10 Life Lessons From Disney…


I love Disney.  Disney World is my happy place, it is the one location I go, that I know in my heart of hearts I will always come back to.  I was thinking about it today, after my son had requested for the hundredth time we listen to selections of songs from “Frozen,” and “Lion King: The Musical,” how much of my personal mantra is tied into Disney movies, musicals, and even at the Disney Parks themselves.  When I mention my love for Disney to many of my friends, the reactions range from, OMG I LOVE Disney too, or OMG why do you blow so much money there. 

A little bit of history: my first trip was when I was 4, I have been there probably over 40 times since.  My son, the one with autism, has potty trained there.  He literally had his very first poop in the toilet at Disney, so you can probably imagine the depth of my appreciation for that place.  It is also my son’s happy place.  He told the ride operator at Thunder Canyon that he was going to one day work at Disney World.  I spent the turn of the century there.  I went there for my 15th wedding anniversary. I almost talked my husband into honeymooning there, and if I had my way, I would have been married there…  Anyway, here’s the list:

10.  “I know that the sun will shine, and the clouds will clear”– It is very easy to lose hope when you are raising a child on the autistic spectrum.  Ryan has this innate ability to know when I need to hear this song, and he will often request it when I’m feeling my lowest.  It’s “Endless Night” from Lion King: The Musical.

9.  “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious, don’t believe me, ask the dishes”– The best thing I have ever done is try new things.  One time Shane took me to France.  I must say, I don’t like seafood, specifically fish.  We went to a restaurant in Cassis, France, and I ordered the 25 Euro catch of the day.  They brought out a freshly caught fish, and I thought to myself, “oh shit, this is going to taste nasty.”  It was by far the best dish I ever tasted.

8.  “And I won’t look back, I can go the distance, And I will stay on track, no I won’t accept defeat.”– Whenever I run a marathon, I listen to my playlist, and this song always conveniently comes on at mile 25, and I run just a little bit faster knowing that I’m almost done.

7.  “Someday my prince will come.”– Before I met my husband, I longed to go to prom.  That was my goal, a rumor had spread that I was gay.  There is nothing wrong with being gay, but I am most assuredly NOT gay.  Anyway, I wanted someone to sweep me off my feet, in 1993, he did, then again in 1997, and again just about every time he comes back from a TDY or deployment for any length of time.

6.  “Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come shining through.”– When I look back the last 38 years, I think to myself how amazing my life has been.  I see how many of the dreams I have had in the past coming true- from the first marathon I ran to seeing my name in print for the very first time.

5.  “Hakuna Matata, it’s our problem free philosophy.”– I try very hard not to worry, or be anxious.  It kind of goes against the Aspie in me, I usually worry about everything.  I mostly worry about how I appear, or how people perceive me.  I have come to the realization to most people I am odd.  In recent years, I have also realized not to worry so much about things.  If things don’t go as planned, no worries.

4.  “Such wonderful things surround you, what more is you looking for?”– As a military spouse, we have moved over 12 times in 17 years.  So many times, I hear spouses complain about where they are stationed.  I have heard them complain about Germany (REALLY?!? You are complaining about Germany?!) and I have heard people complain about Minot (yeah, there’s lots there), and I have even heard complaints about Florida.  With each move, I go into it thinking that it’s the best God Damned place on the face of the Earth.  Each location I have lived has been my home, so if someone asks me, “where are you from,” I answer– “I’m from Minneapolis-Minot-Germany-Minot again-Poquoson-Beavercreek-Niceville.”  Don’t look for external places to make you happy, it is possible to make a home where you live.

3. “When the road looks rough ahead, and you’re miles from your nice warm bed, just remember what your old friend said, you got a friend in me.”– I am not the fair weather friend type.  You are nice to me, I will be there for you.  I don’t leave.  I am like your old trusty lap dog.

2.  “It’s time to see what I can do, To test the limits and break through, No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!”– I don’t believe in I can’t.  I test my limits every single day.  When I was in High School and college my cross country coaches would tell me that I can’t run marathons.  Guess what? I took the word can’t as a personal challenge.  My high school English teacher told me I would never be writer– I’m a published author.  I was told not to apply to a private school, because I would never get in– I graduated cum laude.  Anyone tells me that I can’t do something, I take it is a personal challenge to make them eat their words.

1.  “The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.”– This is from Disney himself.  Quitting is losing.  I don’t quit.  I have never quit  I change direction, but I don’t give up.  I don’t believe in it.  Life is too short to quit.

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