves.  And though we can't change our past, we do get to decide what the now looks like.  I told him that I didn't want to look back on year six of us, on this season of our lives where things looked exactly as they do, and wish that we would have done things differently.  I wanted to minimize the regret and try to enjoy where we are - even though there is much we would like to change.

I don't know if it's even possible to minimize regret.  Is it?  Can we?  I've decided to give it a try.

Because I have seen where I am still not living fully and I want that to change.  I want to be more than my negative, glass half-empty self.  And while I don't have control over everything, I can choose my attitude and my posture.

Our weekend was going to be quiet.  We attempted to reach out to some friends and find some fun things to do, but others seemed busy or gone or just not interested.  We felt the familiar sting of loneliness.  We let ourselves feel that - we need to, we must.  But, instead of wallowing in self-pity and allowing that to dictate what our day was going to look like....we decided to "make lemonade."

When all else fails - there is Walmart.  We had to get a few things we needed anyway and decided we could afford a dinky pool we could put in the backyard.  Before we left, Tommy reminded me that we had enough time to stop and wonder at the goldfish.  The sweet lady who worked in that department even let him feed the fish and it quite literally made his day.
We came home and I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  Tommy helped dump all of the ingredients in to the bowl and discovered that the best part of making chocolate chip cookies was eating the chocolate chips.  (Just wait until he's old enough to discover that the real truth to this, is that the best part is getting to eat the DOUGH!)
Yesterday was our mini-pool party day.  We turned on some music, brought some snacks outside and enjoyed a family day of "swimming."  Or sitting in eight inches of water.  Either way, it was fun.  I think we even made some memories.
We may miss many more opportunities along the way.  And year six of us might still be full of things we wish we would have done differently.  That is still quite possible.
However, this weekend wasn't one of them.  This was the weekend we "made lemonade."  And it was perfectly, perfectly sweet.

1 comment:

  1. I must be an odd ball because I never really think of do overs and making things go differently (or making plans in advance to make my life different). Maybe it's because things always seem so busy? I don't know.

    I remember when my kids were little, the goldfish were a necessary part of going to Wal Mart. I don't know at what age that changed but I can't even remember the last time we went and looked at the fish. That's very cool they let him feed them!