Recently I reposted an episode I recorded pretty much two years ago when I returned from a Disney trip with my family. In July 2015 we flew to Orlando for my daughter to take part in a dance event that went from dancing a brief routine up Main Street at the Magic Kingdom, to performing with her dance team on stage, to an evening gala where we all danced and ate and were merry. Recently we tackled the same trip with some new friends, our kids two years older, and a relaxed feel with the family taking each day wherever it took us. We rode new rides (Fast Passes rock!) and tried out all the customary attractions at each park.
With all that being said, there is one thing that I never anticipated when the trip started. It was how depressed I would feel when it was all over. The trip was planned almost a year in advance and with everything going on with work, the wife and kids in school, I didn’t really get fully excited about the trip until the moment the day started when we were flying out. Being at my new job for a little over three months, things at work are great. I am acclimating well. I am earning respect and building relationships with those around me. All the bills were paid up through the trip, the house was in order and the dog was safe and secure in the kennel. I needed to make sure that all was in control the moment we took off on that plane and landed in Orlando, Florida. I was purely focussed on having no worries and getting my vacation on.
It’s taken me a very long time to learn how to simply be in the moment. Seriously, it’s still an uphill battle. I’m typing this on a plane on the way to somewhere to have a business meeting and then turn around and hop on a plane to come home. Typing this blog right now is keeping me IN the moment. If not I would be overthinking the upcoming meeting. Another reason how this podcast has changed my life. Thank you, podcast. Anyway, on this trip from the time we woke up at our Disney Resort to the time we turned the lights off at night, I was in the moment. It was amazing. I was in the moment when the kids showed me which souvenirs they wanted to buy with their birthday gift cards, to standing in line at the Haunted Mansion, to sitting by the pool with my family, I was in the moment. My mind would wonder slightly but was brought back immediately by pointing out a slightly odd looking individual to my wife (professional people watchers, we are) or after we Fast Passed a ride, we saw the stand-by line had jumped to a 60-minute wait. WIN for Us!
As the trip drew to a close, things started to switch. I started thinking about the bills we have to pay. I realized that I’ll have to go back to doing chores around the house, walking the dog, waking up early for work, checking emails again, watching the news. Ugh! Even though all of this was completely normal and routine prior the vacation, it was extremely daunting for me and pulled me out of the moment towards the end. Suddenly the last two days of the trip I was in two places. I was in line at Splash Mountain a while I was wondering if the sprinklers were working or how long it will take to do all our laundry when we get back. I was burning the candle, mentally, at both ends.
What I have come to realize is finding true balance is difficult. Maybe that’s why so many people live with so much drama and no control in their lives. It is a lot of work to not to. I don’t think moving from one side of a spectrum to the other brings you balance, though. That mental journey from one side to the other can do you in. The whole vacation and mostly everything I talk about on my show leads to self-reflection. Looking back I am so appreciative that I was able to get away with my family and close friends to enjoy ourselves at the most magical place on earth. I am also very thankful that I am able to have a career, do my job well, and earn a living that can afford the occasional trip from time to time. The irony is I can’t have one without the other. Just like I can’t have the joy of a family dog without the responsibility of having to take him for a walk twice a day. I need to understand the reward of being able to put food on the table and pay the bills while at the same time spending precious time dancing with my adorable daughter on the dance floor at a gala in Epcot. You may not always like where you are but you are where you are because that’s where your supposed to be. So if you are where you are supposed to be, take a deep breath, stand in line, and point out that guy wearing jeans in the Florida humidity and have a chuckle with your spouse. That’s a moment to be in, right there.