You know how, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade? Ideally? If you can find the juicer and have some sugar handy?
It occurs to me that maybe making lemonade should be an every day goal. Even for the days life doesn’t hand you the lemons. You can go out and, by golly, pick those lemons.
This is an easy thing for a writer to do, of course. When we have surgery on our shoulder, we take note of the pain and agony and we give our current lead character a shoulder injury. That’s a useful version of making lemonade.
When someone cuts you off in traffic (and by “you” I mean “me”), there are alternatives. If young children are in the car, a couple of those alternatives are cut off. (Although I have achieved satisfaction from yelling “My Feller” being careful to mouth all but the L very distinctly. With the windows rolled up.)
My favorite, though, is to smile sweetly and wave. I imagine the offender seeing my pleasant gesture and being filled with shame and remorse, then mending his ways and never cutting anyone off again. Or maybe thinking I know something he doesn’t, and he pictures gas leaking all over the road or a huge knife in his rear tire.
Failures are another opportunity. I love this quote by Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Every failure, by this thinking, brings you one step closer to success.
Add a little more sugar and drink up.