Waves of Hope

By Maryann Makekau

For some vacationers taking a cruise is routine, for me last month marked my 2nd sail. A couple of facts about me: I don’t like small spaces and I’ve been known to suffer severe motion sickness. However, those facts became irrelevant during my 1st cruise five years ago. Boarding a ship with 15 decks, shopping mall, swimming pools, theater, multiple restaurants, decent-sized cabin, and more—the idea of small leaves one’s mind very quickly—enter into the floating city! On that cruise, I also discovered acupressure “sea bands” and for the first time in my life I didn’t get motion sickness. Those newer facts set my mind on hope instead of fear. I now felt safe to bravely enjoy these 12 days at sea.

I shut off my cell phone as we set sail, determined to not check messages until we docked in Puerto Rico. After that, I would unplug for nine straight days. No calls, no texts, no tweets, no posts, no email, no web browsing. I was ready to ride this ship like a wave of hope! As odd as it felt to unplug, I knew that I needed it and my husband needed it just as much. And, there is a ship phone for real emergencies.

It’s quite a test of identity to unplug. What do you talk about when you’re not talking about the kids, work, home projects, family problems, or the news? We tried our best to focus on the moment, fun activities on the ship, and the luxury of just being still. Wow…that might be compared to culture shock. What does being still look like? How do you enjoy that? Anyone who identifies with my “energizer-bunny” pace is smiling in total understanding right now.

To my surprise, I must confess that it felt good to unplug and just be…really good! During that time, I got to thinking about growing up in an era without computers, cell phones or social networks. I began to realize that much of my response to this technology is immediately habitual. I made a new commitment: check in with those devices morning and afternoon; whatever isn’t answerable in an hour or less, can wait a day or two. Text messages, emails, voice mails, tweets, and posts are generally not emergencies. They’re simply like “air” mail. It takes 2-3 days to get something in your mailbox, doesn’t it? This new thinking has brought me more productive time, less stress and more peace. My time is spent writing and doing more, rather than browsing and replying. No one’s asked me yet why I didn’t reply “immediately.”

The last three days at sea were met with 15-foot waves. Many of the passengers appeared drunk in trying to maintain their footing about the ship. The rough seas made me think of the rough times in my life. All I had was my faith in those painful, unpredictable times; and yet I also had peace. It was then that I realized my deepest strengths and my greatest weaknesses. Hope washed over me as I thought of that fact…hearing my mother’s favorite expression, “this too shall pass.” Eventually, the big waves and rough seas did subside. Amidst waves of hope, I count my most beautiful blessings.


Maryann Makekau, Author & Inspirational Speaker

Founder of Hope Matters


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