Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day One: The Cruise Fuse

Saturday July 9, 2011
Elizabeth Willis Barrett

It is 7:30 AM and Brad and I are sitting in the Sky Harbor Airport waiting to board our Southwest flight to New Orleans where we will board a Norwegian Cruise Line ship for our first ever and much deserved cruise. It is to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary which is coming up on August 18th. If not now, when?

I haven’t really gathered any enthusiasm for this privileged adventure yet. I’m hoping it will come. If not, I will be considered a very ungrateful little twerp since a very low percentage of the world’s 6 billion—or is it 7 billion?—people can ever dream of going on a trip like this. But collecting enthusiasm takes time and brain power and both of those commodities have been busy elsewhere, along with my scattered emotions. Mom died in April and we had a very reflective and sweet time with family and friends. We took a wonderful trip to Conneaut, Ohio—Brad’s birth place— in May. June vanished like disappearing ink without making an impression at all and we had a memorable family reunion at the cabin over the Fourth of July after spending several days in Flagstaff for business. Now here it is time for this possibly once in a lifetime vacation and I’d better perk up and get my whole body, mind and spirit in total alignment to enjoy it. OK, Chopra and Dyer—please remind me how to do that!

One way is to enjoy the moment—right? I have been practicing enjoying the process or the journey, as it were, and not just the destination, but I have a long ways to go, so to speak. For instance, I didn’t enjoy any of the moments last night while I was finishing a marathon packing spree. A packing job that should take two hours at the very most always ends up being as big a deal as packing up the Ringling Brothers Circus. Why is that? One minor reason is that invariably, while slowly packing, Brad turns on the TV. The TV is so distracting to me. Brad comments on what is being debated on the current talk show—which I must respond to—and then he talks to me about other things that could easily be discussed while we’re waiting an hour in the airport. I don’t think men think that way, though. They just say things as they come to mind and never consider more convenient timing. My goal was to go to bed at 8:00 which was ridiculous, I know, but I believe in aiming high. My head didn’t hit the pillow until nearly mid-night, however, and just knowing that the alarm was set for 5:00 this morning made sleep evade me like a grandchild at Wal-Mart.

So now that we have surprisingly made it in excellent time to the airport—via a loving and kind daughter, Allison—I will try once again to enjoy the moment. Ummm, maybe not this moment. I am sitting behind a Mister “I don’t care if everyone knows the minutiae of my frustrating and difficult business” who is talking twenty decimals louder than sotto voce on his cell phone. Should I let him ruin my moment? According to author Byron Katie who makes falling flat on the floor appear to be a special gift from providence, “Of course not.” That would be giving him too much of my power and I need my power for this trip.

So I’ll concentrate on some of the other people—scores and scores of all shapes, sizes and demeanors. All clothed and coiffured in a myriad of ways. And God knows each one intimately and loves each one, too, which seems like a stretch in some instances —the angry, the chuckling, the immodest, the ancient—Imagine!

Well my number is up and we are about to board. Me and my best friend—going on our first cruise. Lucky, lucky me!!!


dina marie said...

So hopefully there are more follow up posts to this one. Brent and I have never been on a cruise. It seems like everyone has been but us. I am glad to know that we were not alone...until now. :) It is good to hold fast to the hope that maybe when we reach our 40th, it may happen. I will be waiting for the rest of your story.

NP said...

Can't wait to hear about the cruise and hopefully it was wonderful! Congratulations on your 40 years!!!
Love & hugs,

Cheela said...

Liz, I didn't know about your mom. I am so sorry. I wish we could have talked on the cruise.

And I agree with Nancy, congrats.

LindaR said...

Love your writing style. And I hope you had a wonderful time.