Sunday, March 13, 2011
Yesterday we walked around the deck for forty minutes for exercise, ate a calorie-heavy dinner, and listened to the string quartet for three hours. I finished one pair of socks and started another. I also did a tiny bit of writing last night, courtesy of Google Documents (which is really slow via satellite connection!). I hope to repeat that minor miracle today.
This morning we ate a lazy room-service breakfast on our balcony; then I worked out for an hour in the ship's gym (which was jammed) while Gary walked around the deck for seventy-five minutes. We're taking stairs everywhere we go (no small matter, since the passenger part of the ship's ten stories). Anything to burn off some of the extraordinarily yummy food!
We're already blissfully relaxed, although of course all televisions (in our room, in the library where I sit now) broadcast a steady stream of quake news from Japan, broken only by flooding news from New Jersey. It feels a little bit like we're on an ark, a floating island free of disaster.
Yesterday at lunch I sat next to a woman in her eighties who was diagnosed two years ago with stage-four lymphoma. The minute she finished her first brutal round of chemo, she and her husband took off on a cruise. They did five last year and three so far this year, with at least one or two more planned. She told me that they don't have a lot of money: they were both schoolteachers who've been retired for twenty years, but they've gotten very good at finding cruise bargains. (A fellow passenger I told about this commented, "Well, cruises are cheaper than nursing homes, and they sure treat you better.") She and her husband travel six months out of the year. She looks terrific: she swims an hour a day, and attributes her survival so far to the fact that she was in excellent shape before her diagnosis.
"I just wish I could tell people to enjoy every minute they have," she told me. "We all have to do some planning for the future, but really, live each day as if it might be your last, because it could be."
Amen. And I hope I'm as vital as she is when I'm her age, even without cancer!