When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade. — Dale Carnegie
As of this writing, I am 54 years old. While some people would look at me and say “you are so young,” I respond that “I have had so many twists and turns in my life that even a 100-year-old would be amazed.” Or so it seems.
Not that I am complaining; I learned when I turned 40 that complaining is useless. Completely unproductive.
Instead I learned to look for the silver lining.
Every cloud has a silver lining. — English proverb
That means when something really bad shows up, there is something good that will come out of it. Yay…right. :0
So far, though, it has proven to be true.
For example, when my parents moved us to a completely new state during the middle of my Junior year in high school (yikes!), I decided to reinvent myself and ended up becoming the editor of the (small) school newspaper, organized a cheer squad for the football team, broke the Massachusetts’ State Relay record in high jumping with my new best friends on the track team, got elected to the Student Council, and played the piano in the Senior Variety Show band. BONUS.
When I had mono in high school (twice), I had my tonsils removed and I never had to worry about huge painful lumps in the back of my throat anymore. BONUS.
When my guidance counselor told me my top college (Tufts University) was a complete long shot because my grades were borderline, I applied anyways and got in. BONUS.
When my parents got divorced when I was 25, they ended up marrying the loves of their lives and showed me what wonderfully happy relationships looked like. BONUS.
When I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at 28, I learned how to say “no” to the wrong things and “yes” to the right things.
When I was feeling odd before my first post-cancer CT scan, it turned out I was pregnant with my first daughter. BONUS.
When I had post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks for 7 years, I learned how to take better care of my mind, body, and health.
When the bank account was dry and there were 4 mouths to feed, the money showed up. BONUS.
When my marriage ended after 19 years, I finally learned to love me, myself, and I. BONUS.
When I didn’t think I could be more lonely, I learned how to be “happy with, and happy without” and then my big love showed up. BONUS.
When I had a stroke, it revealed a serious genetic heart problem that my doctors never noticed. BONUS.
When I had open heart surgery, I learned how to stick up for myself in the hospital and inspired others to do so, too, AND got a healthier heart. BONUS.
There were many more trials and tribulations along the way, but the main point is that none of them took me down! I am still standing!
The two quotes I mentioned above helped me shift my thinking when a “crisis” came up, but the most impactful quote that makes all the difference is:
This too shall pass. — unknown
There will be an end to every situation; it always comes. I can choose to go around it…or through it. Either way, I’ll come out on the other side. It won’t last forever.
And there might even be a happy ending.
When have you turned your lemon into lemonade?