Life At Sea Merchant Navy Sailor Stories

Read: Happy New Year from a Sailor Queen

Read this so called important notice, this morning:

It’s recommended to regular morning walkers / runners / riders to avoid morning workouts from 1st to 5th January 2018. Heavy crowd of resolutionary people are expected during this period. Situation will get normal from 6th January.

It did bring a smile and also the realization that it’s the New Year, the new beginning for events to unfold. I had my mind filled with many thoughts. First one, being the new year resolution itself. People do make new year resolutions and I’ll continue with the tradition of not making any. But like every year will count my blessings. 2017 has been challenging for me and the family but we feel blessed that all ended up fine. We have emerged stronger in spirit and mightier as a family. It was filled with stressful situations and many injuries. Started off with my knee, ACL tear in September followed by husband meeting with a minor accident onboard; that he didn’t even share with me. Got to know only when he reached home in November. We were recuperating, me avoiding the surgery and husband getting better. Came December and we were set for a planned holiday just then my dear husband fell during a match of football and twisted his other knee. All plans came to a standstill as I didn’t want to make him go through any stress or strain. He needed rest but he being a true shippy, the die hard sailor that he is, was ready to embark on the planned holiday. I had cancelled the tour to Rann festival, the tent city in Bhuj, Gujarat, India. Made last minutes arrangements again and paid a bomb for the expenses, the flight tickets as well as the hotel booking had gone up many folds. Nothing matters when it comes to the family. Time is important, who knows it better than the sailor and his queen. We did take a short vacation and it turned out to be a good idea, we came back rejuvenated and happy.

The new year eve was quiet, just the two us sitting with some nice wine and our favourite starters. We didn’t want to go out for parties that we were invited to. Children were more interested in the carnival organized in our housing society. Learnt the true meaning of parental control; it’s the children who control their parents choices! We loved the choice that our children made, it gave us the much needed ‘US’ time.

We welcomed the new year together after many years, also husband had a surprise gift for me, a beautiful diamond ‘haath phool’, an ornament worn on the hand.  He said for the missed anniversaries and birthdays. Over the years, material gifts have ceased to have any place of importance in my life but this one was special; for the efforts that my man had put in to select something which is truly a masterpiece. I have all my appreciation for the craftsmen.

It’s time for me to get back to the office and my regular routine, children still have a couple of days of their vacation and the sailor will be preparing to join back on duty. But I’d really want him to spend some time in the village, that’s where he loves to be, close to nature. He is a simple man and loves the simplicity of the village life.

I wish to keep all negativity away from my life, no undue arguments, I speak my mind and sometimes that becomes a problem for others especially the ones who can’t face truth. Will I change that? never! I’ll continue to speak and stand for what I believe in but without arguments. My lessons this year have been:

Family is the true strength

Your family is the biggest strength that you’ll ever have, invest in it. Social media will give you a lot of virtual friends. Most of them will be just your contacts, instead of building a longer lists there invest on the relationships both personal and professional. We have a close family that we love and value but we spend more waking hours at the work place. Work colleagues too must build and nurture that professional friendship and bonding. Work environment has to be healthy and fun. Collaborations, teamwork and partnerships actually decide the success of an organisation, not the brilliant human resources that can’t work as a team.

Always be ready

We all make great plans and put all our thoughts and actions towards fulfilling them. If that plan doesn’t work  for us we are completely shattered. Remember we make plans for ourselves, ‘He’ makes plans too! Sometimes it’s good to trust His plans and be ready to take on whatever comes our way.  A slight change in attitude can do a lot more to one’s confidence. It’s only that confidence and self belief that’ll create success for you. So be ready like a soldier.


Do what your heart desires

Life is so unpredictable, last couple of months we have witnessed so much around us. It’ll be true to say that nothing comes with a guarantee. Make the most of whatever is close to your heart and now is the time! Never miss an opportunity to express your love, gratitude and even disappointments. Use the magic words often.

Create balance in your life

Create the work life balance, that everyone talks about these days. It’s your life and you know the best, trial and error method is the only solution. No expert or self help books can ever chart it out for you. You are unique and so is the situation around you. You must feel energized, happy, optimistic and at peace with your surroundings. This is what I feel the balance should create in your life. Finding ‘Me’ in the middle of things and keeping stress at bay!

Treat your body as your temple

Good health is your biggest wealth and literally so. Healthy body harbors a healthy mind. Take care of it, dedicate at least 30 minutes a day in worshiping that temple! Find a fitness regime that you enjoy and the one that works for you. Walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, working out at the gym or following any sport that you love will take care of your fitness. Eating healthy is equally important as it contributes to your stamina and endurance. If over 35 years of age, one needs to get the routine health checkups done. If you love your body it’ll love you back.

Remember to count your blessings

Be grateful for what you have, the best things in life actually come for free. You must know to recognise them, invite them in your life and ensure that they stay. All good things are to be shared, ensure that you do a good turn each day. There’s greater happiness in giving, sharing and bringing a smile on someone else’s face!

Never cease to love yourself

The person you know the most is the one in the mirror. Who knows the journey walked by him/ her better than you? Who has seen him all through the thick and thin? Be proud of that person and be his biggest support system. He needs you all the time, keep giving him the ‘push’ when he needs it the most. Be your own cheerleader!

Find a reason to rejoice

Celebrate anything that deserves one, big or small doesn’t matter. But you having basked in that moment of glory matters indeed. Milestones, benchmarks, successes or lessons learnt, special occasions, friendships, family get togethers; all are reasons enough to celebrate. Celebrate life!

As we turn yet another page and walk towards the new beginnings,  May it be the beginning for each one of us to celebrate who we truly are and reach our highest potential personally, emotionally, spiritually and professionally. May we live happily, love unconditionally, be the best versions of ourselves and shine brightly in our inner lights leading us to a new journey within. Afterall happiness resides within us!

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, peaceful and incredible New Year 2018!

Laxmi Todiwan
Founder, Indian Women in Hospitality (IWH). She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A multiple award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development are close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, online platforms and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner, Capt. Rajesh Todiwan, she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website

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