Friday, July 24, 2009

Life Lessons Learned from a Lemonade Stand

I've been thinking about this for a while and finally decided to post it. Last week and the week before were really hard on me. More financial stuff. Will that ever end? Probably never entirely. Anyway, last Friday delivered another disappointing blow that I did not handle gracefully. I cried and I pouted and I'm sure I said something about it not being fair. Then I cried some more. It wasn't pretty.

In the midst of the crying and anger I offered up a lot of prayers asking for a miracle. What I felt as I struggled through the day was interesting to me. Praying for a miracle was all well and good, but what I really needed to do was get to work on making the best of what I have. That was a bit of a "duh" realization. Before I was just waiting for it all to work itself out or for someone else to take care of my problems. I felt like a child throwing a temper tantrum--covering my ears, closing my eyes and chanting, "Na, na, na, I can't see you, you're not here, you aren't real. Na, na, na." Yeah, that accomplishes a lot. That understanding helped quite a bit, but I still had my moments of despair, wondering how I could possibly cope with everything in front of me. That's where the lemonade stand comes in.

The day before I was working in my little sewing room at Mom and Dad's and a couple of kids set up a lemonade stand on my parents' sidewalk (my parents live on a corner). At first I thought, "That's so cute. I'll have to buy some from them before I leave." However, after about ten minutes of, "Lemonade, get your lemonade! Lemonade, fifty cents!" shouted by the younger boy every 20 seconds and at every passing car I decided I would rather give them five bucks to move to a corner where I couldn't hear them anymore. I didn't do it.

As the time passed the lemonade kids had little to no success. They became frustrated and one of them was vocal about it. They left at lunchtime and I was glad I didn't have to listen anymore. But, two hours later, they came back with all the spirit they'd had before. I had to give them credit to stick-to-it-ness.

The next day (that bad Friday I wrote about) I was surprised to see them come back with their table and a 10-gallon cooler. I thought, "They're back for more? Don't they remember how badly they failed yesterday? They're not going to do any better today." As I sat there pitying them for the time they were wasting with the lemonade stand they set up their table. Then the younger boy started calling out, "Kool-Aid, come get your Kool-Aid!"

That was quite the lesson to me. When you try something that doesn't work, you do your best to figure out what you can change to make it work. If that wasn't a message to me, I don't know what was.


Staigerfamily said...

This is a fantastic story and lesson--one that I know I still could learn. Thanks for sharing.

Life with the Warrens said...

i love that lesson. we are doing the same things. trial and error, fall off the horse and get back on. i love the round and round of it all.