We just returned from a week at Disney and in the midst of an amazing, magical trip, I realized what I REALLY learned at Disney was more a lesson in humanity than a compilation of tips and tricks to make the trip easier the next go round. Sure, those come by default as a mom, but what really moved me were all the lessons staring me right in the face if I was willing to admit to myself that I often ignored these blatant truths in my every day life.
If you think about it, Disney is like a microcosm of the world. A small version, shall we say, of this nation and all the others combined into one relatively small compilation of 4 parks.
There’s men and women. Black and white and every other skin color imaginable. Those who speak English, French, Spanish, German and on and on and on. Able bodied and handicapped. Healthy and ailing. First timers and old timers. You name it and there’s an opposite for it at Disney.
So my whole time at Disney, I couldn’t help but be smacked in the face with these lessons day in and day out. And I just felt I needed to share them because while I “discovered” them in Disney, they are truly applicable and necessary in our everyday. And really easy to forget…
If your child is healthy and able-bodied, you should not complain.
Sure, your kids argue and cry and push you to the very limit some days. But when watching The Lion King and seeing the precious 3 year old little girl very clearly in the midst of fighting cancer, I was embarrassed of any complaints that had come out of my own mouth that day. Both my children were full of energy and laughing and running and I wasn’t (and I pray I never am) in the midst of what must be the most terrible time of my life. So quit complaining.
On a related note, Children are resilient and amazing little people that we too often underestimate.
Of all the children I saw, both able-bodied and those recovering or fighting some battle, they ALL had smiles on their faces. The child being lifted out of the wheelchair into the roller coaster seat? He was all smiles. He wasn’t focused on what he could do, only what he could. Take a lesson here people.
A little customer service goes a LONG way.
I think all companies should send their employees through whatever training Disney employees undergo. Because I have never experienced people more excited about making you happy and doing whatever it takes to make you enjoy your time. But what this really showed me was how I too need to have this same attitude. Whether it’s thanking my cashier, neatly folding back the clothes at Kohl’s I looked at, or holding the door for that mom dragging in with 3 kids…the smallest of actions can have the biggest impact on what people remember that day.
Happiness is contagious.
When I truly gave in to that feeling of happiness and joy I could see in my own daughters’ faces, I could NOT help but also be happy. Sometimes you have to get out of your own way to find joy.
Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.
We opted this year to do the Disney dining plan. And while I loved not having to worry about meal prep or planning, the amount of food we were given at each meal was almost ungodly. I told my husband that after day 2, I actually quit enjoying the food and was mainly just eating because it was in front of me. I know it sounds weird but hunger, or the want for something greater, is a good thing. It’s motivating and more importantly it’s rewarding when you finally attain that one thing. So parlay that to your goals for weight loss, paying off your credit card, or creating a nest egg. It’s hard to truly enjoy and value anything when you have too much of it.
Be grateful to those people doing the jobs you can’t imagine doing.
I want to tell you that cleaning my own bathroom sometimes makes me a little queasy…I’ve always been weird like that. So cleaning bathrooms after people I’ve never met and will never see again?
But what amazed me was how spotless every bathroom at Disney was. And in many bathrooms, there was an attendant, smiling. SMILING! Do I think her dream job is cleaning the bathrooms? No…but has she found a way to find joy in helping others? Yes! Because of her job, my entire experience at Disney was more positive.
I can be SuperMom any day I choose.
At Disney, all I had to do was run to the next ride as quickly as my feet would carry me. Skip to the bathroom. Scream the WHOLE roller coaster ride. Laugh hysterically at my girls’ funny jokes. BE IN THE MOMENT. That’s it…that’s all it took to make me their most favorite person in the world.
Be sure and check back here beginning October 1st as I take the month to talk about 31 ways to be a better mom! I personally am excited to be doing these things myself as I know I definitely need a reminder sometimes how lucky I am to be a Mom.
So while at Disney, did I learn that naps trump everything, always bring extra snacks, and don’t leave your room without a rain poncho? Sure! But the lessons above are the ones I’m really bringing home and hope will make me a better person.
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