. . .that time continues to fly by and I can’t keep up with my commitment to blog about this busy life here more often. Life is so beautifully busy, and I do enjoy that busy-ness, especially the daily variety. Keeps my mind challenged with so many different things going on. I have so many great things to share, but another day goes by and I am at day’s end, feeling fulfilled, exhausted in a good way and ready for a good night’s sleep – result: no new post here since Oct 11th. My apologies for that.

My promise to quote

To get back to my original resolve, I have some beautiful collections of quotes, each of which would drive a whole blog post of thoughts to share here. So, starting now, I will (note: never use the word “try”… just the word “will”) post several times a week, even if it is only one of those quotes that will feed both my mind and yours with good thoughts and challenging thinking, enriching both our lives in the process. Please feel free to offer your own thoughts back, but don’t expect me to enter into much of a dialogue. Just too busy for that, and despite having a Facebook page, I’m not really into that social networking that so many “twitters” and “facebook” people are – one blog is more than enough for my busy life, and besides who cares if that fellow Facebook “fan or “friend” is going out for a latte now, or that they are wearing red socks today. “Give me a break – and go get a life!”

So my quote to share and challenge your heart and mind for today is . . .

” Joy is not in things; it is in us.”

And you thought I was going to offer some long, seemingly deep thought for this first one?  Actually, some very seemingly simple words do have very deep meaning, and I think as you reflect on this one, that will come to you with this one.  It’s not the “things” we collect that will ever give us joy, it’s the inner self that must come out to feel that joy that is already there.  I find my life very filled with joy, especially as I give it away.  With this transplanted heart, I have the opportunity with an extended life, 15 years of it since that October 19, 1994, to really “give” in so many ways, and in that giving I have found true joy.  Where is your joy?  Everyone has it – have you found your inner joy?  And what in your life brings that inner joy out into the light, sharing it with others and feeling truly joyful as it radiates around you.  The amazing experience  for me is that in radiating that joy, it attracts other joyful people to your life experience, everywhere, every day – and in so doing, my own joy gets multiplied.

Catching up

Reflecting on some recent life experiences, just to catch up with you, let’s  start with this one and I’ll add others in the postings that follow.  We did the unthinkable a week ago.  Pam and I spent 6 days and 5 nights without touching a phone, without looking at an e-mail, without touching the web.  I don’t know if I could have believed that was possible, but it was.  We fulfilled a lifetime dream and took a 5 night cruise out of Baltimore to Bermuda (and back, of course).  “So how was it?” everyone has been asking.  In responding, I would say it definitely was an adventure and even after it’s over I’m not sure if we will go on another one or not, but we are definitely NOT “cruisers” as so many friends proclaim themselves, going on cruise after cruise, dozens over the years.  No, that is not us, but that isn’t to say we will not do it again, maybe to Alaska?  Time will tell, but for now, with the first two days out in 20 foot swells that somehow rocked and swayed that huge ship (how can water that flows through your hand be hard enough to rock such a huge ship – 3 football fields in length?) , the next day docked at Dock City in Bermuda with rains so heavy we couldn’t even see the land we were docked at (ok, every hour we were teased with a brief bright sunny blue sky and green oceans before the next rain shower moved back in).  I am known for being subject to motion sickness and that second day we got up out of bed and looked at each other with sick eyes, happily reporting to sick bay for Dramamine pills that worked wonders, thank God!  But even with settled stomachs, walking (with sore knees and a bad foot between us) like drunken sailors as the ship rocked all day, was not my idea of a “joyful day” – but then there was the next day.  Beautiful skies and waters and finally getting off the ship, but then that was the day you had to get back on by 2pm for their early departure, and we certainly were not going to miss that!

Royal Caribbean's Splendor of the Seas ship

Royal Caribbean's Splendor of the Seas ship

Actually, it wasn’t all that bad.  Our goal was not to do everything anyway.  We wanted to rest and relax, and that we did get to do, despite being in a VERY forward cabin (our cabin #3004 was 4th cabin from the bow of the ship on the third deck – there were 12 decks –  read that as being very subject to motion with the ocean swells – advice, get a cabin in the middle of the ship!).  We rested and ate, ate and rested, walked and rested, then it was time for 1,000 guests to flood into the very elegant dining room – that’s just the first seating – and we ate again.  Food was both plentiful and varied, pretty good but not something to write home and rave about.  Pam isn’t really into lots of different foods, so that variety didn’t play well on her card.  The evening shows were spectacular, Broadway quality with seats more comfortable and spacious than any theater we had ever been in.

Special moments – a 4th and a 15th:

But two special moments to share with you here.  One was our celebrating both our 4th wedding anniversary (Oct 1st) and my 15th anniversary of this amazing heart transplant on the third day of the voyage, Monday, Oct 15th in this very special way.   The second was  that, despite some really great stage shows,  the best show of all was on the final night.  Pam suggested we go up to that topmost 12th open deck and just lay back and watch the star filled black sky with no light pollution.  It was spectacular and the high point of our experience, just she and I, laying back on some deck lunge chairs, finding Christopher’s star on the handle of the Milky Way (yes, he has a star named after him, compliments of our bestest friends, Ray and Joyce!)

On the way home, that last day and night seas calmed down to mirror smooth and the ship cut through it like butter, splashing huge white waves in the process.  I watched a school of flying fish just from wave to wave through the air back when it was those 20 to 30 foot swells (that’s the metric a crew member estimated for me, so I’m not exaggerating here).  From the port-hole during one dinner we thrilled at seeing many small pods of dolphins off the starboard side.    At one point I suggested our table of 12 shout out “Whales!” to see what reaction we would get from the crowded dining hall, but I got no takers (“party poopers!” but really nice people).

Safely home again

We returned to good weather, mounds of work and 350 e-mails in my mailbox, as one example.  Pam had a big event the very next day, so had to return to work even the day we got back, working from noon to after midnight before coming home to supper and some more work that had to be done by the 7am event hat next morning (read that as getting to bed about 1:30 and setting the alarm for 5:30am!)  But oh, how good that home bed felt – and it didn’t move like the one we had been in for those past 5 nights!

Lesson learned

No we are not cruisers, but if we had it to do over again, we both agree we would have done it even knowing what we know now.  It’s a life experience.  Go for it while you still can.  Life is too short (and the prices right now are very cheap).

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