By Anna Osborn, LMFT, owner of Life Unscripted Counseling
I was texting with a friend the other day and she asked how I was doing, given the status of life right now. I told her the standard, “We’re hanging in, just trying to make lemons out of lemonade.”
After I pressed send, I realized the mistake I made and quickly sent back, “I mean we’re making lemonade out of lemons.” Good grief, I clearly don’t know which way is up anymore.
I had a good laugh about it and moved along but the idea of making lemons out of lemonade sort of stuck with me. I mean 2020 is the most upside down and backwards year that I’ve ever lived; so the idea of somehow being able to make lemons out of lemonade sounds even plausible at this point.
Now obviously you can’t make lemons out of anything but lemon seeds and some good dirt, but the sentiment of trying to make something useful out of a seemingly impossible situation sounds like a good idea right about now.
As a wife, mom, business owner and therapist, I have never navigated so many moving landscapes at the same time—or tried to come up with a plan that ends up feeling unrealistic or unfeasible before the ink is even dry. Feeling like things are out of control and trying to figure what exactly to do with it all has been beyond intense…to say the least.
And the truth is, when it comes to circumstances that are completely out of your control, you can either spin yourself up into knots trying to control the uncontrollable, OR you can decide to loosen your grip and allow for there to be breath in amongst the panic. For something good to exist in amongst the something bad.
I am by no means an advocate of the Pollyanna viewpoint or amplifying a message of toxic positivity. But…I do advocate for seeing the light in amongst the darkness. To allow the ease to exist in amongst the heavy and for there to be relief in amongst the pain. You can hold both the overwhelming harshness of this season AND the ability to see joy in the most simplest of pleasures.
Even when it feels uncomfortable to do so.
We as humans are pretty complex beings; and our feelings are no exception to that complexity. As distressing or even impossible as it may seem, you can in fact feel more than one feeling at the same time. It’s actually a gift that you have. Sure it may not feel so great, but it’s pretty amazing that you can do it.
As a human, you can have lemonade days.
The days where all that’s coming at you is sour lemons, challenging you to throw in the towel, turn on Netflix and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s AND instead… for reasons you can’t explain…you find yourself smiling at the experience of being able to snuggle deep into your covers and be reminded of the simple joys of slowing down and resting. Of indulging in bad movies and empty calories.
All for reasons that defy logic, you’re reminded that sour lemons can be used to create some pretty joyful moments.
That you can have both the burden and the blessing happen on the same day.
That you can have the huge crash and the reassuring catch occur within moments of each other.
That you can have a lemonade day.
I get it, things are really—really hard right now. And I’m not here to dispute that. Lord help us all.
But what I am here to do is to encourage you.
To gently suggest, that maybe, just maybe, the overwhelm you’re carrying can be shifted to the other arm. That the cynical lens you’re looking through can be wiped a little clearer.
And that you may have a lemonade day, right there in the waiting, happening as we speak.
Get to squeezing my friend.
Anna Osborn, LMFT, is a relationship coach and therapist. You can reach out to her by calling 916.955.3200 or visiting her website at
Author Anna Osborn
Anna lives in Elk Grove with her husband and school-aged twins. She owns Life Unscripted Counseling in Midtown Sacramento.
This story first appeared in the Ardent
for Life Holiday 2020 issue.