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COLUMN: When life gives you lemons

Diana Jaworski
Posted 5/22/22

It was a sunny summer afternoon, and the family picnic was truly a sight to behold. Fresh baked pies, juicy watermelons, and the barbecue smoke filled the air with childhood memories. And there it …

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COLUMN: When life gives you lemons


It was a sunny summer afternoon, and the family picnic was truly a sight to behold. Fresh baked pies, juicy watermelons, and the barbecue smoke filled the air with childhood memories. And there it was. My favorite drink, lemonade. Sitting on the table bright as the sun itself. Chilled and waiting for me. I poured myself a glass and chugged it like it was my last drink at an old western saloon. I did everything in my being not to spit out my drink. What happened to my delicious glass of lemonade? What joker did this? How could an attractive pitcher of fresh lemonade hold such deceitfulness? I know for a fact my mom did not make this lemonade. Hers was oh so sweet and refreshing. I looked around at the suspicious group of family members and wondered who would claim this act of injustice to the lemonade family. Fine. Water it is.

I never did like the proverbial phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This normally instills a positive can-do attitude when faced with trying circumstances. I did not like this phrase because I never learned to make great tasting lemonade and then there was that horrible experience at my family picnic. The word “lemon” can bring about an unsweetened sour and acidic taste. Is your mouth-watering right now? I know mine is.

Life will give you lemons, but not many know how to make lemonade. So often people do not know how to deal with discouragement, set-backs, disappointments, or any negative situation that is thrown at them. Life can bring about sour moments but if we learn to correctly make lemonade, that is, making the best out of bad situations, then life becomes more pleasant and sweet. So, how can we make good “lemonade” from the lemons thrown at us? Let the LEMON show us:

L — Look for the positive in each situation. I am a firm believer there is something good from the bad. We may not see it now, but with time, you may realize the bad situations may equate to a positive outcome. Focus on positive thoughts when facing challenges. Jot them down. Making a positive list encourages a positive mindset.

E — Engage with experts. Not everyone can make delicious lemonade, so we may seek out those with more experience and knowledge to learn from them. We should do the same when it comes to life. There are experts in the field who may be of great help when dealing with depression, anxiety, discouragement, and any other host of mental, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual struggles. Medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, personal trainers, life coaches, or spiritual leaders, offer knowledge, experience, and encouragement who will help in making life’s journey less sour.

M — Monitor progress. Practice in making lemonade, repeatedly taking note of the progress in each attempt. Life is challenging. However, continue making the best of each situation as it arises. By keeping calm and reflecting on the progress, this encourages self-awareness and promotes personal growth. Share progress with those closest to you via text or email. Celebrate accomplishments together!

O — Occupy the mind with positive thoughts and actions. Mustering up courage to help others while enduring difficult situations reflects strength, character, and one’s own resilience. It is like sweetness is to lemonade. It will make the trying experience more bearable.

N — Nourish the mind, body, and soul. The most difficult aspect in life is to remember to take care of oneself while experiencing difficult situations.

Self-care is crucial to nourish, refresh, and revitalize your mind, body, and soul. Read helpful and encouraging material, talk with a professional or a trusted friend, meditate, or pray. Self-care should be a priority.

After glancing around at all of the suspicious family members at the picnic, no one confessed to this atrocity of trickery. After careful reflection, who am I to judge how this particular pitcher of lemonade was made. We each have our own journey (pitcher of lemonade) and make the best of the lemons/situations that we have been given. So, I took my strongly unsweetened bitter glass of lemonade and simply added my own touch of “sweetness.”

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer, and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at


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