You know that expression, When life hands you lemons, make lemonade? I think that's a lovely idea. I think I'm tremendously good at it. Most of us are. We've had plenty of disappointments from which we must wring positives.
The harder thing is to recognize whose hand life is employing to bring this sour fruit into our days. I mean, come on! How long should a person stand under the lemon tree, making the best of it, before setting out in search of something a little sweeter?
I wish I understood this when I was with A~. I would've walked away a long time ago, sparing us both (or at least sparing me) a lot of pain. Thank goodness I found such a peach of a man to take his place.
This is not to say I don't have disappointments. Loyal readers, I think you know what I'm referring to here.
Every month I get the message, loud and clear, that a baby is not in the cards. It might be, at some point, but right now, at least so far, it is not.
The upshot is that I've become overly focused on my more-than-half-grown stepson, B~, and how his parents let him down in ways I imagine I never would've, given the chance to start from scratch with my own. It's tough on J~ to live with my hyper-criticism. It's tough on me to recognize just how little control I have of the situation. It's tough on B~, I'm sure, in ways I can't fathom at all.
It's time to refocus my energy, to consider all the other possible adventures life might hold. In short: I'm standing under a lemon tree again, and it's time to move on.
And so, I'm filling out applications for art shows. I'm working my way through the lessons in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityI'm writing, I'm painting, I'm taking photographs. I'm looking into grad schools, embracing new clients, considering teaching again, and reading through a stack of good books. If things keep going this way, I might even pick up my guitar.
I'm also planting this season's garden. And picking up where I left off last fall, digging the footing for a backyard patio. I've enlisted a friend and neighbor and landscaping expert to help with the trickier parts.
Also, we're talking about moving. Though our home is lovely, living closer to J~'s work would open up professional possibilities for me, and drastically shorten his commute. If B~ ends up staying with us, there would be new opportunities for him, as well. Therefore, we have other home-improvement projects in the works, for our own pleasure and also to make the house more market-ready. Just in case.
"We need a bigger life than this," I said to J~ as we lay in bed this morning, processing our busy weekend, the challenges that the work week inevitably presents.
The dim blue light of dawn had given way to bright day. Through the bedroom windows, it is undeniable: the maples and hemlocks are leafing out, the apple tree is afroth with blossoms. Spring has sprung. Life is moving on. With fifteen minutes before J~ had to be up, rousing B~ for school, beginning the week-long grind, we did what any red-blooded, potentially still-fertile couple in our situation would do: We had sex.
It's that crucial time in my cycle and we aren't giving up our subscription to the Fruit of the Month Club just yet. Who knows. Maybe this time it won't be a lemon after all.