How to Have Fun and Survive It?!

Historically, I’ve been the one who was placed in charge of “fun” in our family. I can plan a party, make a cocktail, and create fun wherever I go and it’s something I enjoy doing. I was lucky enough to have a career that I loved but also involved making “fun” for the people with autism/autistic people. I was constantly collecting new toys and finding ways to make therapy engaging in fun and I was good at it!

When covid hit, it was like all “fun” came to a full stop. Work ended. Parties ended. The world became a solitary place. Robert and I were lucky we had each other during that time. As the summer began, boating allowed us to have some social interaction albeit masked and physically distanced. It was still nice to be able to get together outside and catch up in person. We learned to create fun in different ways. Unfortunately, lots of the “fun” involved eating and drinking! The weight we had lost slowly crept back on as consumption increased and activity decreased.

Back in my working days, weekends were for partying and part of vacation meant eating and drinking whatever and whenever we felt like it. Since we started cruising, it’s been like one long weekend or one long vacation and we seem to be eating and drinking whatever and whenever we want WAY too often. It’s taking a toll on our bodies and on our health. Something has to change….


Throughout my life, I’ve been a “yo-yo” dieter. My methods were to eat and drink whatever I wanted then go on a really restrictive diet and exercise program to lose weight and start that all over again. I know we have alcoholism in our family and “there but by the grace of God go I”. Eating and drinking is FUN!!! And I like to have fun!

March 15th was the 6th anniversary of the surgery where I got Bionic Betty, my biventricular pacemaker, installed. At that point in time, I had minimal energy and was having trouble sleeping. I was working day and night on work projects and attributed my issues to stress. After going in for a checkup, I found there was electrical problem in my heart that continued to get worse over the next few months, ultimately requiring the pacemaker. I had gotten to the point where I could barely walk up a flight of stairs. That was NOT fun!

So here we are…On a permanent vacation of sorts…with a need to figure out how to continue to have maximum fun while still staying alive! This pacemaker is a gift and I want to give it the best chance of keeping me alive for the maximum number of years possible. We also are madly in love with this cruising life and want to be able to continue for as many years as we can. That’s going to require we take care of our bodies.

One possibility is to use my addictive personality addicted to healthy habits like meditation and exercise. I can work up to exercising like my friend Lisa who exercises on her boat daily. There are plenty of opportunities for exercise here. We have yoga and Tai Chi tapes on the boat, there are beautiful beaches to walk, lots of hikes to be had, places to explore, opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Next season I’m brining my paddleboard and intend to be an expert on it before we leave! I took a Chi Gong class with my friend Erin to learn a moving meditation of sorts.

We’re also making some changes around our eating and drinking. It is possible to have lots of fun without drinking and we know that. Hiking is fun. Snorkeling is fun. And our new friends introduced us to Beach Bocci Ball which is both fun and gives some exercise. We get to remember that this is a lifestyle, not a vacation. Moderation is the key…

We CAN do this! If our goal is to cruise as long as we possibly can, we get to make changes. As I write this, I’ve been consistent for 10 days in completing my moving meditation and at least 20 minutes of exercise every day. I’ve had 3 “hydrate” days in where I’ve consumed at least 64 oz of water and no alcohol. We’re limiting serving sizes for meals….We’re on the way!

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