Earlier this year I wrote an outraged response to an article in the Reader’s Digest on the sorts of activities we should be doing as we get older. Reading this article I discovered that the activities that I currently engage in makes me fall into the 20-30 year old age group. At the same time I’d come a cross a list of 42 lessons to live by compiled by a woman in her 90’s. I knew which set of rules I wanted to follow!
I know that traditionally people take time at the end of the year to look back and reflect on how things have been and also make some decisions about any changes, if any, they want to make in the New Year. I’ve decided to get ahead of the game and do this now. Re-reading this blog I decided to review the list to see how I was doing in terms of following it. Some of the points are quite deep, like point 10 which says, ‘ make peace with your past so it won’t screw up your present‘. I’ve done quite a lot of that in the past few years but I think that this is one I’ll probably be working on for the rest of my life! Unless my life suddenly becomes perfect and things stop going wrong or I stop making mistakes, that is. My mission statement says that ‘I want to prove that life can still be an adventure’. This year has had its challenges, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a bit of fun.
This year we decided to treat ourselves and booked a cruise, 8 nights aboard the Grandeur of the Seas, sailing from Baltimore down to Nassau in the Bahamas, stopping at Port Canaveral on the way down and Key West on the way back. I was really ready for this holiday and pictured days sunning myself on deck when we were at sea or on some exotic beach with white sand with the clear blue waters of the ocean gently lapping the shore, lulling me into a sense of calm and tranquility. I should have known better!
As we set sail from Baltimore, my hubby and I watched from the warmth and shelter of the Viking Crown lounge as the entertainment crew and a few brave (or foolish), souls battled the cold and high wind trying to dance beside the pool. Never mind, I thought to myself, we’re sailing south, things are bound to improve!
The next day proved to be no better. The temperature did improve slightly, but the winds were so strong it was safer and warmer to stay inside. Fortunately, one of the great things about cruising is that there is always something to do. So what did I, a ‘lady of a certain age’ choose to do? Play bingo? Try the quiz in the Schooner bar or even shop? Nope! I decided to attend a session where we could learn how to do a shortened version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller‘ dance! Believe it or not, although there were a few young people, I wasn’t the only person my era that attended this class, both male and female. If the young dancers of the ship’s crew were dismayed by this, they certainly didn’t show it. Over the week we had precisely 4 x 30 minute sessions gradually being taught the routine. The last session being at 2 pm on the last full day at sea. Then at 7.30 that evening we performed the dance to a packed audience of guests and crew in the Centrum of the ship.
For those of you unfamiliar with cruise ships. The Centrum is a bar/lounge area, in this case on deck 4 , which can be looked down upon from balconies from several decks above. An hour before the performance we gathered to have our hair teased, back combed and sprayed and our faces transformed to look like zombies. Despite our nervousness, there was a great sense of excitement as we looked out and watched as the Centrum and balconies above began to fill to capacity.
Then we were on! It was over really quickly. Apart from the entertainment crew and a couple of young ones who took part, it wasn’t the most polished performance. But everyone received it as the bit of fun it was meant to be. The audience went wild, clapping and cheering and as we left the dance floor people were congratulating us on our performance. For any Strictly fans reading this, it was more a ‘Dave the Hairy Biker’ entertaining performance, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. I know I did. No. 21 on the list I mentioned at the beginning of this blog is: ‘Be eccentric’. Well what could be more eccentric than a ‘lady of a certain age’ learning and performing Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance on a cruise ship.
We seemed to spend the week at sea chasing or out running high winds which resulted in changes to the itinerary and the cancellation of a few excursions. One particular evening it was so choppy it was like being in a roller coaster laying in bed. No it wasn’t the sunbathing, relaxing holiday I’d imagined, but it was certainly fun, with the Thriller performance being the highlight and a memory that in the future will always bring a smile to my face.
But no. 39 on the list really caught my eye! ‘The best is yet to come!’ I’ll happily take that one on board. During the Captain’s welcome aboard party, an announcement was made that one of the guests was celebrating his One Hundred and Second birthday! Now that’s something to aspire too! Goodness knows what I’ll be doing this time next year, but if I can believe this and live each day with this expectation,that the best is yet to come, it should help get through the long cold days and dark night’s of winter. Meanwhile if you fancy a laugh I’ve added the link to the Thriller performance on you tube. Enjoy!