Lemons or Lemonade

“When life brings you lemons, make lemonade!” Who among us hasn’t heard THAT one before? But how do you really follow that advice? How do you move forward when you’ve just experienced something negative in your life, something that literally halts you in your tracks?

We all get blindsided from time to time. It’s a part of life that keeps us guessing and wondering.

It’s easy to go down the road to self-pity and self-effacement. It’s easy to feel like the whole world is against you when something unexpected happens. In a self-victimizing state we can at least raise our heads and say “poor me.”

But we have to be mindful of not going in that direction. Ok, so something happened to you that you’d prefer didn’t and you certainly didn’t expect it! And now your life is changed or sidelined for a while and you’re angry about it. That’s natural and its best not to hide your feelings. Let them out! Cry if you want to! Yell a bit if that makes you feel better for the moment. But don’t let this become your new way of living!

Let me share a very recent personal story:

On the first afternoon of a long weekend ski trip, I was minding my own business on a slope, stopped waiting for my husband to ski down to me. All of a sudden, an out-of-control skier plowed into me, launching me into the air! I landed squarely on my head (thankfully protected by a helmet) and thought that would be my only issue. However, seconds later, I realized her skis slammed into my boots and my left ankle hurt a lot! It turned out to be fractured! Talk about unexpected... I never saw her coming! My life suddenly changed in an instant!

Before I continue, I just want to take a moment to ask skiers and snowboarders to consider other people on the slopes. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going fast. It’s fun as long as you are in control. But if you find yourself out of control racing toward some unsuspecting bystander, sit down on your butt!!! Doing that will at least start to slow you down and perhaps change your trajectory so you don’t mow someone else down! No one wants to hurt another person, but when you are careless and flying around all over the place, the likelihood of hurting someone increases. For skiing or snowboarding, stay within your control limits and don’t get too close to another person! LEAVE SPACE BETWEEN! If you are too close, one wrong step or turn and you’re TOAST! These are simple skiing/snowboarding etiquette rules that are easily forgotten by too many people until it’s too late.

So now back to my story. I was taken down the mountain by sled by a very capable (and kind) Ski Patrol member. Then, sled and all, I was pushed through an opening in the wall (the size of a small window) right onto a conveyor slide and onto a gurney in the First Aid Station! Impressive!

From there I was x-rayed, casted and given crutches! Yuck! My vacation was over and I was facing a temporary altered lifestyle! I was upset to say the least! Angry and frustrated! I cried and pouted “This sucks”, I complained. But in the end, nothing changed, I was still in a cast and still on crutches!

It was time to get into my own head and do some serious introspection. And not just once, but as a daily exercise, because with each new thing I realized that I couldn’t do because I was on crutches, I had to find a new way to do it, such as going upstairs to bed! I do that on my butt one step at a time backwards! And washing up at the sink, I use the support of a folding chair. Focusing on the positive, and how I can use my brain power to accomplish once taken-for-granted tasks, is helping to keep me in good spirits and facing forward.

Making peace with where I am is my goal. I’m doing that, little by little knowing that I can make each step with the crutches a growth step for me emotionally and spiritually. Sure I’m upset. And sure I’m frustrated. But in the greater scheme of things, this is nothing! It’s temporary and soon I’ll be back doing the things I love to do. Skiing is done for this season for me, but hey, it hasn’t been the best ski season anyway. And next year, I’ll be back on the slopes!

Soon I’ll be back doing other things I love, too, like horseback riding! Spring is a great time of year to do that! And I’ll be back working out at the gym again.

Now is a good time for me to catch up on special projects and reading some of the books I haven’t had time for. And I can use the extra down time to devote more time to growing my business.

Learning to shift gears when you have to will help you overcome whatever obstacle you may encounter! Be flexible. Be willing to go with the flow and look at it as an opportunity to expand your mental abilities. Know that whatever happens will turn out well for you in the end and you will be stronger for it. In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance on one foot while making breakfast and feeding the cats!