When life gives you lemons they say make lemonade. Well, life has been throwing, what feels like a tennis ball launcher, set on high, lobbing lemons at me.

I am reading a great book at the moment “You are a Badass-How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. In it she explains that when her clients are trying to change their lives from the “Big Snooze” the “BS” for short, things happen that try to keep us in our rut, or the BS.

She says it’s a sign you’re on the right track and to not to give up.

Since I decided to launch “Ideally Neely” where I try to become my idea self, I’ve had, shall we say, more challenges come up than have come up in a very long time. I liken them to “growing pains” because everything grows and changes. And growth is not always easy.

My bees lost their queen and they were unable to make a new one fast enough before a rival hive over ran them, killed them and stole their honey. My hive was decimated. I am heartbroken.

One of our biggest and oldest pecan trees had a branch we had to cut years ago. A large one. It had begun to heal over the cut, but stopped a few years ago. Further up the tree was a branch that it had self pruned, but had left a hole that let water and rot in. Between the two spots our tree couldn’t heal itself and it rotted on the inside.  We had private and city arborists on the property, but no one told us how serious it was.  On the 4th of July it collapsed and now our beloved tree will have to be removed. It did right by us even in its death fall – it didn’t hurt its fellow pecans, my partner’s garden, or anyone.

When the tree doctors came to look at our pecan tree for a removal estimate, they found another of our pecan trees has an incurable disease and it has about five years left before it withers and dies. The loss of any of our trees is a heartbreaking experience, moreso when you need to make a choice of a quick death or a long painful one.

Topping it all off, I caught the summer flu.  Just as I finished my Dietbet and cleanse, my partner came down with the flu and gave it to me.  The last thing I wanted was a week or two of not exercising or adventuring.

But all challenges are really teachers who have a gift for us, if we’re willing to pay attention.

I have plans to buy a new Flow Hive 2 and I’ve found a local beekeeper with whom I can take classes from and even apprentice with.

There was nothing we could have done for the two trees, but parts of them will be given to a carpenter and incorporated into our home so they will be remembered. Though for the next several years the absence of their shade will be a sharp reminder of their loss.  Thanks to the squirrels we have plenty of replacement saplings we can plant to replace our lost forest canopy.

And as for the flu?  It still sucks, but maybe I needed to slow down just a little and appreciate where I am for the moment.

So remember, look to the challenges, what can they teach you?