First thing in the morning, when we both wake up, still lying in bed. As every morning, I take inventory of what my body, my temple, my prison, feels like.
“Will you please shoot me?”
“Whenever you say.”
“Now would be good.”
“I can’t now. I have an 8 o’clock meeting.”
Later on, I tell that story to Cherie, the acupuncturist. She laughs, and says what a good husband Jif is, both for agreeing to shoot me and for trying to find the right time.
She tells me her theory of “too many lemons.” It goes something like this:
“We’re all told to make lemonade with our lemons. And some of us do. For some of us, that’s what we’re good at. But sometimes, something happens, and the lemon crop is too much. We have way more lemons than we can realistically use in lemonade. That’s what I think has happened to you. And I think you’ve complicated things by being so determined to make lemonade out of this ridiculous crop of lemons. You’ve put too much pressure on yourself. I see my job as trying to get rid of your excess lemons. Does this make sense? Am I right, that you’re a person who makes lemonade out of lemons?”
I tell her that I suppose I am a lemonade-maker. I think outloud, that I have trained myself to find something to be thankful for, in every situation, and that I’m always on the lookout for what I am supposed to learn from life’s challenges.
For example, I tell her, “Walking in here from the parking lot was difficult. Every step was like an Olympic event. So I thought about that as I was coming in here. But then, I thought, ‘Hey, so what if it was difficult? What I needed to do was get from the car to the office. And I did that. I could do what I needed to do. So what more do I want? What do I have to complain about?’”
“The fact that it was hard for you to walk in here, and that sucks. You can complain about that. It isn’t right.”
I concede that trying to make lemonade with my current ingredients is a bit exhausting sometimes. So, I tell her, go ahead and get rid of the lemons if you can. And I tell her about a card that my friend Nina sent to me some time ago. It said,
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
When life gives you a pile of crap . . . don’t make anything. Trust me.