Friday, May 16, 2014

Cruisin' into Happy

The Owl and the Pussy-cat
went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat....

~ Edward Lear

This Owl and her Pussy-cat
momma are still riding on
waves of memories from our
annual mother-daughter trip
last week, which she has treated 
me to annually for nearly 16 
years as birthday gifts.

When my children were little,
so were the trips--
long weekends, really.

Gradually, as the kids grew
more and more independent,
the trips were extended.

This year was the longest,
as we cruised the Western
Caribbean on the world's largest
cruise ship, the beautiful and
amazing Allure of the Seas.

On our first full day aboard,
we attended a nutrition and
fitness seminar led by a very
knowledgeable staff member
from Croatia.

One memorable piece of advice 
he dispensed was related to
exercise, but could be applied
to many things in life:

Whatever activity you choose
to do, make sure it's one that


Otherwise, he said shaking his
head, you won't do it.

I loved his accent.  The crew and
staff represented 75 different
nations, and the sailing guests, 47.

There was a lot of happy on that
ship.  At one point I remarked to
my mom that I wished people
around the globe could get along
as well as the diverse population
on the Allure of the Seas!

And while it's certainly easier to
find your happy while sailing the
waters of the Caribbean, there were
things I experienced that don't require
a staff of 3,000 or 225, 282 gross tons
of ship to achieve at home.....

1.  Wake up early to see the sunrise.
Even if it's just once and a while, 
it will make your heart glad.

2.  Talk to strangers, especially if
they are from another country or
have a service dog or are simply 
waiting in line with you for 
the elevator.

3.  If it makes you happy and doesn't
hurt anyone else, go for it.  Ride the
carousel.  Go see an animated movie.
Have the doughnut (but just one!).  
Sing and dance.

4.  Laugh early and laugh often!

5.  Show appreciation, whether it's a
compliment, a tip or a kind word
to the person in charge.  Not only
will it make them happy, it will make
you happy, too.

6.  Don't take yourself too seriously.
Although the outside changes, your
inner child doesn't -- and he or 
she needs to get out now and then!

is an inside job, after all. 

Despite life's challenges, its ups
and downs, it's stressors and its
heartaches, most of us still have the
choice to carve out our little piece
of happy, each and every day.

I had to remind myself of that as
my mom and I parted at the airport
at the end of our trip.

It's hard for this Owl to be 
1500 miles
from her Pussy-Cat.

But we are already dreaming
of our next adventure, in 2015.

Because looking forward, rather
than aft, is part of cruisin' 
into happy, too : )


PS:  How do you find your happy?

all pics:  P&H


Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

What a lovely tribute to your time "at sea" and to your darling mother. You look so much alike!! I think it is such a lovely tradition you have established - I may need to copy it with my daughter who is 25 (although my boys would probably be insanely jealous). Have a beautiful weekend, Suzanne! xoxo

Julie said...

This is just BEAUTIFUL. The fact that your mama determined to make this happen and continues it..True Mama love. The fact that you and your mama are such close girlfriends. And the fact that you are sharing the joy, the wisdom, the impact that doing so has had on YOUR life. I love it. And as your previous commenter stated...It inspires ME to do the same with my daughter. Now that she is older and we live quite far apart....I would love to start this tradition. God willing. I get to see her next week Suzanne!!! I am thrilled. Been since last August. Big Big hugs to you, and thank you for a wonderful post reminding all of us life is short...and what we get OUT of it largely depends on what we put INTO it...<3 <3 <3

Dianna said...

Oh Suzanne...thank you for sharing your time with your beautiful mom with us! What joy and HAPPY greets me as I read of your adventure with just the two of you!

I love the way you've chosen to point out the things we can do right here where we are! My favorite was about the inner child needing to get out now and then!

You are one SPECIAL lady! Grateful for the way we've met!

Dianna xo

Joanna said...

I LOVED reading that post and looking at those super photographs (particularly the one of you on the carousel!). The love and happiness shared between you and your beautiful mom shines out. This tradition that she has steadfastly maintained is wonderful, and definitely one I shall be looking to start with my darling daughter once she is living an independent life.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Such a lovely post, Suzanne...I'm smiling ear-to-ear! I love your tradition and I'm hoping to spend some happy time with my mother soon! Beautiful photos, too, my friend!

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Such a great tradition! And what a blessing to be able to share such happy times with your mom. Right now my young teen would not like to vacation with me, that's for sure lol. Time will tell....xoKathleen

Sue said...

Blessings abound!
What a wonderful tradition you and your mother share. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

Hindsfeet said...

