Sunday, March 8, 2009
[This week's Haveil Havalim is here.]
Jendeis has honored me with a Lemonade Stand award, “for those who use the lemons in their lives to make lemonade, or who help do the same for others.”
I am flattered; as I have written elsewhere, “it’s rewarding to have someone say, “Good job,” especially when that someone is a blogger whose work you also respect.”
But, frankly, I don’t really have any lemons.
I know that could be taken as a pretty corny, not to mention disingenuous, line. Who doesn’t endure times when they hate their situations? Who doesn’t make decisions they regret, or just get beaten up by other people?
Come on, Rabbi – Don’t give me that line about “I have a great family, a great community…” I know you’re not always happy. I’ve seen you at 4:45 AM.
True; guilty as charged. But I am far more likely to get angry at myself for mis-handling a situation than I am to get upset about the situation itself. Not because of emunah [faith in Gd], not because I’m happy-go-lucky [ I am so not], but just because that’s my personality. I get annoyed with myself, and I’m good at it.
But she gave me the award, thank you very much. Time to move on to the obligation that comes with it: to pass along this award to “those who use the lemons in their lives to make lemonade.”
This is not easy for me; I don’t read too many blogs regularly. I feel guilty about this, first because other people are saying some pretty good things, and second because I enjoy it when they visit my little corner here. It’s sort of like expecting other people to come to your shiur, but not going to theirs. (Which, come to think of it, is something I do all the time.)
But I don’t read too many blogs on a regular basis, and of the ones I do read, most of them don’t engage in the lemons-to-lemonade exercise.
I used to read Wings Like a Dove, where Rivka struggled mightily to turn the table on some very serious lemons, the kind you can’t joke about, but she hasn’t posted since November. I hope she is well.
Jameel used to do the lemons-to-lemonade thing regarding life in Israel, but ever since Cast Lead started it’s been lemons all the way around.
And don’t get me started on Orthonomics, where even the roses smell lemon-fresh these days.
The Renegade Rebbetzin (no, not the same as my esteemed rebbetzin) is a perennial favorite of mine, but she actually glories in her lemons. Why bother seeing the good side of a congregant or shul issue when you can rant about it? [Please, RenReb, don’t change – I love reading that stuff.]
I guess there are two blogs I read regularly which fit the bill:
Everyone Needs Therapy, where Therapydoc describes lemons in detail. As a good doctor, she won’t turn them into lemonade for you, but she will help you turn them into lemonade yourself.
And good old Jack, who turns the lemons of aging into lemonade. Not for himself, mind you; he can’t get past the big 40 staring at him, and I suspect that as soon as 40 is gone, it’ll be 45 that frightens him. But he does turn the aging lemons into lemonade for me – because whenever I think about getting older, I can always say, “Yeah, but Jack’s a couple of years ahead of me.”
Doc, Jack - thanks for everything you do.