My vision of what life would be like on a four-month cruise included not making a bed, doing laundry, or cooking; visiting amazing places around the world; relaxing on my balcony with coffee delivered by room service every morning and a glass of wine at sunset; and, sitting by the pool with a book in one hand and a Pina Colada in the other on the days we were at sea. It would be the first time in my life when I could completely relax and enjoy doing nothing after 35+ years of a pretty demanding career with only an occasional one-or two-week vacation. The thought that transitioning to doing nothing might be difficult, never entered my mind.

I’m beginning the fifth week of my 18-week cruise, and I must confess that I’ve flunked doing nothing.

The cruise began with four days at sea, plenty of time to learn my way around the ship, visit the spa, fitness center, beauty salon, shops, two swimming pools, movie theater, dining room, casino, library, and have a drink at each of the 7 bars. Every night we receive a schedule of the next day’s activities that include a minimum of four options for every hour from 9 am until 7:30 pm. Live entertainment begins at 7:30 pm and continues until 11 pm. Then, there’s dancing at a couple of the bars that goes past midnight. I wanted to do it all, because it sounded like fun and I didn’t know how to do nothing.

After four days of going nonstop from sunrise to midnight, I realized I was tired, and we hadn’t even made the first stop on our itinerary. What am I doing, I asked myself, didn’t I come on this cruise to relax and visit wonderful places around the world? It’s great that there are so many activities offered on the ship the days we are at sea, but I don’t have to participate in all of them. I didn’t come on the cruise to learn to line dance or do arts and crafts, and It really is ok to relax, do nothing, and save my energy to explore the wonderful places I came on the cruise to see.

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Author's Bio: 

Rita is a Wife, Mother, Business Owner, Author, Professor of Business Transformation and Innovation, & a Thought Leader to Fortune 500 executives.

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Rita Burgett-Martell is the author of two books: Change Ready! and Defining Moments.
The practical guidance Rita provides is based on her thirty years of professional experience as an organizational change consultant to Fortune 500 clients and career coach to more than 11,000 individuals, plus her own experience of embracing the unknown to completely reinvent her own life from that of an 18-year-old uneducated housewife in Nashville, Tennessee to an international change strategist and thought leader to C-level and senior executives.