Sometimes life delivers lemons… a bunch of set-backs, disappointments & problems… The old comeback is the idea that they are useful for making lemonade… somehow teaching us valuable life lessons, enriching us & making us strong and resilient…
Yes – that is all lovely, sweet balm… and true… But it is the time it takes to bounce-back from the ‘lemon’ days… waiting for the lemonade to ferment into a refreshing tonic for recovery. That is where coping is a personal challenge… the recharge phase takes some doing… and some time… and some being…
Consolation is never in the fatalistic platitudes of well meaning comforters:
there must be something better waiting for you…
it must have been meant to be…
It seems as though an orchard full of lemon trees have dropped ripe fruit on my doorstep these last couple of years… and yes… with each squeeze through the juicer, I am undoubtedly getting stronger and all that! But – how strong is strong enough… ?
I am sick of picking up lemons… it is a human thing… I am sure – I am not alone!
Recently, someone dubbed yet another difficult life moment as ‘Fred’… and in that moment, time stopped… a vortex slurped up all the stuffed up hopes, dreams and aspirations that had accumulated for me… and then, spat them out… back to earth, with a thud… the Fred files are the result. OK – overly dramatic – but you get the idea!
Who is Fred… ?
Fred is not a real person… Fred is gender neutral… Fred is made up… fictitious… and does not represent anyone person… or any one place… Fred is a process… Fred is a feeling… Fred is an emotion… Fred is a frustration…. Fred is a word to use when there seems to be no other polite vocabulary that will convey an adequate strength of meaning… Fred is not confined to time or space, place or person… Fred is… what ever we need Fred to be as we wait for the lemonade to brew…
We all know Fred…
TIP: Don’t hang out with Fred too long… bad company to keep… choose your friends carefully and move on to the lemonade sipping brigade as soon as you can… but in the meantime, safe processing of lemon moments in life, where no one gets hurt, no harm is done… is OK!
1. Troublesome Fred
Today marks the beginning of a two week campaign to vanquish the ‘Fred’ moment in my life… Fred is made-up…. made-up of a few frustrations of late… and he is getting in the way of my fun…
…as a #GlassHalfFull measure…
I am going to have some fun with all things ‘Fred’…
In the virtual world… Fred will come off second best… so here we go… buckle up and get ready for the ride….
To get us in the mood… cast your memory back to the 90’s a movie where a girl, turned young woman, had a troublesome imaginary friend ‘DropDeadFred’ who got in the way … a lot… here is the trailer…
The #GlassHalfFull – Don’t let Fred get in the way and screw things up!!
Read on this is just the first of 14 ways to regain a balanced perspective, refill the half empty glass and … #GetLostFred!
2. Caveman Fred
Fred Flintstone … All of us, that grew up in the late 60’s and 70’s will remember being glued to the black and white TV watching the cartoons… featuring FRED Flintstone… not so bad a memory on a cold school holiday during the ‘Morning Shows’ in the bush… Yabba Dabba Do and all that…
But really…?! What the…. A privileged middle-aged caveman who thinks it is OK to yell at his (long suffering) wife – Wilma- the second he wakes up… Whenever he gets home from work… Whenever he doesn’t like something…and, who often leaves a lot to be desired as a best friend to Barney next door… rude, and on the brink of bullying…??
I am re-thinking the virtues of Fred Flintstone… yelling abuse at others to get them to do stuff for you, or becasue they didn’t do things the way you wanted them to is pretty rotten… Alpha friend/colleague… coercive and nasty… not a team player… #GetLostFred
#GlassHalfFull – Play nice… be kind… you don’t have to always win… Care about others feelings and experiences too … Don’t be a primal caveman to others, and they will probably be nice back at you… win:win.
3. A pinch of Fred
My local New England bushranger (1800’s) Tunderbolt... aka Fred Ward… The nerve of him…! A robber… thieving and conniving… Unjustly pinching the opportunities of others... #GetLostFred
#GlassHalfFull … It didn’t end well for Fred…/ Thunderbolt… My family folklore has it that my ancestors provided him with hospitality – a cuppa and a meal upon his assistance from time to time… but they didn’t get robbed in the process…
Be hospitable any way… even to the #@*&^!’s in life – you may be sparred the worst of it!
4. Smooth Talk Fred
‘Prof’ Fred Dagg and his discourse on luck politics…‘We don’t know how lucky we are’… apparently we need Fred to point out our luck to us… even when things are clearly in bad shape… and heading for the cliff edge…
Fred’s definition of Luck: The art of reframing the hardship, endurance, blood, sweat and tears of others as as your own hard won ‘luck’…. With the gift of the gab… Fred can smooth talk as though it was a fine art… but, often the analysis is only skin deep, a bit slim on quality and detail….. https://mrjohnclarke.bandcamp.com/album/fred-dagg-anthology
#GlassHalfFull…. Halve Fred’s luck… wise up….stop falling falling for that ‘old chestnut’! Expect evidence… substance… outputs… compare apples and apples… stay away from the tropical fruit salad… a recipe for bad luck!
5. Frederick the Great – King of Bureaucracy
6. Cuppa tea Fred
7. Fred thinks he’s sexy…
Everyone else thinks he is narcissistic… but he doesn’t care – it’s all about him after all… isn’t it…?! #GetLostFred
Narcissism: Excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.
Psychology Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
Psychoanalysis Self-centredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.
#GlassHalfFull call it what it is… If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, behaves like a duck… it is probably is a duck… herd the duck/s!
