Making Lemonade

We all know that expression that goes -when life gives you lemons, make lemonade-  and I often admittedly add vodka to mine, but regardless of how you prepare your lemons I really do think it’s best to find a way to like them.  There are a number of things in my own life and in the lives of people I care for that are not going particularly well.  Some situations for some of us are just a bit sucky, and some situations for some of us are really total bummers…but life just keeps on moving forward whether one is on board with what’s going on or not!  The laundry still needs to be put away, the floors still need to be vacuumed, the bills still need to be paid, the weeds still need to be pulled, hours still have to be worked to pay for things, and hours still have to be rested in order to revive…so no matter HOW we find ourselves at this very moment, or WHERE we find ourselves at this very moment, or WHY we think we are dealing with what we are at this very moment, it does not really matter, AT ALL…things are going to get brighter or better if we believe it so…and things will stay the same or get worse if we believe it so.

I have dreams and I have high hopes and I have great expectations, frankly it is how I live…I get into ruts sometimes, we all do I suppose, where I focus on the negative or the bad or the uncertain and create needless worry in my thoughts of the worst possible situations that could become my life. BUT I do this FAR LESS FREQUENTLY than the “better” way to think, which is focused on the positive and the good and the potential for all the wonderfulness I wish for and work for and aim for, to come to fruition.  I know people who deeply believe that our thoughts manifest our life…worry too much and worry is all you’re going to do…think things will never improve, and never improve is what’s going to happen…this idea makes perfect sense to me, and is why I do look for the bright side as often as I can even when I sometimes find I am starting to zone in onto the bleak, I really try to apply the brakes and turn around!!!

I know so many people dealing with so many things, some good things and some bad things, and I know so many women like myself who keep running-running-running, juggling, doing, making things work…because they feel they just can’t stop and are not making the effort to reboot and reload and recover and who feel like they are simply going to crash and burn…so today even though I do have to work on a Sunday, and so today even though I am tired and sore from hours of yard work yesterday working at home, I am looking at the bright side…customer will be so happy that her decks are done when she arrives back at the beach on Thursday, customer will be so happy that the rest of her gardens are planted when she arrives back at the beach on Wednesday, I will be so happy to earn another day of pay, and when I get home I am going to have a tall glass of lemonade…if any of you are feeling overwhelmed or upset and can’t seem to find the bright side today, it’s really okay and it doesn’t hurt to add the vodka…

 

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Lives I can imagine…

There are many lives I can imagine, other than the one I am living, but how do I know that what I imagine would ultimately be any better than what is right here right now?  I have scenarios that shoot through my mind day in and day out and I dream of things and imagine things and ponder all of the “what ifs” and while they keep my mind and thoughts from being just about anything but boring, I do wonder…is my wondering keeping me from the wonderment of now???

I honestly did not want to be married, a mother, and divorced all before my 21st birthday…yet I made terrible choices that put me in difficult and rather unbearable situations, that made those things my reality and yet, all these years later, I have these amazing little neighbors who are the daughters of my daughter, and my life is SO MUCH BETTER every single day because they are in my life…so I can imagine a lot of things… I think about if I had met a boyfriend two summers ago who was taking me to tropical vacations and spoiling me with fancy dates and expensive presents, but maybe he would not have been a very good kisser.  I think about if I had never joined Facebook, I never would have ‘met’ what became a deceiving jerk who made me very sad over several months, but I also would not have later met this handsome drummer I love madly now,  whose glorious smile, passionate kisses  and superb loving melt me into a puddle of romance almost every single day…I think about if I hadn’t gone out that school night in the spring of 1985 & not gotten myself pregnant at a friend’s party house, I would have probably gone directly to college after high school, maybe I would be a real writer with a really good job and have a lot of disposable income and an actual career, but I would not have this beautiful woman in my life who lives next door and  calls me ‘Mom.’

