Life Gives Lemons

LIVING HEALTHY ISN’T A LIFESTYLE. IT’S A MINDSET, AND THIS MIND IS PART DRILL INSTRUCTOR, THERAPIST, FUN AUNT AND TIGER MOM, A COMBO WE ALL NEED MORE OF.

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I am not perfect. But I like to think that I am good at a lot of things. I can crack a joke to break the ice in stuffy situations.

I have spent at least half of my married life enduring Entourage after Entourage without filing for divorce. And I can endure years and years of “Gymbo the clown goes up and down…” without tearing the damn clown’s head off.

I’m usually all about living, laughing, loving and dancing. But some days, it is more like, raising, aiming, firing and reloading.

Things don’t always go the way we plan, and we all face hardship and obstacles in varying degrees, finding ourselves in situations that cause some sort of pain or anguish, and, more often than not, these heartaches and problems are caused by someone close to us or even as a result of our own bad judgment (dabble in stocks like a boss. Really?).

So what do you do when life gives you lemons? Everybody deals with stress and problems in their own ways. While one size does not fit all, here are some options.

1) Throw as hard as you can.
When life gives you lemons, freeze them, and throw them right back. Retaliate. Step up your game. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Well, in my case, what doesn’t kill me makes my drink stronger, but that’s another topic for another time.

2) Be glad they aren’t Hepatitis.
My husband complains that I complain a lot. Well, I am Singaporean and, generally, we like to complain. However, when bad things happen and I am tempted to whine, I go on CNN and read of the horrible things going on in the rest of the world, and suddenly, my problem does not seem so big anymore. And I am thankful.

3) When life gives you lemons, RUN!
Take a break. Plan a vacation. Imaginary or not, planning a getaway is a great way to distract from troubles. Unless you are like me, and going through the endless list of reviews and options on Trip Advisor actually adds stress!

My youngest daughter Abigail is 4. In her world, Twilight Sparkle and Barbie the Mermaid Princess are best friends and work together to fight the “bad guy.” As I watch her play, there is something in the innocence of her eyes that draws me away from my troubles. I get down on the floor with her and pretend to be the big bad wolf. She chuckles and throws herself into my arms. That is my sweet escape.

4) Take lemons, make chocolate milk. Leave the world wondering how you did it.
Between teaching, prepping events, managing my studios, PTA meetings at two different schools for three, very different little girls, finding time for friends, writing and spending time with the family, sometimes I feel that there are not enough hours—or days.

But when I feel overwhelmed, a list of all the things I need to accomplish helps to prioritize, delegate and reschedule tasks to make things manageable. Sometimes I am able to cut my workload in half (other times I end up adding more things to the list!), but I always feel more in control. And things get done more effectively.

1015_livelovesweat25) Tell them, “I wanted Lululemons!”
For those of you who don’t know, Lululemons are hailed as the miracle workout pants that make a woman suddenly possess the ass of a Brazilian dancer.

My point was, “Scream.” As loud as you can. Try it. It can be really satisfying. Scream, and then hit the gym. Go for a walk. Do some jumping jacks. Do something to engage those feel-good endorphins.

6) Life gave lemons? Throw them away.
Don’t waste your time. Go buy some lemonade instead.

I am blessed with a husband who is my sound of reason. Affectionately called “Laughing Buddha” by his family and close friends, he has an amazing ability to not be bothered. When bad things happen, he shrugs and says, “Be the bigger person. Live a better life.” Such wisdom. Yes, Mr. Limowa, I will try.

Now, jokes aside. There are people in our community who are going through very real struggles and trials in their lives right now. This page is lovingly dedicated to Benny and Cassio. Stay strong, keep fighting, and know that we are all with you.