Life & Lemons


"And if love (and life) keeps giving me lemons, I'll just 
mix 'em in my drink"

Bluebird/Miranda Lambert

They say when life hands you lemons you are supposed to turn them into lemonade, right?

Well, we all know that’s easier said than done…

And why do they (lemons) always seem to make an appearance just when life is going smoothly? It frustrates the living daylights out of me. The worst is when they all come piling in at the same time!

More recently, it seems like every time I turn around a new lemon is smacking me in the face. Juggling them all has proven difficult.

Mixing lemons in my stress relieving vodka (blueberry) drink, became all too common in 2020. When life hands you lemons, make vodka lemonade!

The house just keeps on winning

2020 is definitely dealing the cards. Every hand seems to be a loser.

I’ve been hit hard with Covid19 since both industries I work in were extremely affected by Covid19- Let me just add that I never expected to have a new job title of Mask Patrol.

Our country is in the middle of a pandemic which has made day-to-day obstacles more difficult to overcome. Throw in a real predicament and it feels like the world is going to come crashing down.

Do you feel me on this?

Many people I know, myself included, are feeling uneasy and out of whack. We all fall asleep with more weight on our minds.

Trying to focus on anything other than the news is minimal at best. I had to throw myself into this blog to regain some sanity as well as limit social media scrolling, debating.

Without lemons we would never grow

Personally, the past few years have been, utterly, some of the most challenging. The past 2 months though; where do I begin?

First, I temporarily lost work, twice, unexpectedly, due to Covid19.  NO warning nor time to prepare.  This, on top of months with significant income loss due to Covid19 restrictions. Living off tips, working from home is not an option. I’m still waiting to be called back to a job I maintained for over 4 years. No events/tastings = lack of work.

Secondly, Tito, my beach cat, was hit by a car resulting in surgery to amputate back leg.  Consecutively, Brandi, my 14 yr old dog, was diagnosed with heart issues. I have no children; therefore, my fur family are my children.

Next, I developed Covid19 symptoms, tested positive, and went into quarantine. Which meant more loss of income on top of battling a potential deadly virus.  Talk about a quadruple whammy!

Because of this, sadly, I had to miss out on a planned family vacation in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Worst, I was in quarantine over Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday- if you knew my relationship with food you’d understand the extreme disappointment!

There is more, but I’ll spare you anymore details. Honestly, somedays I felt on the brink!

A tornado of thoughts kept reiterating through my mind. Normally, I would have freaked out, transformed into a ball of stress, while fighting  a consistent anxious state of mind.

But, in turn, I spent some time disciplining my mind to not despair and take a more positive, optimistic, can-do-attitude towards every problem.

I am not going to lie and say I didn’t have drowning in my sorrows moments. Frankly, I’ll admit to even possibly enduring a mini mid-life crisis at one point last year, before I really took the time to embrace the lemons life was handing me.

Each one, ultimately, leads to growth… only if you allow it. As they say, if we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

Here are 5 ways you can throw punches back at those lemons life throws your way

1. Remember what you’ve overcome already.

In life, we are ALL thrown different size lemons. I’ve endured two huge ones in the past that I want to share.

First, was the car accident my mother was in that almost took her life. As a result, she was left paralyzed from the waist down. I was freshly, 21 years old, and had just moved out on my own. I witnessed my Mom, hooked up to machines, fighting for her life in the ICU. The doctors did not think she was going to make it. Thank the heavens she pulled through.

Second, was the sudden tragic death of my father when I was 33 years of age. Watching him take his last breath, as he was departing this life, is a image that will never fully escape me. Furthermore, having to make the decision to end his life… was brutal.

I am able to overcome anything life throws my way when reflecting back on all that heartache and pain. For those reasons, when I endure heartbreak, financial issues, or hurtful rumors filling up peoples ears, etc. – those small lemons life is handing out – are minimal in comparison.

This helps pull me out of the darkness and keeps the light on in my soul.

It does not mean, in anyway, you don’t have the right to be upset/stressed out.  Just try not to dwell on the issue at hand or speak too negatively.  Know when to throw those emotions away.

Have you been dealt serious blows in the past?

Putting things in perspective like this always helps. If you change your mindset, everything will change along with it.

2. Someone always has it worse.

Most everyone has had something hard in their life. That is a given. Therefore, when enduring stressful times and everything feels to be unraveling , I find it beneficial to remind myself what others are going through.

This truly helps me. No, it does not make the problem or difficulty disappear, however, it shines a light a bit more as to how much worse it could be.

For instance, I try to think about that person in a hospital bed fighting for survival, or any person battling cancer.  I think of the homeless begging for money at the local seven eleven down the street.

Think about the fact that you can walk on your own two feet out of bed each morning. My Mom was always very active.  For 24 years now, she has been in a wheelchair, with not even the ability to stand up.

3. Communication

For heavens sake, whatever you do, do not bottle up your emotions. Talk to God. Draw upon that higher power. Call a friend, a family member, somebody, and get it off your chest!

We, as humans, rely on communication. Connecting with others is a big part of life. Humans feed off other souls, off interactions.

Cherish your human connections with family and friends.  Ask them for suggestions. Try not to complain too much. Vent your frustrations and then listen with an open ear to their comments.

Do not suffer in silence!

As hard as it may be, ask for help if necessary. Being an independent woman this part is super hard. But, isn’t that what family and friends are for ? Trust me, in time, you’ll need to return the favor anyways.

4.  Bring on the rain.

Cry a river if you need to! You’ll feel extreme relief after releasing all those pent up emotions built up inside.

Trust me, I have spent many showers on the floor bawling my eyes out, feeling defeated, barely breathing, lost… empty. Sometimes I have just wanted to hide away and lock the door.

Be sure to always get back up though, turn the page, and come out stronger, wiser,  than the last breakdown.

5. Accept that it is what it is. 

The reality is you cannot change or protest tough circumstances. What matters is how you handle what you’re dealt. Face it head on.

Accept, then mentally remind yourself, when there is a will, there is a way.

Start a problem solving list. Lists go a long way.

You are not a failure for coming upon tough circumstances. It is a part of the ride. Sometimes we are dealt bad hands.

Keep a bluebird in your heart

When stressful and difficult times start to arrive, always remember, good news is down the road and you will bloom.

Don’t forget to keep that “light on in your soul and a bluebird in your heart,” like Miranda Lambert sings in her song (link attached below).

Bluebirds remind us to lighten up, let go, and stop taking life so seriously. They represent perseverance, joy, happiness.

Make LemonADE

In conclusion, the more lemons I have juggled through life, the easier it is becoming to turn them into the best lemonade possible. No doubt, the experience/aging is playing a part!

When life throws you lemons, take in that bitter taste, absorb it, and come out glowing.   Kelly Nichols






9 thoughts on “Life & Lemons”

  1. This is great! I’ve endured so much in my life and I’m ready to take on some more! God has my back so I’ll always come out stronger and wiser! Love ya! Good stuff, girl!

    1. I am with you on that Amy! I am so happy for you and what you’ve overcome. God has my back too. Putting time aside everyday to pray has changed my life for the better. Especially stress and anxiety levels. He has us both! Thank you for your comment and I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. God Bless! Love ya too!

  2. Hi Kelly. Reading your blog. It has certainly been a tough year. I how you are back to normal after having the Coronavirus. How are the kids doing

  3. I loved reading your words. You sure have had it rough,’and I remember when we worked at NCAS you always were so kind and always smiling.
    Keep writing. It’s wonderful.
    I’m glad you are feeling better.
    Oh, i almost forgot, I love your fur babies. They sure make us feel better and so happy. God Bless 🙏

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