Many people are afraid to change. Afraid to stand out, unwilling to challenge convention and social concepts. They prefer to resign themselves to a life of marching along the beaten track and continual degradation. But there are other ways to live.
A young couple went on a Mediterranean cruise on a luxury ocean liner. Among the passengers was someone who caught their eye on the first day: an elderly lady who was apparently travelling alone. This would not have been strange, but it was strange that not only was she very at home on the boat, but the crew knew her well and were very friendly with her.
"Maybe he owns the vessel." - the young couple though, guessing. They asked the waiter, but all he knew was that she was on her old lady consecutive trip on the ocean liner.
The next day, as the young couple were leaving the ship's restaurant after dinner, the man met her old lady, greeted her politely and then addressed his curiously:
"I heard that you are taking part in this trip for the umpteenth time. I just don't understand how..."
The old lady did not even wait for him to finish-, because she knew exactly what he wanted to ask.
"Much better and even cheaper than a retirement home.-” she told him with a smile.
As he stood there looking surprised, the old lady continued:
"I calculated that I would be better off financially if I spent my old age here. My husband died a couple of years ago. Our children had grown up and started a family, so I was left on my own. I thought about going to a nursing home, but I was surprised how expensive it was. Then I did the math: if I sell my house, and with that money, plus the inheritance I got after my husband and my pension, I could live on an ocean-going vessel for years, with everything I need, everything taken care of. I booked stateroom 535 and the ocean liner became my home.
But, more importantly, I get to see a lot of beautiful places, meet new people regularly, the staff see me not as a patient but as a client and a dear friend, and there is a doctor on board. There are three swimming pools, a hot tub, excellent food and comfortable private rooms. If the light bulb burns out or the tap is broken, they fix it immediately, no one plans my day and I can even ask for breakfast in bed. I feel very comfortable."
He was surprised, but she explained in detail why it was worth it for her to be on the vessel.
- This is what I get on the vessel:
1. Free meals. I eat as much as I want, they bring breakfast to my stateroom, and the food is delicious, unlike at the nursing home.
2. Free swimming pool, free entertainment, and free laundry.
3. Free toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel. I don't even have to spend money on cleaning products because they clean my stateroom daily.
4. I am treated like a guest, not like in the nursing home where I am one of the senile old people.
5. I can dance every night and make new friends!
6. All electrical appliances work here, and if they don't, they'll fix them without a word
7. If I break my leg, I'm put in my own stateroom, not the nursing home, and I get full service.
- Oh, and by the way, I've been to Africa, Asia and South America. I've seen the whole world! And if I want to die, I just fall into the sea, no funeral expenses. Many elderly people save for their last years just to save for the funeral and to not be a problem for their family. Am I right?"
The man was speechless... He told his wife and they decided that this was how they wanted to spend their retirement.
Why should you live an ordinary life? Why should you be confined to narrow limits, - or let others restrict you? Why shouldn't you feel comfortable regardless of your age-, or your circumstances?
If you haven't already, now might be the time to start living it-, wholeheartedly.
Author: VCL team