When life takes your lemons…

…don’t continue trying to make lemonade

Don’t get it? I will explain.

This morning, I found myself worried about money. Mainly about having enough of it to go around. I’m not extravagant by any means, but I want to feel a bit more financially free. The problem is, money is dwindling and I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around how I was going to have enough going into fall and winter.

So what did I do? I hopped on my computer to look for more freelance jobs. It is a common reaction to look for more work when you need the dough, right? But something didn’t feel right in the core of me while I was searching online. Some small voice (which I used to pretend not to hear, but now I live by) said “I don’t want to do that.” It sounds like something my daughter would say. Simple but sure of herself. “I don’t want to do that.”

Lately, I have been noticing the clearing out of some things in my life. Not on my own accord, but rather due to happenstance that creates some space. Space. How scary! First of all, summer ended and kids went back to school, including my smallest who started kindergarten. Blessed be kindergarten. Although I miss the preschool days, I honestly don’t miss them enough to be sad about the blank canvas that is the 6 hours a day I have for work and other things not parenting related. 

Then, some of my seasonal clients I have through freelance writing work will be saying goodbye until next year. Also, I recently got remarried so all the wedding planning is over and done and final and I am forever chained to my beautiful ball. Settled. Finally.

You see, like the leaves are falling outside, things seem to be falling away and showing bare branches. It is TOTALLY like me to try to fill those branches right back up to keep myself from feeling a certain way…insecure, worthless, lazy…just a few possibilities. Thus, why I found myself on my computer this morning searching for basically anything that would pay my current rate for work.

But that voice. That simple voice. She made me stop and think. We are taught that we should be busy. That the more packed our schedules are and the more money that’s in our bank account, the more worthy WE are of being here on this planet. We are told this in a myriad of ways throughout our lives and one of the effects is that we feel the need to always be working. Not only that, we feel the need to always be working the same amount or MORE. Since when did anyone ever congratulate you on working less? And getting a “congratulations” means we are enough in someone else’s eyes, right?

If I listen to this voice, though, I hear that she is following life’s wisdom. That she sees the leaves falling down so the trees can keep some of their nutrients to themselves. She sees that not every vacancy in life needs to be filled right away with something half assed. What if I don’t panic about the leaves falling and the exposure this emptiness creates? What if I wait? What if I take a moment to intentionally give thanks for the time to pause and then decide what I WANT to fill it with? Isn’t this how we create the life we want?

How often do you hear of someone quitting their job or getting fired, taking a long pause before acting, and then moving on to the best thing yet? (And, just to blow your mind, the best thing yet might NOT be a bigger, better job that pays more money). The point is, we get to choose. And I think, ironically, in a world full of choices we forget we are in the driver seat. 

So, when life gives you some space by taking away some lemons, you can STOP making the lemonade. (I am speaking directly to myself here, folks) You can actually stop making anything at all. Or you can make an iced coffee. Or a smoothie. Or a gin and tonic, you party ball. Breathe. Wait it out. Squirm because of the exposure it gives you to life. I will be here with you, doing the same. 

3 thoughts on “When life takes your lemons…

  1. I’m actually in the same boat as you, and I had my mind tell me the same thing! As it stands, I have no idea what I’m going to do to sustain myself, but I do know it’s not going to be at a typical 9–5. Still, it sounds petulant, this voice. Like a child. But I’m also trying to determine what it’s telling me. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story!


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