Hello 2017! 

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Happy New Year!!!! 

This is my first blog post of the new year. I am still slightly shocked that it is 2017. In fact, it seems as though the world just welcomed 2016 last month. But here we are already three days into a brand new year. If you’re like me you have already written out your goals, made resolutions, and/or set your intentions for 2017; and the real go-getters have already begun to take action to meet the goals they have set for themselves. But before we dove head first into our goals we all took a moment (or at least should have) to bid 2016 adieu and welcome 2017. 

2017 Ice Sculpture Carnival Liberty

Normally my New Years Eve finds me in one of two places: (1) Church attending Watch Night Service, or (2) Home in my PJs waiting for the ball to drop in Time Square. Rarely am I at any other place than the two mentioned previously. But for this NYE I found myself aboard the Carnival Liberty’s lido deck partying like it was 1999. Well, maybe not quite like it was 1999, but close.  The atmosphere was electric! The temperature was perfect! And more than 2000 fellow cruisers were counting down to the new year under the stars, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean! It was truly a wonderful night and I am so grateful to have been apart of it all. 

New Years Eve Celebration Carnival Liberty Lido Deck

But not only was that night wonderful, my entire vacation was wonderful….from beginning to end, and I did exactly what I wanted to do….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! This trip was all about rest and relaxation. A time to simply be still and reflect on my successes and failures of 2016 and to consider and strategize on the goals I have written out for myself for 2017. It was a time to listen for that still small voice while allowing God to restore me so that I may be prepared for the journey that lies ahead. 
But as is said, all good things must come to an end and thus my cruise vacation ended today. However, not before teaching me an important lesson and reminding me that God is present in every moment.

On the flight home there were quite a few children and they all must have taken naps earlier because they were doing what children do. One child in particular, who looked to be about two, was quite fussy. He did not want to be confined to his daddy’s lap. He wanted to get down and move around freely. It also appeared that said child was fighting sleep which more than likely intensified his fussiness and that brought on the crying. I was completely enthralled in the book I was reading, but the sound of a crying baby has the capacity to make even the most stoic lose concentration. And as I listened to the cries of the baby and watch him attempt to break free from his father’s grip, and witness the obvious frustration on the faces of some of the other passengers who were reading or napping, I realized in that moment that we all could use a little more patience. I realized that we can become so wrapped up in what we are doing that even the slightest distraction will annoy us. And I’m not suggesting not for good reason, but as I took in that moment on the airplane I thought, crying is how that baby showed his frustration. He wasn’t able to talk so he couldn’t say to his father that he wanted to get down. He was unable to express to his father in words how he was feeling and so he communicated the best way he knew how…..by crying. 

We all at some point on this journey find ourselves in situations that frustrate us. And sometimes we do not know how to express our frustration. For some, the outlet we use to cope involves drugs, alcohol or even sex. Others completely shut down and shut the world out. Some vent their frustration through anger and lashing out. And sadly, there is a percentage that turn to violence; either against themselves or another person. But none of these are good or acceptable means to cope. We will become frustrated with the crying baby because the baby is annoying us but crying is actually a great way to release frustration and negative emotions and feelings. Crying can be healing and soothing. Sometimes after crying I feel free. Now, I’m not suggesting we start walking around crying like babies, but what I am suggesting is that we take the time to see God in that moment. A crying baby shows life…new life. A life that hasn’t been tainted by the world in which we live. Listening to that baby cry reminded me that I am alive and that I still have the ability to hear. Something that I would not be able to enjoy if I were dead or deaf. 

Let’s face it, there are millions of people who would love to hear a baby cry. So let’s not take for granted that even in that moment God is present. We just have to open our hearts to see Him. 

Nassau Bahamas

Photo Credit: Shannon Robinson

View of Atlantis From The Serenity Deck, Carnival Liberty

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About Shannon D. Robinson

Shannon Robinson Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland (Go Ravens!!!), I discovered early on that I am very opinionated and passionate about my opinions. This has brought on the realization for me that I think differently from most people and it took some time for me to come to grips with that unique side of me. Writing for me is often an escape. A place I can go with my thoughts and opinions and not have to concern myself with offending anyone or not agreeing with someone. My thoughts and opinions are mine and God’s and I know that He doesn’t judge me on them. My writing is a personal journey that allows me to be transparent with self (and sometimes others) as I believe that nothing I have experienced or gone through on this journey called life was meant for me to keep to myself. Somewhere there is another woman who is experiencing or has experienced the very same things, thoughts, and feelings I have and it is my prayer that my story in some small way helps her to see that she too can come through. While at the same time giving God glory for his wondrous works. I appreciate you for stopping by and sharing in my journey as I try my absolute best to navigate it as smoothly as possible; even when I come across detours and bumps along the way. ~ Hotep

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