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When Life Gives You Lemons - Make the Best Lemonade!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Retirement life coach Nancy helps retirees overcome retirement challenges in this blog.

When Life Gives You Lemons - Make the Best Lemonade!

Written By Nancy Stampahar for Villages Neighbors Magazine

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! The context of this proverbial phrase relates to making a difficult (sour) situation into a positive (sweet) outcome.

Life is unpredictable, full of changes and sour lemons, especially as we age. Some of our most sour lemons consist of losing our loved ones, our health, our identity, or life purpose and meaning. We take turns experiencing the sour, bitter taste of lemons. Quite often we have no choice over the lemons we are given; however, we do have a choice in how we react to each lemon. We can either choose to face the challenges we encounter and take control of our situations, or we can wallow in them and let life’s difficulties control and consume us. You have come this far. You deserve to be happy. You matter and are worthy of the best lemonade.

Ponder the following five questions to discover if you have an opportunity to make lemonade:

1. Based on your unique circumstances, are you able to find enough joy and happiness to get unstuck and keep yourself moving forward?

2. What takes up your time and drains your energy, making you exhausted and miserable?

3. Are you doing what it takes to keep your mind and body moving?

4. What or who is making you lose who you are and what you want in your life?

5. What will it take to make you want to do something differently to live a happy and fulfilling life?

Making lemonade brings happiness and meaning into our lives. Your happiness potential is like the sugar that has settled at the bottom of your lemonade glass. Sometimes, we end up settling with whatever comes our way. Our happiness settles deep inside us, and we lose our joy. The sugar is there for you when you feel stuck and sour. Stir it up! You can enjoy the sweetness of life again. Just as lemonade needs sugar, you need courage to reach your happiness potential.

Courage is the power behind making lemonade. It is the power behind choice. Whenever you face difficulties, there will always be an element of fear. Acting on our fears is hard. We are complex human beings full of fears, insecurities, thought patterns, memories, and emotions. Gathering your strength and faith will help you act on your fears and move you forward. If you do not move forward, you will remain stuck, bored, complacent, sour, and bitter.

10 Tips for Making Lemonade

1. Keep your expectations, ruminating thoughts, and fears in check.

2. Talk with someone who can be objective and supportive of you.

3. Find the courage to ask for help with tasks.

4. Get socially connected with others, even if you are an introvert.

5. Embrace your grieving journey and let go when you are ready.

6. Discover who you are and what you want in life.

7. Live authentically and according to your unique interests and values.

8. Find activities to keep yourself busy so your mind doesn’t wander and wallow.

9. Stay away from people who are negative and cause drama.

10. Get out of the house and grab a glass of lemonade!

The more lemonade you make, the stronger you become. You will feel empowered with a greater respect for yourself and life. You will feel reenergized with a new outlook on life. It will be easier for you to get out of bed each morning and enjoy your day. A sweeter life will come your way.

It’s never too late to make lemonade! The juice is worth the squeeze.

Village of Sanibel resident, Nancy Stampahar, is a Certified Transformation Life Coach for seniors and an instructor for The Enrichment Academy. Nancy helps pre-retirees and retirees plan for smooth retirement transitions and get reoriented after experiencing retirement challenges. Visit: or e-mail


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