When Life Hands You Lemons (or Limes)
Listen, we’ve all heard the old cliché, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” But if you’ve been reading my blogs, you know that the sugar in lemonade gets stored in your body as fat. So literally, no thank you… and metaphorically, it’s kind of a boring cliché.
You can always pout and feel sorry for yourself. There are people out there who LOVE to throw themselves a pity-party so they have that subconscious excuse to sit down with a quart of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream. This, however, is so NOT my style. (not the ice-cream nor the pity-party.) The metaphorical act of turning lemons into lemonade will definitely keep you happier and well… younger. But although that old-fashioned metaphor works, I much prefer this saying:
“When life gives you lemons… add vodka and chill.”
Recently, right in the middle of a week-long family vacation in Mexico with our four (that’s right, FOUR) teenagers, life handed us a sky-full of metaphorical lemons (Or in this case Mexican LIMES!), which came in the form of 3 days of tropical storms. “Tropical storms” seem like such a pleasant phrase, doesn’t it? Well, that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the kind of storms in which the rain hits you sideways and stings your face, and umbrellas are not only useless, they are down-right hazardous! Talk about lemons (I mean, limes)!
Now, having 4 teenagers under the most perfect of conditions is… well… challenging at times. But trap those same teenagers in their shared hotel rooms, during a tropical storm in Mexico, with limited wi-fi, and when they are expecting fun in the sun… Let’s just say the potential for emotional hurricanes INSIDE their hotel rooms were FAR more frightening than the climate outside.
So I figured I had two choices.
1. Start bitching and moaning right along with them. (And then just hunker down and order room service.) Or…
2. Add a shot of tequila to the handful of limes life had just given me (seemed fitting in Mexico) and plan on having one hell of a good time.
I opted for choice #2.
The first day it rained all day, I had to get my shit together fast and come up with a plan. So, I let the kids sleep in. They are teenagers. They can literally sleep for 12 hours straight if no one wakes them. So, while they slept, I got to work and planned things to do in the rain. And with the help of a few more tequila shots here and there throughout the day (for me, not the kids), we came up with a spectacular vacation none of us will ever forget. That’s right… Not merely IN SPITE of the rain. But also IN the rain. And, to be honest, actually BECAUSE of the rain.
I will spare you the photos from the entire vacation. Many of them were exactly what we expected- fun in the sun. But the photos I will share are the ones that took place BECAUSE it rained limes! And during those 3 days of rain, instead of sitting in our comfortably dry (and boring) hotel rooms watching movies and ordering room service like most of the other resort guests, we sought out a different path. A path where we embraced the rain. And we had a GREAT time doing it!
Our rainy days consisted of an eco-adventures, zip-lining, rappelling into fresh-water caves, and exploring the rain forest. We spent one of the days on ATVs, spinning out in the mud. We explored underground rivers wearing miner’s helmets, each adorned with its own flashlight on top. We snorkeled in natural cenotes and saw the most spectacular stalactites and stalagmites we have ever seen.
And upon our return to our resort on those rainy days, we would pass by the (dry – and at that point, bored) guests with their cocktails in their hands, playing yet another board game or watching yet another movie on the resort’s big screen television.
We, on the other hand, walked through the lobby, wet and often muddy, and buzzed on the metaphorical (and, for the adults, literal) tequila we had just added to the limes that had been raining down on us. Find a way to do that every day in life, and you will have a life lived young.