Life is tough and then you die. Whether you believe this or not may depend on what you consider a tough life. All of us living in the United States have a pretty great life. However, we tend to complain and feel sorry for ourselves when challenges arise or we think we don’t have everything we should. A woman living in Afghanistan or Congo, for instance, can only dream of the luxurious life that we American women have. Their best of times would be intolerable to us, yet they manage to find joy and happiness in the face of poverty, war and oppression. It’s all relative to what you know and often we do not appreciate the gifts we have been given.
My 59 years of living have taught me that the worst things I have been dealt have made me a stronger, but more importantly, a happier person. When I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, my world was shattered. Coping with my own mortality was a complex and lonely emotional roller coaster. Through the process it became very clear what is important in my life and what is not.
Twelve years have past since this trauma and I have been drinking lemonade ever since. Now I look at life’s events, the good and the bad, with a whole new perspective. I consider everyday an opportunity to live. Irritations that may have upset me in the past are now just that, irritations. When a loved one passes I am grateful I had their love in my life for as long as I did. I am not saying that loss isn’t painful, but it is a natural part of the human experience and something we all must face.
No one ever said life was easy or fair. But it is full of richness, beauty and love. Drink it in and feel every experience with passion and interest. Live, laugh, love and cry, learning all the while, and remember, lemons make lemonade.