When life gives you lemons, gladly make lemonade

However hopeless a situation, there is always something positive in it, if only you look harder.

Thursday January 7 2016

I think lemonade tastes better than orange juice. So yeah, when somebody tells you to make lemonade from the lemons life has served you, do not roll your eyes and curse ever being friends with people who cannot give you advice. PHOTO | FILE

I think lemonade tastes better than orange juice. So yeah, when somebody tells you to make lemonade from the lemons life has served you, do not roll your eyes and curse ever being friends with people who cannot give you advice. PHOTO | FILE 

There are some bittersweet statements we utter, or hear in passing, but unfortunately give little though. Well, I suggest that from now on you start paying a little more attention to them because, more often than not, they really do make a lot of sense.

Take “making lemonade out of lemons?” Practically, this makes sense because, as you know, lemonade does come from lemons. But think about it, unless you are in the mood for punishing your taste buds, lemons don’t rank high on the list of favourite fruits. I mean, have you ever passed by a lemon vendor, looked at the lemons and started salivating at the thought of tasting them? Of course not! But you do that with mangoes, melons and oranges.

But lemonade? I think lemonade tastes better than orange juice. So yeah, when somebody tells you to make lemonade from the lemons life has served you, do not roll your eyes and curse ever being friends with people who cannot give you advice. Telling you to make lemonade is just a way of cutting a long story short. They could decide to give you a long lecture on how “life happens”, but by telling you about lemonade, they are simply telling you to accept the situation. Especially if it is one that cannot be changed. Your moaning about it and getting worked up will not change anything.

Making lemonade out of lemons is similar to two of my favourite phrases: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”.  However hopeless a situation, there is always something positive in it, if only you look harder. The only reason you do not find that light is because you decide to go into self-pity mode – nothing worse than that. So you lost your job – well, big deal (actually it is a big deal).

JUST BEFORE DAWN

It’s not as if you liked your job, and you hated your boss even more. Look at it as life’s way of forcing you to do things you were too afraid of doing, like changing career. I once got fired; I bet each one of us has been fired at some point. I was depressed – I mean, what was I supposed to do about my rent, food, entertainment, etc?

But the same reasons that make you afraid of, for instance, changing your job, should be the same reason that you look for that light at the end of the tunnel, that silver lining in that cloud because if you do not get your act together, some unfriendly landlord is going to come knocking with goons in tow. Take this as a chance to re-group your thoughts.

The darkest hour is before dawn. When we are going through tough times, each minute appears to be the last your body and soul can take all the troubles. Every moment you want to give up to whatever forces are against you. But remember, it is darkest before dawn.

Dawn might be the next minute, it might be tomorrow, or next year, but the one thing that should keep you going is the faith that dawn is just around the corner. You cannot give up – what a  shame it would be if you gave up just when your fortunes were about to change for the better! Keep fighting, it will make you stronger; remember, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? It hurts, especially because it is usually a long way down. But the good thing about hitting the bottom is, the only way out is up. Hitting rock bottom makes you fearless because the worst has already happened. There is nothing more to be afraid of.

Hitting rock bottom liberates you. Maybe you caught your spouse cheating – well, the worst has happened and you can finally stop wondering what  the worst that can happen is. From this point on, you cease to be a domestic cat and become the king of the jungle. Afraid of nothing. Not that any of us wants to hit that rock bottom, but let’s   be pragmatic.

Last but not least, cheap is expensive. Seriously. Buying toys for my children has taught me that. You buy a cheap plastic toy, it looks like a bargain at that point, but it will last only a week, then you have to replace it. I resolved to be saving so that I could buy expensive toys. Toys are not drugs that have to be instant; you can teach your children to wait, just so that they get a good thing.

Happy New Year!