A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland for the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Conference. While at the park, it occurred to me that I was speaking at my local mom’s group the following week. I was in line for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters when I got an idea. Creativity lurks everywhere my friends.
As I continued around the park that weekend, I would jot down notes on my phone and scribble ideas in my journal at night. Over the course of a few days, this list was born. Here are 10 life lessons that I learned at Disneyland.
1. There’s a time to relax and a time to move. You absolutely need both.
There are two types of people in the world – and you find both at Disneyland. They go by several names. The movers and the sitters. The action seekers and the relaxers. There are people who are always on the move- looking for the next big thing – people who have to stay busy. Then, there are those who are content to kick back and relax their way through life. Their life is most meaningful when it is full of rest.
I’m an action seeker. I can’t sit still. I can’t focus on just one thing at a time. I like to work. I like to stay busy. Some people call people like me, “Extreme Type A.” I also happen to be married to a “Type B.”
If I had my way, I would never slow down. Ever. Once I conquer a battle or climb one of life’s hills, I’m ready to move on to the next. There is no rest, relaxation, or moment for reflection. I just want to move. To do.
At Disneyland, I was ready to move from ride to ride. As soon as we got off Pirates of the Caribbean, I was ready to power-walk to Splash Mountain. In my life, there is no time for strolling. I’m not one to relish the scenery or stop and enjoy the moment. It’s all about racing from one event to the next.
At Disneyland, my husband developed a pretty nasty blister on the bottom of his foot. He was in a lot of pain. We needed to walk at a slower pace. At one point, after our third or fourth ride in a row, I knew he needed a break,and I suggested we get a Dole Whip. We got our cup of absolute deliciousness and headed towards a bench that bordered the central “hub” of the park.
At first, all I could think about was getting to the next “thing.” My mind was racing – filled with thoughts about all we were missing out on. What were we doing on a bench when we could see the peaks of Space Mountain in the distance? Didn’t we know that we could see the stunning backside of water if we just turned back towards Adventureland?
And then it hit me – there is magic and meaning in the times of rest. We simply MUST take time to stop and savor the “Dole Whips.”
From that little bench, my husband and I were able to stop and just enjoy being together. It was a rare moment of solace and togetherness for two road-weary working parents. We were able to take a break from the rushing around, the power-walking, and the endless pursuit of “the next big thing” and just rest.
Sometimes, it’s in those quiet moments that we re-discover our joy, and are able to focus on the things that matter most. We all need to find those moments of peace and rest – the moments where we stop moving long enough to listen to God, to cherish the everyday moments, and to discover the beauty in the small things.
As David and I sat on that bench, enjoying our treat – he and I were able to enjoy each other’s company in a way that’s not possible when you’re always on the go. In the midst of our often hectic and jam-packed life, we don’t always make the time to just sit and be.
There is a definite time for action. We cannot be passive participants in our own lives. If you find yourself constantly on life’s “benches”, you’ll miss out on the adventures and the accomplishments. However, we must learn to balance the doing with periods of rest and reflection.
If you like me, find yourself in a constant state of movement – STOP. Slow down. Savor the moment you’re in. Give yourself a moment to breathe- to soak in the small details – to rest. You can’t spend your whole life on a veritable Space Mountain. If you’re constantly on a roller coaster – you’ll get sick -dizzy from over-stimulation and energy output. Take a moment, and allow yourself to relax. Stop and savor the Dole Whip.
*I was invited to attend the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Conference. I paid a fee to attend this event. While at the event, I received complimentary products and other experiences at a deep discount. All opinions are my own. I was not asked to blog about my experience.