We’re planning our 20th Anniversary trip, heading to Disney World for another bite at the Mouse.
I first went the year it opened, and I was two. From that point on we went every other year until I left home at 18. Then I went back a few times after I was married, so I’ve been there plenty.
This is the first time I’ll be going with a wheelchair. And part of me doesn’t want to go. I don’t want special lines and special attention, and I don’t want to be the burden that my husband spends all day pushing. Most of all I don’t want to admit that at forty years of age I cannot walk more than a few dozen yards without crippling pain, exhaustion and nausea. I don’t want to be this person.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, though. Through the lens of Disney my life always gets a focused perspective. It’s as though Walt Disney World is the place I go to find myself, to get back in touch with who I am. And I was remembering the countless other trips I’ve made there and how every time there was something I wished was different.
There were times I wished I was there with a best friend/lover/spouse. I loved my family but the entire time I was growing up I felt like something was missing. It was such an odd sense, like knowing part of your body just isn’t there. When I met my husband everything fell into place, and I realised he was the thing that I’d been missing.
There were times I wished I was there staying On Property. You can either stay in one of the hotels that fringe the resort and are inevitably cheaper, or you can stay in a Disney-owned hotel within the boundaries of the resort. Both are fine options with a lot to recommend them, and I’ve have great times both places. But when I’d be off-property I’d always stare at that greener grass and covet.
And of course there were the times I wished I was there with more money. So I could eat at this restaurant or buy that souveneir.
Every single one of those times I’ve been able to walk–and thought nothing of it. It never occurred to me to be thankful that I could see and hear and breath and walk and carry my own travel bag. I was so busy wanting the next thing to make me happy that I forgot to be happy with what I had.
So now I’m going with plenty of money and staying On Property with my other half–but I’m not walking. I’ve been fretting over that but as I think about it I’ve decided that I need to seize my joy in the circumstances I’ve been given. I’ll rejoice in the mere fact that I’m getting to go on a marvelous trip with a marvelous man, and not get hung up on the mechanics of the thing. After all, I’m still breathing and I’m still loved and those are the two greatest gifts this side of Home.