...make lemon meringue pie! Okay, I know that's not the old adage, but here's what I'm thinking... Everybody tells you to make lemonade. Lemonade is great. Lemonade is the equivalent of taking whatever difficult, unexpected situation you encounter and making the best of it. That's a great thing to do. But you can do better.
You can take that situation and you can not only make the best of it, but you can take parts of it (in this case, the juice from the lemon) and make it into a delicious, enjoyable treat (the pie). Lemonade is good, but pie is definitely better. [Note: I actually don't like lemon meringue pie at all, but I think it makes a great point here so I'm using it. If lemon meringue doesn't appeal to you either, use your imagination and pretend you live in a world where you can turn lemons into chocolate chip cookies...or ice cream...or cake. Yum!]
When faced with a change, an adversity, or a really sour ol' lemon of a problem, you can deal with it -- or you can make it work for you in a positive way. It's up to you. Here's how you can do it...
How To Turn Sour Lemons into Scrumptious Pie
Take a good look at your lemons.
Okay, you've got a problem on your hands. Something unexpected has happened and now here you are with a bunch of sour lemons, reading to burst into tears. Take a minute to stop and examine the problem. First, figure out what the problem really is. Look at it from all angles. Take your time to figure out what has caused this problem.
Gather your tools and ingredients.
You can't make a pie with lemons alone. You need baking tools (I'm not sure exactly what since I've made a pie exactly once in my life). You need other ingredients. You need to prepare and you need a place to work. Recognize that you will need things to solve your dilemma. While a lot of it does rest on you (and your positive attitude!), you can probably figure out some tools that will make the whole turning-lemons-into-pie thing a whole lot easier.
Squeeze out the juice (the good stuff).
The juice is the part of the lemon you need to make the pie (yes, I looked this up!). The juice, to me, represents the good things about whatever problem you face. Every problem has a lesson inside of it, just like every lemon is filled with juice. Extract that lesson and use the knowledge you gain from it to make your life taste delicious!
Sweeten the deal by adding some sugar.
Every pie needs a little (or a lot!) of sugar. So does your troublesome situation. A positive attitude is the sugar in your pie. You need it -- absolutely need it -- to make the pie taste good. Sugar makes the pie what it is, just as your attitude makes a situation what it is. Whatever the situation, embrace positivity. It will only help. After all, have you ever heard someone say, "Man, I wish I hadn't had such a positive attitude about that!" Nope!
Ask for help if you're not kitchen savvy.
It's okay to ask for help. I can tell you one thing -- if I were about to bake a pie, there'd be no way I'd begin without some advice. Whether it was a recipe or my mom standing by my side, I would need something to figure out how to begin. Life is like this too. It's not always easy to ask for help sometimes, but it's often the best thing you can do when you're having a hard time. You'd be surprised how much people actually want to help you if only you ask.
Be patient and careful as you create.
Don't rush through the recipe. Take your time. Measure carefully. Stir the ingredients consciously. It's not a problem-solving race. It's about doing the best you can with the ingredients, time, and attitude you have. Likewise, be patient. Most of the time, you'll be dealing with a specific problem for the first time. Give yourself credit if you don't know exactly what to do right away. Read the directions carefully. Take your time. You'll thank yourself later when you didn't screw it up and have to start all over again!
Make it better every time.
The first time is the hardest. You don't know what you're doing. You're not sure exactly how to follow the recipe. You add too much sugar. Your crust doesn't turn out just right. It's okay. You are learning and that's what it's important. Your pie might not be perfect, but it's edible. (And even if it's not, you can always give it another go!) Next time you're faced with a similar situation, remember what you did wrong and, of course, remember what you did right. Repeat the good, change the bad.
It's not always easy to make the best of a bad situation. Sometimes life comes at us in ways that are completely unexpected and we are forced -- whether we like it or not -- to deal with it. Dealing with it is one thing, but making it better is completely different. Think about the difference and think about how you can make a difficult situation better -- or, if you're lucky enough not to have anything difficult to deal with right now, think about how you can stop by someone else's kitchen and offer them advice. Maybe you've already made a pie. Maybe you've made lots of pies and you consider yourself pretty darn good at it. If that's the case, pop over to a friend's place and give him or her a hand. You never know when you might need some advice yourself.
Every day, lemons are plopping into someone's lap. Every day people are making lemonade, doing the best with what they're given. But how many people are making lemon meringue pies? How many people are taking difficult situations and not only dealing with them but making them better? I know it's happening. I can imagine the taste and the smell of the pies. Wouldn't you like to have one in your kitchen, filling your space with the positive scent of lemons made sweeter?
[Note: I want to give a big shout out and "Thank you!" to my good friend over at Through The Illusion who posted a piece on Positively Present yesterday. It absolutely made my day to see the post up. I hope you will all check out the site!]