Lemonade and Lemons - How To Have Resilience

There is no shame in admitting that life can sometimes hand you lemons, and you’re too lazy, or too busy, or too overrun to squeeze out the bad into something sweet.

Making lemonade is exhausting; it requires you to wash a few glasses, and pitcher, gather ingredients and then squeeze. 

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Instead, you just kind of juggle the lemons, hoping you won’t drop the ball. It’s a constant game of hot potato, moving from suffering to suffering. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized I was tiring myself out by the tour de force of tossing my lemons up and down, even more so than just getting the lemonade part over with. The fixation on my suffering never stopped. I was never present. I dreamt about it, I thought about it on my morning commute, my evening commute, in the shower, while watching television. The thoughts of my steady suffering and my firm fixation were causing the lemons to expand, like James and The Giant Peach.

It was too big to hold, and became a whale of an issue that kept me from love, life and from joy. 

It has taken encouragement from my friends and my husband to do the dishes, to unlock the front door. It has taken a heck of a lot of meditation and intentional work on being present in order to measure out the sugar and the water, to take a step outside. It has taken self love and grace to gather the initiative and muscle to hold the lemon in my hand and squeeze, to use my suffering as motivation for making the most out of things and to realize how valuable and advantageous a change of scene can be. 

It has also taken a friend to sit with you and sip away the bad, and for that I thank my open handed and selfless husband. It takes the support of a friend, family member, or maybe even a stranger to be patient and kind as your suffering dwindles and you reach the bottom of the glass and feel refreshed again. 

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So, what have I done with my new rose-colored glasses?

Had a day date in St. Pete!

Got a new outfit and spent the day window shopping in Kenwood and drinking cold brew at our favorite local coffee gem, Bandit. Also got to see my friend Emily Dickinson, the cat who runs the register at Haslam’s Bookstore.

Shop my outfit: Ava & Viv Plus Size Mixed Media Popover Button-Down, Tambourine Tote Handbag from Universal Thread (perfect for holding a full size frozen pizza for snacking), Universal Thread Kerrigan Slide Sandal, and Who What Wear Green Pleated Scarf.

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Went to a crafting workshop and made something!

Oxford Exchange - Victorian Valentines with The Plant Museum. You can view OE’s upcoming events here, and The Plant Museum’s upcoming events here!

Spent time with friends.

Beer pong, a hot tub filled with bubbles, and a wild time at Gasparilla.

Stayed for a weekend on the Chassahowitzka river.

No phones, no TV. Just meditation, reading, some crocheting and cooking.

Solo day trip around my favorite city.

While Tyler was on a weekend run with his band, I went to the Plant Museum for the first time to see their Gasparilla display and to enjoy some reading on the veranda. I also took a mindfulness walk and ended up face to face with Tampa’s most beautiful view.

Although it is easy to tell you, “yeah, go get a coffee and put on your big girl pants”, I know more than anyone that this isn’t always possible. Changing your hair color doesn’t cure depression, going for a walk doesn’t either. But, in the midst of the battle, in my own experience, I have found strength and have created stamina through living my life in joy and in spite of the symptoms. I’m not telling you that any of this is a quick fix, but I am telling you that you deserve all of the color and all of the noise and all of the experience that this pilgrimage of life can offer you. It doesn’t hurt to take a sip.

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear
for newer and richer experience.
— Eleanor Roosevelt