making lemonade
IS LIFE GIVING YOU LEMONS? — Try making some lemonade, like this youngster. If you end up driving less because of soaring gasoline prices, writer Al Everson advises, you may find unexpected benefits: peace, quiet and time to exercise more and to declutter your space and your life. PHOTO BY MMATINS VIA FLICKR.COM

Take a trip down memory lane.

Remember the spring of 2020? Remember when, in the name of stopping the spread of a deadly disease, we were told to stay at home and work at home and avoid close contact with others?

For many people, their workplaces were shuttered, and they could do nothing but cloister themselves in their homes or apartments.

The images of once-busy downtown streets suddenly void of traffic and pedestrians had a surreal look and feel, like something out of The Twilight Zone.

Guess what?! Those memorable times are probably coming back.

This time, however, the stay-at-home routine is not the result of government edicts and mandates.

Rather, unless you live and move in the ultrarich circles of multiple homes, private jets, Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis, you will likely spend more time in the great indoors because of record-high gas prices.

When gas becomes less affordable, we ration ourselves and ask the question our parents and grandparents asked during World War II: Is this necessary?

Most of us will forgo frivolous errands to save fuel and cash for going to and from work and for emergencies.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” goes a common axiom.

The high gas prices are a very sour lemon.

While you lock yourself down in the comfort of your home, here are some suggestions for coping with the sour aftertaste:

• Spend time in meditation. Reconnect with Your Creator and those closest to you.

Consider your lot in life, and if you are not satisfied, change your life.

Change begins in the mind. Determine to do better and be better, and then follow through.

• Use the time to get rid of the clutter and junk in your life.

We tend to accumulate stuff. We have so much stuff we do not have enough places to put it, as evidenced by the proliferation of mini-warehouses for those without enough space in their garage or attic to hold everything.

Is this stuff necessary?

Go through old footlockers, trunks, shoeboxes and drawers, and decide what is treasure and what is trash. Throw out the trash.

Whatever it is, you will not take it with you when you leave this life.

• Consider reading, as in reading books. Real books with covers and pages that you turn by hand.

Read the Bible. Read the world’s classics, such as Shakespeare’s plays or the stories of King Arthur. Read American history, especially times that tried men’s souls, such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Great Depression.

• Discover — or rediscover — that we can live without the flashy high-tech toys, like video games.

Instead, treat your family and your neighbor to old-fashioned games, such as checkers, chess, Monopoly or Risk.

• Not least, take up exercising.

You may find by resetting your priorities and making time for more “quiet time,” you can live above the materialistic rat race.

You may find time on your patio or backyard is less stressful than sitting behind dozens of red lights.

Remember to be thankful for what you have. Things could be worse. If you don’t believe it, ask the Ukrainians.


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