Real Talk: It’s Been A While!  Where Have You Been? 

Well, My Cruising Family, LLC is still here.  Prior to this, our most recent blog article is the one that showcases our most recent international trip, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba, Colombia, and Panama, which was in October 2018.  The year 2018 was a very busy travel year for My Cruising Family, with international travel in March, June, August, and October.  While it was a blast, before the year was out, I had already started to feel as though, as a mom and just as a person, I needed to slow down on travels to focus on not just self-care, but family care.  Travel is amazing for self-care, but too much of it can be draining.  Balance is the key. 

I am mommy to an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy, which, by itself, is a full-time job.  Add to that, I am an attorney who, during the year 2018, while already working, conducted an active job search and, since then, received and accepted a new job offer.  Our family has also faced multiple unexpected child care challenges over the course of 2018 and 2019, and we are thankful for where we are right now with respect to child care.  Prayerfully, both boys will be attending the same school in the 2019-2020 academic year and beyond, and with all that in place and high hopes for the future, I often have to remind myself to breathe and take life one day at a time.  Whew!  Life can get hectic. 

I have found that, when running My Cruising Family, LLC as a travel agency and blog, I felt as though I had little-to-no time with my children who spent much of the weekdays at day care and school while I was at my job as an attorney, and after enduring a commute that is more than an hour long, each way, I would arrive home, shower, and almost immediately get on the computer and telephone to research and book trips for clients, and to communicate with clients to address questions and concerns.  Sometimes, my husband and/or my mom did homework with the boys, while other times, I did homework with the boys in the midst of all the other stuff.  In addition to feeling like I had little-to-no time for my children, I know that my husband felt that I had little-to-no time for him, and I felt like I had no time for myself.  It just didn’t feel good.  I know that all discipline hurts for a while, but there is a difference in (1) the pain that you must endure for the purpose and task assigned to you in the appropriate time, and (2) the pain of doing things out of turn.  When doing things out of turn, that pain not only doesn’t feel good, but it doesn’t feel right either.  When I started My Cruising Family, LLC, my intent for the company was to inform more folks about travel through blogging and social media, while only booking a few group cruises each year.  However, the time required to research and book cruises for others ate into the time that I could have been preparing new blog articles. 

In 2019, in the midst of the magical Disney bookings that I’ve handled, the two group cruises that I booked for others but on which I did not sail, and the additional individual cruise bookings that I’ve handled through the year, I have also been primary travel agent and planner on our upcoming 10th anniversary vow renewal and vacation, which has transformed from a smaller much more economical event to a more elaborate celebration than I had initially planned.  Although our bank accounts and credit cards have limits, I have realized that, once we decided on Disney for this milestone celebration, our imagination and the possibilities are limitless.  God is good!  Without Him, we couldn’t do any of the things that I’ve rattled off in this recap, nor would we have the gift of hope and excitement for our upcoming vow renewal.  We are blessed, and we plan to enjoy every moment of it! 

So, that’s a quick snapshot of where we’ve been thus far in 2019.  No major physical travels just yet, but a number of mental, emotional, and spiritual journeys have taken place and are in progress.  You know, as I write this, it’s dawning on me that, this past Sunday was the first Sunday that I physically attended church in 2019.  Prior to that, the most recent time that I had physically attended church was on my most recent birthday in December 2018.  To some, that may be meaningless, but, to me, this is symbolic as it indicates the state that my life has been in.  Although my husband and I became regular watchers of our church’s Sunday services via livestream, it is not the same as physically being in the House of God.  I love God, and once upon a time, attended church regularly on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights because it was such a part of my being.  While my relationship with God is still very much alive – don’t get it twisted – I know that many of my devotional practices have fallen off and need work, and I am thankful for God’s leading and guiding in getting my family and I up and out of the house and into the church sanctuary this past Sunday.  Yet another symbol.  Symbolic of a fresh start as Allan and I prepare for our first international trip of the year, and one that has already shown itself to be perfectly handcrafted for us by God Himself. 

Maybe it’s my natural Caribbean vibe or the fact that I gravitate towards intriguing professional work, but in my personal life, the hectic nature of things doesn’t sit well with me because it makes me feel anxious.  And home is no place for anxiety.  Home is to be a sanctuary, a retreat of sorts.  That’s the sort of feeling I feel when cruising or when on a tranquil Caribbean beach vacation.  When I feel and experience the tranquility of the ocean breeze and sunshine to the tune of the waves and reggae music, it is a feeling that something in me bottles up and carries with me.  Our home has been yearning for this tranquil vibe.  Whew!  Thank God for our upcoming dip in the Caribbean!  Feels like it’s long overdue.  It will be a quick getaway.  However, just like my attendance in church this past Sunday, this trip is right on time, and I am already preparing to bottle up the vibe as it blesses me to bless others. 

If you’ve read through and gotten this far, thank you for your listening heart.  I sat at this laptop tonight and typed this all out, sort of freestyle, which is not how my blog articles are usually written.  This, however, is more of a letter to you all who have shown My Cruising Family support and love, and who have wondered where we’ve been in recent months. 

Have you ever felt the need to take a hiatus from something?  What was your reason?  Have you ever felt a shift in your personal, professional, and spiritual life all at once?  How have you handled it?