…maybe my life would not be any better than it is, perhaps things could be much worse, in fact I know things can always be worse…I think about if I had moved to a different section of Maryland in 1998, where I might have met more  like-minded people or people who made me feel like I belonged…would I have stayed there instead of coming back to south Jersey a year later?  I think about if I had studied nursing when I decided to start college when my daughter was a year old, instead of having dreams of becoming a lawyer which I never brought to fruition, where would I be now?  what would be different?  would it be any better?

I know some of my friends who are VERY good at living in the now, and who are very comfortable with just being at ease with what is, will read this and wonder why on earth I waste even a lick of energy on these “What Ifs” but it is something that I just can’t seem to stop…I do indeed waste a lot of brain cells wondering…I have had and continue to have, so much love in my life, and I know people who have had and continue to have so little…and I have had days where my wallet was much fatter and I have had days when my wallet was even thinner, same with my body now that I think of it!!  So I am perpetually aware of the ins and outs and ups and downs, that life moves and flows…it is not solid nor stationary, it is ever-changing…I think now, this very second, when I finish typing and I finish my coffee and leave for work…what could happen…there are many lives I can imagine, and knowing how I am I don’t think I will stop, so I guess I will just do the best with the one I have now…again. today.

stitches

Did you ever have a favorite sweater, so soft and so warm and so cozy that it felt like a hug every time you wore it and you really loved it, but then one day you notice a thread…and you pull it, and then you pull it some more instead of cut it, and it unravels…the whole thing comes apart?

If you are a man and you come home from work one day and announce unexpectedly to the woman in your life that you are not in love anymore and you have not been in love for a while and you don’t love the life you are living with her, that is kind of like pulling at the thread of what once was your favorite sweater.  If you are a woman and you come home from grocery shopping one Sunday and announce unexpectedly to the man in your life that this situation is just not working anymore for you and you are tired of arguing over things that are not your fault or your doing and you don’t think you can do this anymore, that is kind of like pulling at the thread of what was once your favorite sweater.  You see, once you pull, the unraveling simply happens, even if you stop pulling, the damage is already done and it can never be the same sweater, and it will continue to unravel until there is little evidence of what it once was…

If you are a woman who is frustrated with the man you love, perhaps it is better to come home from food shopping and for dinner prepare a meal that he likes very very much and open a bottle of wine and say something like, “I really am happy that our relationship is so loving, but I am very concerned about _____, or I really love the life we have but when you do _____ I really am bothered by it and I want to discuss this.”  If you are a man who is frustrated with your life, perhaps it is better to come home from work one evening with flowers and once your kids are tucked into bed sit down with the woman you share your space with and say something like, “I really feel so fortunate for this life we’ve had over these years but I am so angry about _____ and I don’t know how to handle it, or I can’t believe we have these amazing kids and live in this wonderful town but I am just so sad about ____ and I wish you were more understanding of my feelings.”  …you see, once you pull at the thread it’s kind of already over…I’ve learned, or am learning that the key is not to pull at all, but to identify the bad thread and figure out where the stitch is weak and fix it…if your desire is to keep this sweater that you love…

There is a famous quote about when you get to the end of your rope, you tie a knot and hang on…but I guess that only holds true if your desire is the “hanging on,”  if your desire is not for “the end.”  I think when things begin to feel like they are unraveling, we have clues…we know how we feel and what we think, and we get vibes from those around us when things are amiss…if we choose to not recognize when our partners are uneasy or seem unhappy then we must accept the consequence of having poor situational awareness.  If we choose to act out with cruel words or harsh statements then we must accept the consequence of misplaced blame…If you have a sweater that you don’t want to unravel you have to check the stitches now and then, maybe not with every tumble in the wash but if you really love it, you have to take care of it to keep it in tact…you see, sweaters generally don’t simply unravel… we notice a loose thread and we choose to fix it or knot it or reinforce the stitch, or I suppose if we decide we didn’t really love the sweater as much as we thought, we just let the unraveling begin…