Suzanne, I swear my dear, you are always just reading my mail.....*always* so encouraging and timely to the point of being downright uncanny.

Grateful for you my dear,

Jenny said...

Beautiful mother and daughter. It is so special what you do together. I never got to do that with my mother. She died when she was 65. I also had five children I couldn't have left. I appreciate your sharing with us your trips. xo Jenny

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

My dear friend, I am late....the school year is coming to a close, so meetings and lots of work take up my week. To see your gorgeous mother here and YOU - oh my, what beauty. And the photos...I so hope to do my own as the summer months allow me more time. I love what you have done here, to show us the mix of nations and the beauty of hearing accents, seeing the colors of the people and their flags; a bit of HEAVEN. Be well, enjoy this beautiful weekend. Anita

Leslie said...

Suzanne, What a special trip for you and your mom! Your pictures are wonderful and so glad you are out there making memories:) xxleslie

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely post...and what a beautiful relationship to have with your mother. You are blessed.

Wonderful pics, too--I have one that that I took that is nearly exactly the same of the wake from behind the ship. It's from when I cruised with my own mom for her 65th birthday--almost exactly 23 years ago.

Thanks for sharing your awesome trip!

Patricia Goins said...

Brilliant advice for happiness :) You and your mother are both stunning! I love the looking forward rather than looking back- so true, along with soaking up the present.

Life with Kaishon said...

Everything about this post made me so happy! What a blessing to go away with your sweet mama. What a blessing to encounter all of the people of all of those countries. Absolutely wonderful.

Thank you for encouraging and loving and caring for so many. You shine your light so brightly.

Love, Becky

Laura Murphy said...

Oh you and your mom are just beautiful! Her face works well as a mermaid.

My happy....right now, it's the garden! Which is also my work out! Also, cuddling my little guy and hearing his giggles. Never gets old.


michele said...

sweet mother on a waffle cone, you are fabulous, suzanne. what an incredible tradition i think i must start with my own sons for their birthdays. you're always sharing wisdom which i need. except that donut thing. you're not the boss of me. i'll have 2 if i want. (ha! lies...all of that, i never touch donuts.) thanks for uplifting me here and sharing your lovely heart. your mom is gorgeous like her baby.


Rambling Tart said...

What a fantastic tradition with your wonderful mother. :-) You both look so happy and like you're having a marvelous time. :-) XO

Just a little something from Judy said...

I love traditions like yours! How special that you and your mother had this time together. I can't help but think that someday your daughter will be sharing a similar post to this one, about her time with you. Beautiful pictures, especially the last one! Happy looks good on both of you!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Love that you do this. I wish my mom and I had that tradition. It's very special.

lisaroyhandbags said...

What a lovely tradition you two have maintained - so special to share happy trips together. I've always wished my mother wasn't so afraid of going places and trying new things - it has really limited her life and her happiness. You are truly blessed. xo

patty said...

oh, such a great post!
1. lovelovelove his advise! and agree 100%
2. THAT SUNRISE! ah! be-still my heart!
3. perfect advise!
4. you look like your daughter on the carrousel
5. great picture of you with your mama... a treasure

i think i say this every time i'm here... i love being here in this space with you... your words, your images... all so lovely... happy, even. ;)

Joyti said...

What a magical post. Your mother is BEAUTIFUL and sounds very gracious and kind. The annual birthday trip tradition sounds wonderful!

My happy? I find it in drinking cups of tea (I love the way the rest of the world falls away for those few hot sips), in reading my authors, and snuggling my cat :)

Bonnie said...

I enjoyed this post very much. Your mother and you are very beautiful. What a lovely tradition. I should start a tradition with my daughter. Thanks for the inspiration.

Palomasea said...

This is a breathtaking post, dear Suzanne!
Of course, the most glorious part of it is the special love and bond you share with your precious mom.
I was very blessed to have a relationship like this with mine...I treasure my memories so much. We loved traveling together...what a gift.
And your words, as well as the beautiful photos...well...this is inspirational wisdom, my friend...I thank you for this blessing... :)
So very happy for you both that you had a great cruise!
A splendid weekend to you...
Warm hugs,
- Irina

Tricia said...

Look at you two lovely ladies…what a pretty pair you are! Your vacations are such a special tradition. Oh my, just think of all the wonderfully, happy memories you're creating together! My parents went on vacation with me and my family last year. That's something I'll always remember :)


Ah, you two are so cute. What sweet memories. And how smart you are to bring some of those lessons from the sea home with you.