8. Fred – It’s your turn to buy the beers
This link will take you what could well be the worst children’s story on the planet…! ‘Fred the Bread’... http://www.storyjumper.com/book/index/11738052/Fred-the-Bread#page/20
Fred loves all the glory… loves the glamorous lifestyle… but, he is that guy that never takes his turn to shout the drinks round at the bar… but he will drink any beer that someone else buys him…
In the story… Fred couldn’t get himself organised despite the convenience of his fast car… to head out to the shops to buy a present for the birthday boy… but he was happy to go to the party anyway! Fred…Insight-less… has poor judgement… it’s all about him… and his fun… bugger the rest.
#GlassHalfFull Only ever send this Fred one invitation to a party. Learn your lesson the first time… off the Christmas Card List with this type of Fred… #GetLostFred
Warning: please don’t read this story to a real child!
9. Patronising Fred…
This time not strictly Fred… but rather Fred’s ‘person’… But you know the type… patronising… setting the goal posts… then… shifting them when you get close to kicking a goal. #GetLostFred
#GlassHalfFull – Be more clever… beat Fred at his own game… and win.
10 On ya bike Fred
Being a bit-of-a-Fred, defined as: Someone who has got all the gizmo’s, thinks he has a clue… but IQ seems AWOL… and doesn’t now when to stop… always has a bizarre idea… an idea that is just not needed… an idea that doesn’t add value… and is just a clumsy add-on… #GetLostFred
For example… in the bike world… “Fred” is a cyclist who has a ton of cycling gear, especially of the utilitarian “uncool” kind, like mirrors, powerful lights, fenders, bells/horns, heavy leather seats, racks, reflective gear, bags, baskets, etc. The gear and bike may be put together by kludgey homemade solutions, like duct-taped flashlights to the handlebar. This type of Fred is a bike geek who likes/needs lots of gear (even if it is modified stuff not intended for bikes) ….no matter what …others think. …these type of Fred can be well aware of their fredness, once they are aware of the concept, and often embrace it wholeheartedly….
#GlassHalfFull You can’t teach an Old Fred New Tricks… Choose the battle carefully – give up bike riding and take up a new hobby… leave Fred to all the duct tape… Don’t try and save the situation… learn when to trade in your bike helmet for bighter horizons with less duct tape!
11. Irritating Fred
Monotonous… irritating, objectionable… and Fred (this time: Fred Hanna from Ireland) wins the award… What could be worse than a Fred-kind-of-a-day… A Fred playing an accordion… Yes an accordion… Possibly the worse instrument known to humankind! #GetLostFred, and don’t forget to take the accordion with you!
#GlassHalfFull – It could be worse… especially if Fred plays the recorder as well… count your lucky stars it is only the accordion… ‘there is always someone worse off’ (traditional Grandmother-style -wisdom).
12 Going round in circles with Fred: Chicken or egg?
Fred has us all going around in circles… just when we think a decision has been made, a path has been set… That is exactly the moment when Fred makes sure the sands shift again. He just can’t decide which came first… all chickens and eggs! Drives all the reasonable and logical types to distraction…. Fred loves structural destabilization – he has to be the Important One – to everyone… He can’t stand it if someone shows him up by revealing a bit of promise, a touch of anothers success … a lower social echilon that is a little bit to0 clever-for-their-own-good…. he makes a feast of – because he has too… he has too – for fear of his own discintergration. #GetLostFred
Which comes first the chicken or the egg?
#GlassHalfFull – Frederick McCubbin has a pretty little story about chickens… if the answer is chicken…. then make it a free range chickens… (https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/artist/3545/)
Autumn morning, South Yarra 1916
#GlassHalfFull – If the answer is egg – make it Scrambled Eggs. Scramble Fred’s eggs… No egg – no more chickens… Eggs on toast – as often as required!
13 Impostor Freddy sucking the life out of the game…
We’re waiting every night
to finally roam and invite
newcomers to play with us
for many years we’ve been all alone
We’re forced to be still and play
The same songs we’ve known since that day
An imposter took our life away
Now we’re stuck here to decay
Please let us get in!
don’t lock us away!
We’re not like what you’re thinking
We’re poor little souls
who have lost all control
and we’re forced here to take that role
We’ve been all alone
Stuck in our little zone Since 1987
Join us, be our friend
or just be stuck and defend
after all you only got
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Is this where you want to be
I just don’t get it
Why do you want to stay
We’re really quite surprised
We get to see you another night
You should have looked for another job
you should have said to this place good-bye
It’s like there’s so much more
Maybe you’ve been in this place before
We remember a face like yours
You seem acquainted with those doors
#GlassHalfFull Find a new game to play… somewhere away from the lurking, mischievous, self-serving… Freddys’. Be brave… ‘there is so much more’
14 Fair Go Fred
Ending the Fred 14 with a flourish of hope… Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark – Nice-Guy-Fred… they’re not all bad. http://denmark.dk/en/society/monarchy/the-crown-prince/
Give us a go Fred… you seem like you can be a nice guy. You can play nice… but you have to want to … so – give us a go! Please! Spare us half a chance… you are the kind of Fred that needs a partner… together we can go far just give us a #FairGoFred.
#Glass Half Full – Take a chance… caution to the wind… See a chance and chase appealing opportunities all the way throughout the rabbit hole… be stronger, be wiser, and be internationally credible… Take a risk… Select a good Fred in preference to a bad Fred everyday… leave the #GetLostFred’s for dust…
You’ve come a long way – with me… thank you for sharing a glass of virtual lemonade with me… Cheers…
One final thought – make sure you recharge well…. check this out for a ‘how to guide’… https://hbr.org/2016/06/resilience-is-about-how-you-recharge-not-how-you-endure