I wanted to end on a positive note and give my top ten, okay thirteen, best things about cruising and living this life. I realize my last post cast a more negative, but honest look at cruising. Every life is what you make it and we are trying to make the most of this one!
1. The friends we have met. I can not possibly name everyone, besides, you know who you are! We have met some absolutely fabulous, generous, kind and wise people who have loved us like their own family and loved my boys like their own grandchildren. I am going to get weepy just writing about them, but so many wonderful people have blessed us in so many ways and we are forever surprised by that and eternally grateful. It makes being away from our immediate families a tiny bit easier, because of the great company we have found along the way. Enough said!
2. We are doing it! So many people dream about doing this or read books or blogs about other people doing this, but we are actually living, breathing, doing it! Not one day when the kids are a little older, not one day when we have a little more money saved, not one day when we are empty nesters, but right now!
3. My boys are growing into kind, friendly, outgoing little men who will say hi to anyone, play with everyone and can also have a conversation with an adult. I did say growing into, as this is still a work in progress. My kids are not perfect and they still have temper tantrums and bad attitudes because they are kids, but they are growing and learning so much every single day.
4. We are all getting our daily dose of vitamin D! I know I complain about the heat, but the sun has been therapeutic at times. The boys are outside a lot. The month that we have been in Marathon they have played outside more than ever, climbing trees, riding their scooters, playing hide and go seek and building forts and enjoying the pool. I love that my kids play outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and the sunshine!
5. More sleep for the Momma! I so love to sleep in. It’s not that I am a night owl and go to bed really late and then sleep during the day, I just don’t enjoy being awake before 8 am. Truly, that seems to be my magic number. Richard is always awake first so he keeps the boys relatively quiet for me in the morning and often starts on breakfast with them so I can get some more zzzzzs. It is great. And if you need a nap in the afternoon because you had a crappy sleep, then I can take a nap. Love it!
6. Our blog. Richard and I both have enjoyed working on our blog and keeping it up to date with our posts and pictures. I know other people like reading it as well, but it helps us keep a memory book of our year. We often have to look up places, spellings and names so that everything is accurate, but we have enjoyed working on it.
7. I am learning to let things go. I am a perfectionist and possibly a bit OCD about some things, but this lifestyle has enabled me to let some of that go. It is definitely a work in progress, but there is less stress here.
8. No schedules. Yes, I know I mentioned that as a negative, but in this case it is also a positive. No dragging the boys out of bed to quickly scarf down breakfast so they can get to the bus and off to school on time. On the mornings when we missed the bus, then no racing and rushing them to get into the car so I can drop them off at school on time. No more swimming lessons, or Sunday school teaching or worship practice or volunteering at school and no more guilt for not doing more or having to say no or be away from my own family. There is such freedom in not having a schedule and I am learning to embrace that.
9. Less housework. My “house” is less than 300 square feet and it doesn’t take me long to wipe down the two tiny heads, tidy the bedrooms and clean up the salon (our living room/kitchen area). There! Housework complete! Which leaves lots more time for dinghy rides, walks, going to the beach or pool, playing board games, reading books and writing blog posts.
10. We have seen some beautiful creation. The water is so clear in the Bahamas that you can see the sandy bottom with trails from crabs and conch marking the ocean bed floor, 20 feet down. The sand is white and fine and it feels so good between your toes. We have seen more marine life and native fauna than ever before and it is amazing.
11. No seasonal allergies! I usually suffer from allergies in the spring and well into the summer. What from? Midwest trees. Guess where I used to live? In the midwest! I was heavily medicated for months, but it only scratched the surface of itchy eyes, stuffy, runny nose and a scratchy mouth. Well, no seasonal allergies out here because there are no midwest trees out here. Glorious! I am still using antihistamines to counter the no-see-um bites, but you’ve heard that story already.
12. This will make a great story for the grandkids! We are making so many great memories with our own children, but this is something that can be passed down. Who knows, maybe we will have to take the grandchildren on a trip just like this. Or maybe our boys will be doing this same thing with their families and grandma and grandpa can fly out for a visit.
13. Richard says I am more fun!