Somewhere In The Middle of the Ocean

Day 16 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Day at Sea

It’s a beautiful day at sea on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas. Yesterday I wandered the ship getting acquainted with her. I still have more exploring to do since I’ve learned reading the Daily Compass this morning.

Woke up looking forward to coffee and a croissant delivered by room service. Epic fail. It’s not their fault that I’m particular with baked goods (the fresher, the better), or that I prefer lots of cream if I’m indulging in a cup of coffee. I got up and threw my work out clothes on and headed upstairs to the bar I knew could make a decent cappuccino to go, then headed to the outside track to get sone steps in and enjoy the sunrise

A little girl, around 8 or 9, went racing by, dark curls flying, a banana in one hand, flip flops slapping her feet. She had a huge smile on her face, excitement pouring out of her as she waved her banana filled hand in one hand crossing an imaginary finish line. We should all greet the day with that kind of joy.

Snippet of day at sea

The smell of the ocean has disappeared in the scent of sunscreen and chlorine. I am reclining in a lunge chair half shaded from the sun to protect my white skin. I love the sun but its rays are punishing and burn my fair skin to a nice crisp in a matter of minutes

Snippet of the evening

Tonight is the Captain’s formal night. I made my way down to deck 5 emerging into a sea of crisp black tuxedos floating in a kaleidoscope of dresses in search of a glass of wine. I managed to press my way to the bar with the help of several smartly dressed gentlemen. Shortly I held a glass of Pinot to sip, engaging in small talk while catching eyes with a man who I had visited with earlier at the pool. He had asked me to join him for dinner. We smile but I’m swiftly pulled into other conversation drifting away.

Before I know it I’m chatting with a man wearing a jaunty fedora. He’s witty, and a small group of men surround me, their banter flying back and forth as the current of the party pushes us towards the dining room.

Seated at a table of 8, I’m surrounded by 7 men. T is on one side, and J, the slowest hypnotist in the world (it’s on the card he gave me), on the other. J is the kindest, sweetest soul I’ve met in awhile. He was funny and sweet. I adored his easy going nature.

I look around at all the handsome men at the table, wondering aloud why hadn’t the ladies join us? The guys all joke and shrug. The world is a stage, and it looked like tonight I was to be the center of it for a few hours. A place I don’t typically enjoy. I tried to ignore the discomfort, focusing on small talk and the dinner courses meticulously being served by the exceptional server.

We go to an aerial show after dinner that J suggested. Our group merges with others in the singles group and split as we walk the promenade. J leads us to the front row and I’m seated between the two men. He insists being in the front row is the best fun. He’s a seasoned cruiser and his suggestions have been spot on but I also know that those in front also can become part of the show.

The Las Vegas styled show was breath taking. I’m always in awe at the performers talents. We stay for the late night comedian and end up being part of his routine after all – all in good fun of course. Dancing followed until T walked me to my room in the wee hours. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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Anchors Away

Day 15 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Good morning!

I’ve turned into one of those old people I use to notice nursing coffee at an all night diner after closing out the bars in my younger, wilder days which, of course, feels like yesterday. It’s a wild and wooly 6 a.m. and I’m sipping coffee at IHOP just down from the hotel watching a group of tipsy, giggling twenty something’s. I smile in memory of nights spent dancing only to land in a late night diner eating biscuits and gravy – my go to favorite breakfast, diner, lunch, hangover food.

It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I just naturally wake up early. My eyes flew open this morning, the sound of waves and my empty tummy reminding me I hadn’t had dinner the night before which sent me searching for breakfast despite the nippy, cool morning which still happened to be black outside. It’s been months since I’ve experienced a chilly morning, but I have to say the short walk was refreshing, reminding me briefly of home, minus the snow, of course. There I would be in boots, gloves and coat instead of a long maxi dress, sandals and light track jacket. I’m a world away from Alaska.

Screenshot from WTForecast

I’m sure you are wondering how last night went at the pre-cruise party… and I’ll tell you. It was fine but an unexpected early night. I met a lovely couple who sat down with me. They have long been retired and travel the world together. Can’t wait to visit with them a bit more during the cruise. I met a few others too who circulated the room, introducing themselves in pairs and sometimes in groups. It became apparent that I was a minority single in a room full of pairs. What can I say… you would think by now I’d be use to it. I called it a night.

