I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “when life gives you lemons…”. There’s all kinds of creative answers to the end of that saying, but over the past few months that I’ve been in LA, I’ve really been conscious of the saying. Life is all about perspective, and how you handle things. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen two literal representations of this phrase, and it’s made me think of it even more.
I live in an apartment complex. We have a nice gated apartment, and there are several units enclosed in the gate. When I first moved in I noticed an impressive garden in what looks like it could have at one time been a swimming pool. Being a gardener myself, this got me excited, because I thought there might be a place I could plant my new tomato plants!! I was talking to the little girl watering it one day, and complimented her on the garden. She said it was her mother’s garden, and that all the plants in it were hers. I again complimented her, and asked if she thought there might be space for me to put a tomato plant in the communal garden. She responded that she didn’t think so and that she’d have to ask her mom.
I found this very strange, because it is literally in the middle of the communal space in our apartment complex. AND it’s not even directly in front of her apartment, in fact, it’s directly in front of mine. I let this go, and decided that if it was that important for her to keep her own garden, I could just do container gardens on my balcony.
THEN, months later, a sign appeared taped to a plant. In case you can’t read the sign it says (in English and Spanish): “Don’t take lemons they’nt yours”. I could not believe this when I saw it!!! I honestly hadn’t even noticed the lemon tree previously, but now that I have, it’s a source of frustration for me. I never tried to take your lemons (and everyone else in the complex keeps to themselves, so I doubt they have either) but to assume that people are out to be greedy is just too cynical for me. Also, to further this monopoly you have on the only garden space in the entire apartment complex, just makes me grumpy.
I was looking on the free section on craigslist a bit after I’d seen the sign on the lemon tree, and saw this ad, and just laughed and laughed to myself. It really shows how different people can be. The text in the ad says “I have 2 lemon trees and I want to trim them. Come and pick your own lemons. please take them all!!! I will be home all day 1/25/14.” I couldn’t believe that this person was just offering people to come and take lemons, and the other lady was hoarding hers.
It made me think of the saying “when life gives you lemons…” and I now know how to finish the saying. “When life gives you lemons, be the best person you can, roll with the sour, and hand out as much sweet as you can”.
What will you do when life gives you lemons?