When life gives you lemons

Many if not all of us are familiar with the advice that “when life give you lemons, make lemonade.” I know I am; it seems I have spent the vast majority of my life not only accepting that everything I received in life was either a lemon or a trojan horse of some sort ready to deposit them at my feet the minute I looked away.

But what about when the opposite is true?

It occurred to me this morning that I have actually no clear idea what to do with a life of unicorns shitting farting gently exhaling rainbows. Distrust to describe my thoughts is not too strong a word, and now that my thinking and attitude is becoming consistently lighter and fluffier, I am starting to feel the need to categorize it more than a general I-cannot-trust-my-body-much-and-my-mind-even-less. Part of me recognizes the fatalistic “sky is going to be falling any minute now” sort of mindset that negative girl would use to harsh my buzz and the need to completely turn my back on it and not listen, and I am cautiously optimistic about my ability to sustain this going forward.

Feeling confident, in control, having a positive outlook is definitely a work in progress. Learning to trust this latest plateau in my life is almost as difficult as the transition to turn down and mute the insecurity and anxiety that have always been part of my make-up in some form.

I am trying to stay in the moment and just relax and enjoy my happy. I am winning much of the time. But every now and again my eyes open wide and I think … WTF am I doing? Who are you and what have you done with the real me? Trust myself and my instincts? Listen to my body? Are you on drugs?

But I am ignoring hysterical girl, negative girl’s sister in commitment to fear and insecurity. Hysterical girl is so much easier to blow off.

A minor downside is that my tolerance for disingenuous people and behaviors is much less. Perhaps I have been guilty of allowing myself to be taken advantage of, in my eagerness to help or be helpful to others. I’m not sure. I do know that my prior disappointment with others who make excuses or try to explain away their shortcomings towards me is rapidly morphing to a type of intolerance that will likely leave me with a different stable of friends before too much longer. Codependency is a difficult behavior to wrangle, and even with the work I have done on my boundaries, I have frequently been weak at this to my later disappointment, regret, or genuine anger.

When I have tried to be a little firmer in the past, I have found myself wondering if I obnoxiously overbearing, controlling, or my standards simply too high. However, I also recognize that I am not unreasonable, but that it can be difficult to address issues directly, instead opting to stay silent or change the subject. I tend to be pretty polite most of the time, and while I am okay calling others out or dialing direct with questions or concerns, not everyone in my life has been so gracious or understanding in their dealings with me, preferring instead to take advantage of my fears and cares about what they think.

This seems to be changing, though. I am becoming more capable in stating my case for clear and direct honesty, and if someone cannot provide me that, should I really consider them a friend or a business associate I desire to retain? I’m not sure there is an easy answer, or even a standard answer that applies in all cases. Right now there are a few situations that are causing me some stress that relate directly to the other party being real with themselves and by extension of that real with me.With work it’s still not completely black and white, but because the relationship is primarily based in our business dealings, it is far more black-and-white than anything even remotely personal.

And I guess I have a basic expectation that commitments to me should be fulfilled, and I should not have to chase down and ask repeatedly for status updates, etc. It happens with clients all the time, to the point I am surprised when they actually follow through and are on-time with whatever was promised or I am waiting on to finish their work. In my personal life, I am usually not terribly deadline-oriented about things. If I say I have no particular timeline, I mean it, and if it changes, I let the other party know and explain what has changed. But if you say something about being finished with a borrowed item and the need to return it, I expect you will do so in some relatively timely manner. Mention it to me it becomes a transaction inside my head’s file cabinet, and sometimes transactions have larger impacts that my own convenience or lack thereof, and they nag at me.

Other than those kinds of thoughts flittering to and fro, it’s has been a glorious day.

Our friends are safely back home, their flight quiet and uneventful. M and I did some necessary shopping today – running shoes and some evil looking massage implement for him, viewing a pair of work shoes for me (cute, but walking even short distances in them would likely injure me), REI for something running related, Sprouts for supplements, grocery stores (2) for avocados, and Target for the fizzy water I forgot all about yesterday. A busy afternoon and I am so happy to be home and soon curling up with my book.

Yes, a glorious day … and I could definitely get used to having small concerns that can be tabled until the upcoming work week to address. No glossy magazine binges for me tonight; I am engrossed in rereading Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” It’s been probably 20 years since my first go-round with it and I have found that I had forgotten or overlooked a lot in it. I am enjoying it enormously.

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing weekend no matter what your pursuits.

2 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons

  1. So happy to hear the farting unicorns have found you :). You deserve all the positives in life. Oh, “Zen and the Art..” I should re-read that too. I first read it in university, about 15 years ago when I was going through my dark, unhappy years. I bet it would read so much differently now, in a much happier stage of life.

    • Marecelle, how nice to hear from you! Yes, those farting unicorns are circling the house and raining rainbows upon me much of the time. It’s interesting how much easier the tougher stuff is when I am not starting from way behind the 8-ball. Spring is also here, all too brief before the heat of summer comes, and that helps as well.

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