Sometimes life throws you lemons…I call bullsh@! to that one! The fancy pants that came up with that slogan must have lived a “glass half full” kind of life. That’s not me. I just had what I would classify as one of the worst days of my life. See if you can relate.
The day started at -23C (-9F). The wind started up with gusts to 70 Km/h (43 mph) and I was struggling to hold tarps in place while working to repair a very large, permanently installed generator outside our studio in the snow. After failing to split the engine from the generator, I moved indoors to a cold shop to try splitting the generator from the engine on another one we purchased to fix the first one. That ended with not being able to feel my fingers, toes or ears along with a broken tool handle and a thread tapper broke off inside the generator’s armature.
After several choice words, I realized that I should do something different and chose to start the truck to bring a load of water for our cistern. After not being able to get it started, I realized that it wasn’t getting fuel. Two possible issues – Blown power module or a blown fuel pump – Did I mention the truck is sitting outside…in the -23C AND the reason I was starting it was to get water for our cistern?
It wasn’t even 3 pm and I was done. I couldn’t see past the lie my mind was telling me. Life was trying to screw me and the phrase, “Why is this happening to me?”, ran like a broken record continuously through my mind. In my own defense, I need to also add in that fear was the leader here. In a family of four, I’m the one who repairs everything when it breaks – and that includes vehicles, frozen sewage lines, frozen water lines, frozen everything (Note the word “Frozen”). Fast forward 2 days and here is a revelation to share: Life happens for the experience of it! I realized that our job isn’t to go out and find adventure. It isn’t to pick or choose and say what is a good or bad experience – it’s to HAVE THE EXPERIENCE.
We homeschool our boys, but sometimes, we parents have the opportunity to learn too. You see, Life is happening all the time so that we can grow. Thanks to the broken tool and tap bit, I got a new one – and it rocks! Thanks to YouTube, I learned how to successfully split a tapered shaft engine. Thanks to a broken truck, I learned what a Schrader valve was and where to find it on the fuel injection rail. What an incredible opportunity to learn and embrace it. Isn’t this what we strive to teach our kids?
Thinking back to the worst day of my life…Watching the dirt being placed on top of my past wife’s grave and realizing I would never hold her hand again. That is if I really wanted to live in that moment. That could be a truth if I let it, or it could have been a stepping stone to meeting another incredible and beautiful heart-filled woman to spend these days with. Life is happening all the time, and how we choose to respond is what it is all about. Every moment of breath is ours to embrace the joy of – or to make it into something painful. We completely get to choose what that moment becomes.
It’s not about doing something with the lemons. A lemon tree doesn’t wake up feeling cursed that it gives lemons – That’s its job. It exists because it’s supposed to in the same way that we exist to have every experience that we do before we die. Everything that happens to us is a gift if you let it go and see it for the moment that it is. As I write this post, it is nearing Chrismas and our family has decided not to buy a single present for each other, but instead BE PRESENT for each other. I can’t think of anything better for anyone to give or receive. – Kelly T-F