Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons…

We have all been there. When life gets a little rough and we can’t seem to find our way out.


One of my good friends is having a tough time right now. She doesn’t know what she wants to do, she feels like she is in a holding pattern, she misses her friends… As much fun as it is to dwell on all the negatives, I say “When life hands you lemons make lemonade and add sweet tea vodka”.


And yes, that mini bottle is empty. But in all serious, life is too short to be stuck in a rut for too long. Here are some rules I try to live by daily.

1. For every negative, think about a positive. As much as I would love to take credit of this concept, I completely stole it from my fiancé. When I start complaining about work, the wedding, how many cookies I ate, etc. he makes me turn around and tell him something positive about my day. And a positive thing can be anything from ‘I had a good time talking to a coworker about a book’ to ‘I ran my usual 3 mile loop a little faster’. Those positives often help to put the negatives in a better perspective.


2. Don’t dwell on where you are, just try and enjoy the time you have. I think this is one of those lessons you truly learn with time. I was miserable my first semester at Boston University. I wanted to move home the second week I was there, but my mom made me stay, and not for just one semester, but two. I can still hear her voice over the phone, calmly saying through my home-sick sniffles: “just give it one year”. At the time I kind of hated her for it, but now I am so glad I did. Once I got over my first rocky semester, I really enjoyed the second. I made a bunch of good friends, did the typical college stuff and really got to enjoy/explore the city of Boston. When I left Boston University that summer I knew I was not going back, but I also left without a regret in my mind. I knew I gave it a shot and even enjoyed myself at times. But in the end, it was not the university for me.


My first semester of Boston University was not the only time I wasted wishing for sweeter lemonade, I did it again my last semester at University of South Carolina. I was sick of working several jobs, going to school full-time and being a volunteer leader. Now, I wish I had enjoyed those last few weeks in South Carolina a little bit more, because I will never get them back.

3. Live with no regrets. There is a time and a place for everything. There is a reason why you are where you are. We all have regrets, we all have times in our lives that we wish would just fly by. But life is not about the end results, it is about the experiences. I would never trade my freshman year at BU for anything, just as I am glad I choose to stay at USC an extra year to get my Masters.


Yes, I have goals to complete my marathon, but I am also enjoying the aspect of training. Yes, I can’t wait for the wedding, but I am also enjoying the process. Yes, I am so ready to move on with life, but this could be my last year in DC. You better believe I am going to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.  If you dwell on the “what-if”, you’re going to miss out on the “did-that”.


4. Have fun! Why do you think I add Sweet Tea Vodka to my lemonade? Because it is fun. Life has not-so-pleasant moments, so I try and take every opportunity I get to have fun. Fun can be anything from going to Orlando for a girls weekend, having a game night in our apartment, lounging by the pool or going on a nice long run.  And, yes, it can even be watching the 6-hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for the twelfth time…


Life is a journey and while I anticipate I will make many many mistakes, I want to learn from them, take away from my experiences and be happy. Because in the end, life is too short and I want to enjoy mine. With that said, I’m off to enjoy my spiked Arnold Palmer. Cheers!

What philosophies do you try to live by?