Daily prompt: Being resourceful doesn’t necessarily mean adding sugar

Daily Prompt
Not Lemonade
When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

The whole lemons/lemonade thing has always struck me as too nauseatingly sweet for words. Maybe it’s the vision of poor, deluded little kids manning lemonade stalls in the front yard, where equally deluded adults smile benignly and pay money to shore up an unsustainable fantasy. Once you’re no longer a gap-toothed, freckle-faced seven-year-old, lemonade stalls don’t work. Better to squeeze the lemons, freeze the juice for future pancakes and go swimming.

It’s like There must be a pony. No, kids. Sometimes life just fills the room with horse shit, and no glossy pony is going to trot in and neigh Happy Christmas! The best thing you can do is shovel the shit onto the garden and work out the best way of cleaning the room.

You probably think this makes me an irredeemable cynic. Cynic, yes to a point. Irredeemable? No. Optimism and fantasy are two life-essentials that stop you crawling into a hole to rot, but a little healthy cynicism protects you from shattering disappointment. Red Porches are not likely to fall from the sky, and if they do, they’re probably hot.

None of this means I’m not resourceful. Feed healthy meals to a family of six for three nights from one chicken? Yep, I can do that. Make nighties for my daughter out of my father’s frayed shirt? That too. Turn an overabundance of the most boring veg in the world (chokos) into a fiesta of gastronomic delights? Absolutely.

But sometimes this relentlessly optimistic, lemons-to-lemonade mentality really bothers me. Get real, people. Pretending everything can be solved by adding sugar is a recipe for diabetes. Life hands you brickbats as well as bouquets, and doing a happy dance on the edge of a war zone won’t protect you from the shelling.

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4 Responses to Daily prompt: Being resourceful doesn’t necessarily mean adding sugar

  1. I think this is similar to the “you can be anything you want to be” thing we sell children. Luckily mine want to be things that are pretty much in demand so I think we’re safe but we still temper their aims with a bit of reality.
    (One of those ‘fun things to do’ lists had “Stand on a street corner with a t-shirt that says ‘Life’ and hand out lemons”. I’ve always wanted to do that. 🙂 )

  2. I think you’re pretty safe with the ‘be anything you want to be’ – in my experience, they gravitate towards those things they’re good at anyway, so if you add ‘as long as you work hard at it’, you’re covered. It’s the ‘do anything you want to do’ that’s dangerous if they interpret it too liberally.
    As for the street corner – go on, why not?

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