Were you raised hearing the adage: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade? It was one of my father’s favorites. When things didn’t work out the way I hoped, he’d always remind me.
But things not working out and failure are different. When I was in 8th grade I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader at my junior high school – red skirts with grey lining, grey sweaters with a big red T for the name of my school. The day after tryouts, they announced the winners. They didn’t call MY name. I struggled to get home before bursting into tears. As thirteen-year-old girls can do, I imagined my life would never be the same – I was doomed to being unpopular, something surely worse than death.
When my father came home that night, he could tell I was in no mood for “making lemonade” and he was right. He said, “My dear, you have had an immunizing dose of failure.” Through my tears and shame, I asked what he meant.
He was a pediatrician and explained that vaccinations or immunizations give you a tiny dose of a disease. When that tiny dose goes into your body, your body makes antibodies that protect you from being really sick if you run into that same “bug” again.
“Elizabeth, your failing to make the cheerleading squad feels like an enormous failure, and I know you are sad and disappointed. But it’s really just a small failure. As you get older you will have other failures, but because you’ve learned to deal with small failure, you’ll develop immunity to big failures. They won’t keep you down.”
You know, he was right. And that’s seems like lemonade to me.
What were your immunizing failures? Tell me about them!! How did they help you with the bigger failures on down the line?? In other words, how did you make your lemonade?
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!