Spontaneous Cruises and Positive Thinking


Not too long ago, we had a gorgeous Genevois weekend. Not wanting to travel too far afield, I suggested we just take the bus downtown and walk along the waterfront. I hadn’t actually done that since coming back from Canada weeks and weeks ago, so it seemed like the perfect thing to do. Perfect was in store for us, in fact, but a big part of that comes from my forcing myself to be more open to things.

Whenever something new is presented to me, my kneejerk reaction is usually “no.” All I can think about are the downsides, the things that could go wrong, the absolute worse-case scenarios. I come by it honestly, it’s a family trait. Z is the opposite. He is incredibly positive, and is always suggesting new adventures, ones that I think are just too much, and yet they always turn out to be awesome. Slowly, though, I’m starting to trust him, and the joys that come from saying yes instead. It’s a process, so I still usually start with no. Then I have to step back, think about why I’m saying no, then lean into my discomfort and go with the flow. It might sound silly, but I have to do this even with little things. Like when we passed by a roasted nut hut downtown (these things are everywhere here.) Roasted chestnuts are a delicacy, I guess, and they smell amazing when you pass by them. So Z thought we should get some. And I agreed. I figured there could be literally no downside to buying some delicious chestnuts.


Actually I was wrong here. Z and I, total roasted chestnut virgins, at first ate the shell along with the meat. Gag, it was pretty gross. As we were pulling shell from our teeth in distaste, we discovered the shell – not to be eaten. When you are only eating the chestnut meat part inside, it’s not bad. But, you know what? It’s not great. Like coffee, roasted chestnuts smell so much better than they taste. Nat King Cole might go on about the romance of chestnuts roasted over an open fire, but from here on I’m going to leave their delights to songs only. Here is Z trying to get through some of them. Notice the look on his face does not exactly say “this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”


So my big test in not saying no came when we passed by the cruise ships that set out around Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). They are gorgeous old Belle Époque steamers, and we’ve always wanted to take them. We noticed it was the last weekend of the season – we’d have to wait until spring if we didn’t do it now. It was getting close for the lunch cruise to take off. Z is always keen to try new things and suggested hop aboard.


My initial thoughts are these: What if X jumps over the side and drowns? (If you know X, you know this is absolutely a possibility, the little monkey). What if the kids turn into crazy monsters and were stuck with two hour-long tantrums while every other passenger glares at us for ruining their nice experience? What if there are no washrooms?

Most of it ridiculous, and easily dealt with, right? I just had to get over my crazy anxiety and say yes. And you know what? It turned out to be pretty awesome.


Not too shabby of a way to see the most beautiful lake in the world, right? The weather all of sudden became spectacular, we ordered a bottle of French wine and had an excellent time. Z and I told ourselves it was our anniversary cruise, since we had missed our anniversary a few days earlier anyway. I am so glad I’m getting better about not letting my anxiety control my life. It certainly pays off!


While my favourite part was the wine, X’s favourite part was watching the inner workings of the engine. It was pretty neat for both kids and grown-up kids.



2 thoughts on “Spontaneous Cruises and Positive Thinking

  1. I’m so similar to you. My first inclination is often to say no as well, but some of my best and most memorable experiences have come from saying yes in spite of myself :). If/when I ever make it back to Geneva, I’ll have to take one these cruises!

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