While I lazed in my lounge chair looking out onto the Caribbean Sea, I thought about all the writing I promised myself I’d keep up with but just couldn’t bring myself to focus on. The weather was very hot, we were with friends, old and new and their was always so much activity going on whether on or off the ship that there wasn’t any real time of solitude to collect my thoughts. The best I could do was keep a notebook in my bag while lounging at the pool to jot down any ideas that came to mind for my books and my blog. Thankfully I did manage to get some ideas down on paper, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fully elaborate on them until I returned home and once again disciplined myself to focus.
While I gazed at the repetitive waves and the music of the sea, I thought about the past year and how many hours a day I worked on my writing and publishing and I found myself spent, basking in the hot sun in a surreal world of rest and relaxation. The weather was too beautiful to sacrifice one selfish moment to do anything other than laze and socialize rather than to surrender to the discipline of working. My mind wandered back and forth from feeling guilty about not working to just taking in the simple pleasure of my environment.
I watched the waiters in their floral, Hawaiian-like shirts humming happily as they served drinks and ice cold towels laden with ice chips to help combat the hot sun that we so willingly allowed to scorch our bodies. I couldn’t believe how many of us were sitting on this lovely Celebrity cruise ship sunbathing when most of us not so long ago, had come from minus forty degree temperatures. I was grateful for every blessed moment in my abyss of relaxation.
We travelled to eight islands: Aruba, Curacao, Saint Martin, St. Thomas, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua. We were with our good friends Gary and Lynn and my good friend Mary from New York who I had written about previously and her husband Joe. We have been on the same cruise for a few years now and many of the passengers take the same cruise every year as their winter vacation. There weren’t too many lapses without us laughing our heads off at something. It was true bliss and a wonderful escape from real life.
I tried also to catch up on some of my reading, thinking vacation would be opportune time for this, but wrong again. It is hard to read when people are around you chatting and my usual good reading time at home is at night before going to sleep and I can certainly say that the sun and the sea drained me by 1030 pm. By the time I got in bed, I was out cold after reading one or two pages. A definite cure for insomnia. Surprisingly though, I did manage to read two books at the pool while my friend Lynn would have her naps.
We were up by 630 am or 7 every day. Between the laughs, the ports and the pina coladas, the days were busy. Around 4pm a group of us congregated at the top back deck of the ship, ‘The Sunset Bar’, to socialize and make evening plans or watch the ship pull out of port.
So although my intentions were good to get some work done, after being cooped up at home for so long for the past year and our long, cold winter, the trip somehow flicked a switch in me that just wouldn’t allow my brain to function when paradise was all around me. I found the minutes tick away as there was so much to do and my inner social butterfly became hugely activated.
As time flew by I literally found it to be too hot (without complaint) to do much. Our first week seemed like I had been away for a long time and then by the second week I felt as though time was passing too fast before we had to come home. I remember thinking each morning as I took my vitamins in their little daily containers, they were diminishing with the days. I also received emails from our snow plow provider sending updates of snowstorms and one which he informed us that the city by-laws had been reached by the amount of how high he could pile the snow and not to be alarmed by the narrowing of our driveway because he had to use part of it to pile the snow. My husband and I chuckled about the crap we were missing and how timely our trip was to miss three snowstorms, but we didn’t laugh too hard because we knew full-well that we would be back living it in a short time.