What would you do for those you love? It's a great question that came with valuable lesson when I went on a cruise recently. You would think it was a trip with all fun and sun (which there was plenty of that) but it also included lessons for life!
It all began with Lloyd.
Or shall I say it ended. Nope Lloyd is not a man but a woman (see center woman in picture above) I befriended at the end of my trip. She was one of the assistant Maitre'd at the cruise dinner. Always with a friendly demeanor, she guided us to our seats 3 of 5 days on the cruise and ended with a beautiful smile on her face as she wished us a great dinner. This woman's story brought me to tears, literally!
But first a little about the trip itself...
I wish I could tell you the entire trip was completely deliriously fun 24x7x5 days but I was accompanied by sick parents who I tried to assist and make comfortable as much as possible and a cute 4 year old who could only do toddler activities. But that said, I took as much opportunity as I could to enjoy some girl times with the young ladies who joined us, and YES I definitely joined in Karaoke 3 nights... if you've been following along you know 'that's my thang'!
But here's THE thing...
This trip really wasn't about me. I mean sure I wanted another vacation, who doesn't? But the reality is I wanted to show my parents, Dad in particular, a good time as it may be one of his last trips he will be able to take due to his failing health. It pained me to see him unable to enjoy all the fun vacations, and excursions that I could take. I just knew I had to take them out and show them both what it's like to LIVE outside of your work and every day life. (you know how I feel about that based on my California post). So for the last 2-3 years I've been taking my mom and dad on trips to miami, orlando, new orleans (to visit brothers/sis) and now to the Bahamas on their first ever cruise!
You see i realized something...
Life is to be lived now! It concerns me when people wait for retirement, or till they have a new job, or a new lover as Abraham Hicks says in the quote. You need to live RIGHT NOW! And I learned that right out of college. Growing up poor and not being able to go anywhere but your home country because you have no money was rough. So as soon as I was making my own I set out to travel and see as many places as I could and bring people with me. And I'm still exploring to this day.
I could not let another year happen without my parents experiencing a world outside of their own.
Even if it wasn't perfect, even if the sun hurt, even if the plane ride was long... it's an experience they will never forget! So yes it was a labor of love, but it was worth every second.
And so now about Lloyd...
As my last day arrived and we sat at the dinner table it was bitter sweet to come to dinner but I made it a point to get to know the staff and thank them for all the hard work they do in keeping us happy and full and having fun. What you may not know is that all of the people on the ship spend 6-9 months without seeing their families/friends on any given trip and then get 2 months free before doing the same all over again. Most have kids or someone they are doing this for and it's so worth it for them as you see the look in their faces. It's rare to see such an incredibly friendly and accommodating staff! And Lloyd was one of those stars that shined for me.
Let's talk about labor of love...
You see she also has a child that she does this job for whom she leaves with her mother to watch as she works diligently. But her own story is an amazing one too... she was actually born Jaqueline in the Philippines and as a baby she was wrought with illness getting fevers constantly. Her loving father looked at her and said let's rename her a strong name so that this terrible luck changes for her. So they renamed her Lloyd. Incredibly, after that she stopped having fevers and became a strong young woman. But the life-shifting moments didn't stop there. 6 years ago after completing school, getting married and having a daughter her husband died. But having already learned how to be strong Ms. Lloyd put on her big girl panties as they say and set out to take the difficult test for Carnival, go through training, and endure the 6-9 months to make enough money to not only help her daughter as a single mom, but be one of the primary bread winners of her family also sending her brother to school. Talk about labor of love!
So I ask you...
What labor of love have you done lately for the one's you love? And what will you do to celebrate love and life today?
If over 18+ years in Corporate America, licenses in massage. energy work and purpose coaching, 1000's of client sessions and good old fashioned life taught me something, it's that life is worth living and living passionately!