What If…We Made Lemonade

A friend of mine was handed some 🍋lemons this week. The kind of 🍋lemons that make it pretty challenging to make lemonade. The kind of 🍋lemons that make you want to squirt someone in the eyes. The kind of 🍋lemons that make you want to add some vodka. The kind of 🍋lemons that make you want to throw them back- HARD!

It’s not always easy to make the 🍋lemonade. When life hands me 🍋lemons, sometimes I want to 😥cry first. Or scream. Or go for a long drive with the music turned up. Or eat a pint of 🍧Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. Or maybe all of the above. Then, I’ll work on that lemonade.

Throughout my thirties, life threw a whole bunch of lemons my way. Thyroid tumor.🍋(Ever noticed that scar across my neck?)  Depression. 🍋Anxiety. 🍋Deaths of loved ones. 🍋Dangerous strep infection that required emergency surgery and an extended hospital stay for my son. 🍋Four broken arms for my daughter. 🍋(Yeah- it’s really fun to explain that fourth broken arm to the ER staff!). Divorce. 🍋Single parenthood. 🍋A coma. 🍋(It’s in my BOOK if you’re wondering what that was all about! ) Lemons were coming at me hard and fast. I tried to dodge some. A few hit me right between the eyes. I caught others, adding them to the batch I was already juggling.

Character building, for sure.

Lemons are going to come at you. Count on it. 🍋They’re part of life- just like the moments filled with hearts 💜and rainbows. 🌈Forget about trying to stop them from coming. Think about how you’re going to respond.

Remember that coma I mentioned? That situation wasn’t just a lemon. 🍋Life sent the whole tree with that one. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger- right? I also feel like those things that could break us also have the potential to show us what we are made of! It took physical and mental strength I didn’t even know I had to pull through that one. It took months to feel like myself again.

I remember a particular evening when I needed to fix dinner for my little ones not long after I was released from the hospital. As I stood at the stove trying to stir the orange powder from the box into a pot of macaroni and cheese, I cried.😢 I didn’t have the strength to stand and stir noodles. It was absolutely the most physically weak😵 I had ever felt in my life. I knew I had to do it, though. My kids were hungry.  It was just a box of noodles, but it was something. I 😥cried- wondering how the heck I was even going to fill two bowls once I stirred that powder in the pot. And- how in the world would I even find the strength to wash the dirty🍴 dishes? I did it, though. I dug deep and made it happen. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t do it well-or without 😢tears. But- I did it! I still marvel at my ability to finish that meal, such as it was. 😍I’m still proud of those noodles.

Macaroni and cheese was my sign. If I could do that, I could do everything else it would take to recover. Another pivotal moment during that renewal process was a trip to Target with a friend. She knew that I needed to increase my strength and stamina. What better place to do that than Target? She dropped me off at the front door, making sure there was a cart that I could hold onto for support. Then, she joined me to take the big walk into the store. By the time we passed the registers, I became weak. No worries! She led me to the front doors and brought the car up for me. Baby steps, for sure!. I was stronger💪 than I thought I was. I fought my way back. You know what else?  I can do it again if I have to!

I have been handed my share of lemons🍋 throughout this crazy life. Haven’t we all?🙋 Life is funny that way. We don’t get to choose what happens or when the lemons🍋 will be tossed into our baskets. We do know that they will come. The ways we handle the tough times in our lives have the power to define us. They also have the ability to lift 😍others who need the inspiration to move forward.

We don’t have to handle our lemons 🍋on our own, either. It’s okay to seek help. Talk to your 💜family. Chat with your 💞friends. Open up to your spiritual 😇advisor. Schedule an appointment with a therapist. 🙏Pray. Meditate. Spend time with your 🐶dog. Dogs always listen.

What if…we made lemonade? The lemons 🍋are coming. You can bet on it. Get your glass ready. Make that lemonade!

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