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Have you ever have one of those “when life gives you lemons” moments? I’m not talking about some random New Year’s resolution or a new hair cut or even that moment when you can no longer zip your favorite pair of jeans. I’m talking about one of those “holy crap, what am I going to do now?” moments.
Over the years, I dabbled in many things. I filled my spare room with craft supplies at one point because a good friend was a marvel at producing gorgeous Christmas wreaths. I soon discovered, however, that I suck at crafting. The yard sale earned a whopping thirty-four dollars, but my spare room was clean of twigs and bows once more. Another time I purchased a used sewing machine from a charming, eighty-year old woman whose fingers were bent and curled with arthritis. The new valances over my windows were presentable, but I cringe whenever I come across an old photo of my boys wearing the results of my foray into the world of patterns and thimbles. Don't most people have one arm longer than the other? Doctor Seuss would be so proud. I gave the old lady’s machine to a friend.
Oh, I occasionally got involved in something I felt strongly about and managed to see things through to an acceptable conclusion, but other than spending time with family and friends, the only one of my manias that hasn’t faded over time is my writing. I was ten when I penned my first short story and dreamed of sharing it with others. Unfortunately, like Toad, I never gave that lifelong passion the attention it deserved. Busy running in a million different directions, I treated my passion as more of a hobby than a burning need despite the persistent antics of the characters living in my head.
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Breast cancer handed me an entire bushel of lemons, and while I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy, it forced me to make the lemonade, quenching a thirst I’d been ignoring for years. Five years later, I’m multi-published and while I could say mission accomplished, claiming victory and stopping there is so “Toad”. I don’t think that way anymore. I’m a survivor and with the concept of mortality firmly in place, I won’t be settling for just a piece of my dream. I want it all.
What about you? Got any lemons? What are they and what are you doing with them?