Idealist. Realist. Optimist. Call it what you will, as I’m usually putting my efforts into reframing a situation into a positive one. I like to see the sunny side of EV-ER-Y-THING.
Back in June 2016, I went on a liveaboard boat trip to the Bahamas (aka paradise) with two dear friends and five others whom I didn’t know. Everyone got along nicely, so things went well—except for the weather. Somewhat unfortunate on a liveaboard diving trip.
Or was it? I guess it’s how you look at it.
Rain can be pretty. And big, puffy dark clouds are fun to watch change shape. There’s also the extra benefits of not having to worry about sunburn. As long as your safe—and not seasick—big waves can be doable.
And we had ’em too, as our trip coincided with a tropical depression! But it was the chefs that eventually blew me away, not the storm. They could make a meal similar to a Thanksgiving Day feast three times a day as that boat rocked back and forth. They were so impressive with their attention, care, and knowledge of gluten-free food preparation. They effortlessly handled every little detail while the rest of us held on.
Beautiful people inside and out.
I had been looking forward to the sunsets and watching the stars in the velvety night sky, but it was too overcast throughout the trip.
I did get to see my stars, however, but in an unexpected way. Turned out it was the people.
Flip the switch
Turn the light up
Let the sun shine in
Hit the lever, a full spin
Adjust the button ’til it’s right
Turn up the faith dial
Rotate your chair toward the window
Watch the sunbeams shift
And the rays through the willows, and
There’s your gift
One tireless crew member tied two 5-pound weights together with zip strips so I could have a 10-pound weight to do my workouts. I also met a French gentleman who romantically explained why he loves his wife so—and how she can go get sandy and windblown in the waves of the German lakes where they live, then go out for dinner and still be so lovely and beautiful.
There was the father who invented the magnificent Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida to give his son and other autistic young adults the opportunity for employment and a sense of purpose. I also met a young woman with Lyme Disease who just can’t stop livin’ even though she’s not well. I was AMAZED by their bright, personal sunshine and their dedication to their children and families.
I gained much insight and learned valuable lessons from their life stories.
I thought I was going to the Bahamas for a Caribbean adventure, but what I got was a digital detox (the most I had in years), lessons on how people cope in their day-to-day lives, and true human connection as we shared stories—without once looking down at our phones.
Life is uncertain and can be uncomfortable. But that’s not necessarily a bad place to be. When we change our perspective, we can smile, breathe deeply and slow down because we are okay with things, events and people, and can experience the present moment with contentment and a peaceful mind. We gain contrast, and therefore, appreciation.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”John Steinbeck
Oh, and we did enjoy turquoise waters and sunshine for one single, beautiful day.