Friday, June 2, 2006

Cruising the Mediterrenan

Norwegian Jewel
Livorno, Italy

I feel like I've been on a journey all my life, similar to the one I'm on
now, traveling from port to port looking for the unattainable, perfect life,
trying to find adventure and the hidden treasure amongst all the discovered
treasures of the world.
Well, now I think I've finally started the discovery of the real me and I'm
quite happy with what I find.

I sit at the balcony of my stateroom on the Norwegian Jewel and look out on
to a cargo port. They are loading containers as I write these lines.
And how do I feel knowing that Florence is within my reach, all that art, history, and beauty, to be savored is only an hour and a half away, with me sitting on the ship looking out at quite an unappealing site, and what do I think about my

I love it. I think I have it great.

If someone had asked me just last year, I never thought I would be feeling
this way about my current situation. But today I can philosophize and say
that just the fact that I have been traveling for the past week from one
Italian port to the next and being able to go up to hilltop towns and see
things I have never seen before is a great gift. I know that last year if
we were to do this cruise I wouldn't have been able to enjoy a quarter of
what I enjoyed on this trip.

Maybe part of my contentment is due to knowing that I can come back to
Florence anytime, and the time I spend with my husband is more precious than
any world wonder I might have an opportunity to see. Knowing how valuable
it is to be together and healthy and in good spirits.

It feels like I have been on a quest to find peace and contentment for
years. I have been searching for the perfect life. My idea of the perfect
life involved looking perfect and doing the most appealing things by most
people's standards and feeling what I'm suppose to be feeling as told by
what I read or saw.

Now, do I look perfect, the perfect body with the beautiful face. Hardly,
when I look at myself in the mirror, I see a woman of 40 who the years
haven't been able to render away but the damage is there. The lines and the
spots and the tired expression…..but with all that I also see the knowing,
understanding expression, the sense of serenity to be felt.
I now understand that there is no perfect world as seen in fiction. Behind
every picture perfect body and face there is a 'not so perfect' detail that
would scar the picture if it could be seen; but that's ok since to each is own. We are not all made the same way; we all have one of a kind qualities that sets us
up differently from one another. We can't expect our lives to be the
same either.

The cause for my happiness is not a new found appeal within me, but the
discovery of a more understanding, more knowing and contented woman. This
woman is ok with who she is, and what she is. She might want more for
herself or her family but the things she wants are for a better quality of
life. The kind of things she yearns for are for the future happiness and
well being of her family.

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