So, I was perusing my old blog and found this post. It got me to thinking. And I decided to repost it. That blog is never visited anymore and it's not as if I had anything profound to say... but I guess I wanted a bit more than just "joe" on here. :)
So here is a post from September 6, 2006
There are times that you sit and reflect upon your life and how you got to where you are right now. Of course, 'right' now is always changing. However, I recently had the opportunity to speak to two different ship board friends of mine rather unexpectedly.
Oh, the fun we had. I suppose ship life and boating life aren't that different in this one aspect. For some reason, wine and water seem to go hand in hand. There were many nights when we would sit on the back deck of the Zaandam, drinking a glass, or ten, of wine with people that were our family away from family. It's not altogether different from sitting on the back of my dad's boat or on the 'party pier' at South Shore Harbor.
One of the chats us crewmembers had on board one evening, involved where we saw ourselves in the not so distant future. I knew at that time that my life at sea was coming to an end and that I wanted the 'real' life. To me, the real life consisted of a house, dog named Murphey, garden, car, husband and 2.4 children. I always joked that 'they' say the .4 is the hardest part to come by.
It is so easy to take things for granted. To a person residing on land, it is nothing to walk in the grass, take a bubble bath or sit on your back porch going over a days' activities. To a person residing at sea, it is nothing to wake up in Skagway, Alaska with snow capped mountains and the sound of a choo choo train whistling it's way into town.
I now work very hard at not taking for granted those wonderful things that once were so rare and precious to me and now are part of everyday life. There is 'wonder' in the normal for someone who didn't have 'normal' for five years. Or for some of my friends, ten plus years.
Recently, there was some hubbub about a crew member for Princess publishing a blog, on this very site, and giving away the 'secrets' behind crew doors. It's human nature to want to know how the other half lives. It's unusual. It's kind of similar to celebrities... even in our own minds. Human nature wants to know what it's like living with a roommate in a cramped space. Do they want to know? Do they really want to know that in reality, we were treated very well. Or is it more exciting to hear that we are mistreated? You will find people in both categories and both would be telling you the truth... because truth is your own perception, isn't it?
Working at sea is a personal choice... and one that people make for their own reasons. For many of the honest to goodness crew members on board, the ones that make up the beds, cook the meals, serve the meals and work in the engine room, it is grueling. They work long hours, away from their families for years at a time. They make the ultimate sacrifice for their families. However, when they go home, they live very well.
It is not an easy decision for anyone to make. To leave your home, your family and even your country... but, if that means that your children, your spouse, your parents and siblings can live a better life... what is to question?