Onboard the Liberty of the Seas

Day 1

Energy is high coming aboard the ship. I’m always amazed at how quickly the staff processes thousands of people leaving and boarding the ship. I bounce along to the music navigating my way to the polished bar to begin the week with a rare Bloody Mary.

The Start to A Spooktaculious Mexico Halloween Cruise

Day 14 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Hello Galveston!

I’m leaving Houston behind for a week to inject some fun into my very solitary life. But before I get into that can I just say prepping for all this fun is hard work! Car serviced, check. Mani/pedi, check. Hair, check. Dresses, check. Shoes, check. House cleaned; check. Laundry, check. Passport, check. Tickets printed, check. Sheesh….and I’m sure I’m missing something!

Too late now. I’ve checked into the Holiday Inn on the seawall in Galveston. The ocean and sunshine is deceptively beautiful but the gusty wind has a chill autumn zing to remind me it’s the end of October. Brrr

The 90 minute drive took its toll on me a bit. As I lay on the hotel bed relaxing into the softness I can feel the lack of sleep and busy days catch up to me. I’m going to resort to a half of cup of coffee and hope the caffeine will revive me. Dinner and then the pre-cruise party is right around the corner and I need to get ready. 😝

But before I do anything I have to share my happiness moment with you! Miss R is Queen of the Ladybugs! TaaaDaaa! She makes my heart flutter with so much love. I just love this kid!

I’m blessed, and grateful to have such a wonderful grandchild… LoL. I’m not bias at all, right!?! With everything going on she is and will always be my brightest, happiest moments when they come… because soon she will be grown and these minutes will fade far too quickly!

Cheers!

❤️

Do you feel lucky?

Day 12 – #HappyDay Challenge

The Luckiest day of the year…. at least according to some astrologers.

Have you felt lucky today?

I am grateful (maybe better than lucky) that I managed to navigate my way into downtown Houston and found my out again. Between you and me I got lost (thank you GPS) finding my way back to the rest of the suburbanites in Katy. But I made it!

My happy moment today was pulling into my driveway.

Cheers!

❤️

What’s Your Purpose?

Day 11 – #100Happy Day Challenge

Patti Clark @thiswayup posted an insightful blog about finding purpose. The Universe has a way of messaging to me lately in odd, almost serendipitous ways. I woke suddenly from a dream I can’t remember (up way too early – again), sat up, and a popular book from years ago popped into my head, ” The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. And then, cup of coffee in hand, I browsed on my iPad and stumbled on Patti’s blog. Purpose. It’s following me! LoL

Maybe it materialized by an earlier phone call with my son the evening before? He shared his accomplishments at work, expressing his happiness and sense of pride of working with his coworkers during a floor move. Its been a long time since I’ve heard honest to goodness happiness in his voice when talking about his job. He said it felt good to be recognized for being good at his job. I know that he is good at what he does. It’s a gift. And, that once upon a time ago, he knew that too. He’s rediscovering his purpose. And with purpose, happiness.

Thoughts of my upcoming travel plans, the enjoyment and satisfaction of being part of a community of cruisers, sent my mind down the path of all the times I felt real joy. When I step outside of myself and find community in a common goal I can feel the happiness meter tick up. It’s those times when I’m working with others, helping, accomplishing an activity is when I’m at my best. I’m realizing these last few months, moving to a bustling, chaotic city, a new job, single without significant relationships, has stripped me of my sense of community and purpose.

Bare with me, at times I’m a bit slow, maybe because it’s not really my nature to feel this nagging discontentment. Or that this is the first time in over thirty years that I’m on my own. Really on my own…my kids are grown and off on their own making lives (happy ones, I pray) and it’s just me. But I remember hearing that recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution. Purpose. The concept is floating everywhere around me. Perhaps it is time to pay attention and rediscover what that means for me?

Cheers!

❤️

Microseconds

Day 10 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Coming home this afternoon when I opened the door I was instantly met with the fragrant scent of stargazers. They made me smile…. a great happiness moment to share.

Sharing daily happy happenings have made me realize that most of my moments are so small and almost microseconds. They are brief blips that flash by to be quickly eclipsed by the every day stuff that makes up my day. That being said, I’m more aware of those blips of sparkle.

Like today, my day in the office seemed to fly by but while slipping down to the cafeteria in search of a bite, I slowed down to enjoy the bright sunshine and the lively conversation rising and falling like waves of happiness in the light filled room. Just a microsecond of recognition but it made me smile.

Cheers!

❤️