First, thanks for the swag, ladies. I am festooned with jewels -- my beautiful BE bracelet and heart necklace can make an appearance at the office, as can the felt mouse and Ticonderoga #2 pencils. The mardi gras beads, however, will have to stay home. An Anglican Rosary rests on my desk at home and at work. There is a place for each of the gifts chosen so that I will come across it as I go through my day. Unfortunately, the Fun and Sail Card and its nifty holder had to be removed from my car; they won't give me a Pina Colada at the local drive-thru and it just made me too sad. The nifty holder now holds my parking lot pass.
Our wonderful retreat leader, Mary Marcotte, gave us "words to walk" during our retreat. My word was hope, and I have continued to walk with it at home. On the ship, my focus was on what hope meant, and how I lived with hope or brought hope or found hope or had hope for others or myself. As I have walked it these last couple of days, I realized that while we were aboard ship together, I felt hope. Hope has been far away recently, but thanks to the women at the Big Event, I walk in hope.
Here are a few things I learned (or re-learned) on the trip:
- Make new friends and keep the old.
- For better or worse, sometimes we're 12.
- Geo-caching is a source of profound joy.
- Red state, blue state? Who cares, really?
- The Lido deck is not just a state of mind. It's a real place.
- Temporary tattoos don't hurt; they're not permanent; but they might mark you forever.
- I've never slept as well on dry land as I did on that boat.