Happy places

As mentioned in my last post, part of what I have been doing the last few weeks is working on having happy thoughts. Going to my happy place in my mind and helping myself have less anxiety. So I am going to tell you about it.

I know it’s quite a cliche, but my happy place is the most magical place on earth. No seriously, that’s their slogan. I googled it. Walt Disney World. Say what you may, but they are the bar for every other theme park, vacation destination, etc. They do it all and they do it right. I don’t have time for haters.

I first went to Disney when I was a kid. EPCOT had just opened and I only have a handful of memories from that visit. I remember staying at the Contemporary and just being amazed at the resort. We didn’t stay in many hotels when I was a kid so the whole experience was awesome. I remember every night there was a lighted parade on the water that we could see from our hotel room. The first night we heard the music and had no idea what it was. I remember going on the teacups and my dad could spin our cup faster than anyone else. I remember loving Thunder Mountain Railroad and riding It’s a Small World over and over again. I remember going to a character breakfast and a dinner show that had glasses that looked like heavy metal goblets and even though the server warned us that they were much lighter than they appeared, I’m pretty sure someone lifted it up and spilled (maybe me?). But most of what I remember is that it truly was magical. The feelings stay with me more than the individual memories a lot of the time.

Eric and I went to Disney for our honeymoon. I remember him videotaping everything – every ride, walking around the parks, even in the car when I was driving. I’m not sure where the tapes are but I need to find them. Again, it was amazing. We were so young (and so broke) when we got married but we stayed on International Drive and had an amazing time. Eric had gone to Disney a lot as a kid so he was able to basically give me a tour while I just amazed at everything. After our honeymoon, we started making more money and taking more Disney trips. We always went for our anniversary and usually for a trip between Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. We got season passes and went down whenever we could. We took behind the scenes tours, activities at resorts, wake boarding, biking on the boardwalk, ate in every restaurant on property, stayed in tons of different resorts and got to know Disney in a way that few people do. We took trips with many different friends and family as well as trips on our own. I can’t even guess how many times we’ve been there. The memories are countless and they are GOOD.

Most of what I think about now are memories of anticipation. Arriving in town and seeing the sign over the highway. Walking into the resort to check in. And the biggest one for me – the walk from the parking lot into EPCOT. The monorail quietly buzzing as it gets closer and goes overhead. Picturing the ride those people are taking on the loop around the ball and the sights they are seeing. Knowing how much fun I will have inside. It just makes me happy. In the evenings when I lay in bed unable to sleep, I think about that. I think about waiting for rides. All of the back-and-forth in the line for Jungle Cruise – seeing the little rooms with their explorer equipment and spiders. Catching glimpses of the water and the boats coming and going. My favorite one for relaxing though is Space Mountain. After the long hallway, in the main building waiting area, they project images on the ceiling that I’m sure are supposed to be meteors. To me, they’ve always looked like potatoes. So, I picture those flying potatoes as I am trying to relax and go to sleep and that works for me. It calms me down and makes me remember that feeling of contentment when I’m actually in that building. I have no worries and am in full vacation mode in my mind.

We took a break from Disney trips when we moved to Colorado and had Fletch – thinking he was too young to appreciate it. It didn’t take us long to get back though. Regardless of his memories of the trip at such a young age, we decided our memories were important too. We remember his first trips as well as Evelyn’s – both in my belly and right after her first birthday. I really wanted her to take her first steps in Disney, but she wasn’t playing along. She would walk everywhere holding a hand, but just wasn’t ready to let go. I remember how nervous Fletch was waiting in the Jungle Cruise line and then how much he loved the ride. How amazed he was at his first Mickey bar just this past trip. I remember eating the same thing when I was a kid and I’m sure I loved it just as much. Seeing everything through their eyes is just indescribable.

I am also working on trying to plan some trips. Focusing on the future. Of course we are sending all our money to bills so I haven’t actually been able to book these trips, but there is lots of planning going on in my mind. We are hoping to make a short trip to Disneyland after my treatment is finished to take the kids to Cars Land. Hopefully by working some angles on friends and family hotel rates and whatnot we’ll be able to put something together. We had to cancel our trip to Disney World last year so hopefully we’ll be able to get it back this year. We usually go the week after Thanksgiving so lots of time for that. I would love to be able to take a Disney cruise (the western Caribbean looks awesome), but I think that will be a dream for a bit longer. But the dreams are important. Seeing a future is important. Someday I will get there.

On the medical front, my potassium did come up slightly from all of my efforts the past week. It’s the bottom number in the “normal” range. So better, but not good. My nurse is discussing things with the doctor to see what she recommends and I continue with the high potassium foods.

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4 Responses to Happy places

  1. bigusfickes says:

    This is my favorite blog post yet.

    “I don’t have time for haters”

    Classic Jenn.

  2. Betsy says:

    Did you know the ‘meteors’ in Space Mountain are actually chocolate chip cookies? I promise!

  3. Jill Breheny says:

    The importance of dreaming- This is so powerful, Jenn

  4. Steve Smart says:

    Ah…the good ol’ days. I remember your wedding well. Boy, that was a hot day in Roswell. But a great one too. Little Annie… and you and Eric dog sitting my Pugsly. I still have pictures that you took of her. I remember going to see Eric and the Go-Steady’s. (wasn’t that the name of his group) Yeah, you guys didn’t have much financially, back in the beginning…but you had a lot in everything else. You guys were (and are) great. Keep up the tough fight Jenn!.

    Love to ya all.

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