Lemons Are Cool Too

This piece written during Lockdown was featured for two days running on BBC Radio Newcastle with Alife Joey

As everyone shares their latest project they’ve completed and the Tupperware drawer they have finally gotten round to organise, let’s spare a thought for those of us that haven’t quite yet figured out how to turn lemons into lemonade…..

I am a do-er. I am not a planner. I cannot bare trying to figure out timescales or identify all the tasks that need doing. No, I don’t want to compare and contrast different options. I don’t need the night to mull it over. Instructions? Well they are only there if you’ve attempted the thing a few times and have gotten too stuck.

Storyline in a online game? Meh, who has time for that. Let’s skip the cinematics and go straight into shooting at things.


My reactive, compulsive nature to jump into action is most likely my most defining feature. It is my biggest weakness but also my strongest attribute. I am both ashamed and proud of my ruthless way of making decisions and snapping into action.


If you want something started, I am your girl. If you want something perfect… well, I certainly shouldn’t be your first pick.


I am applauded for my honesty but sometimes I wonder if that’s mostly because I simply can’t convince myself to read something over more than once or watch back a vlog that I made on a whim. I am honest because trying to hide something takes effort.

In other words, my ability to be so authentic might simply just be an outcome because I have already moved on to the next shiny thing. I like doing things that allow me to see the progress. I need to see a real change, a moving forward, in my work, otherwise I lose interest. I also have found that I enjoy trying new things.

Again, I’m sure that part of this enjoyment comes from the aspect
of a brand new experience but I do also wonder if my enjoyment is also driven by the fact that there is no expectation to be good or talented when attempting things for the first time. There is no pressure. There is no expectation. You just do. You just try.


And you celebrate whatever the outcome because you put yourself out there.


But even as a do-er, I have not been able to accomplish the greatness that others have during this time of lockdown. I have not learnt a new language. I still haven’t managed to finish completing my tax return. The bedroom still is crying out for a
spring clean and I’ve maybe managed to write two or three paragraphs to a book that I’ve been telling myself I will someday write and publish.

Although I am still working, I’m really not sure if I have managed to be more or less productive during the past four weeks. And, although I do keep to a work out routine of kickboxing and running, I haven’t transformed by body or managed to cut out a
six pack.

The point being… we can’t all have some sort of miracle-like paradigm shift, coming of age experience just because we are confined to our homes.


Also, please remember that just because Karen uploaded a picture of her brand new vegetable patch doesn’t mean that she’s managed to do anything else constructive.


Beyond this, and even more importantly, it’s okay to still be grieving during this time. Thousands have lost their jobs. Many have lost loved ones. Owners of both small and big businesses have had to close the doors on their dreams. Some temporarily
and some forever. There are still women, children and men stuck in toxic households without the freedom to create and discover. Some, I’m sure, struggle to sleep at night because of the worry that they won’t be able to afford to live.


And some of us just need this period to unwind. To use as an escape to revert back to a kid again, staying up late playing games online or gossiping with friends over the phone.

Karen may have a beautiful vegetable patch. She may have been able to grow the most fabulous lemons that she has made into lemonade…


But she’ll also never know the joy of watching The Tiger King in one sitting, back to back, in all it’s marvellous glory.

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