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Sunday, March 31, 2013

What I Learned from the Happiest Place on Earth

Yes! We finally did it! Mission accomplished....we went to Disneyland!

This trip was seriously YEARS in the making. Do you know how much it costs to take a family of nine to the happiest place on earth? Woah! That's some HUGE saving. But, we did it, and it was GREAT!

As we arrived the first night, I just kept pinching myself. Were we really there?

We had a BLAST! Everything went without a hitch, and when all was said and done, I had no regrets. We got to do everything we wanted to.

While we were standing in a line on our last day, the Warden got to talking to one of the guys who was supervising the line. The "cast member" (as they call all those who work at Disneyland) shared quite a bit of insight into the Disneyland mindset.

He shared that all who work there are "cast members" because they
feel that everyday they are part of a big show. Every day, when they come to work, their job is to entertain their "guests."

What a service these people provide. Their focus isn't on themselves or how they feel about ANYTHING. It's all about those who stand in their lines, walk on their paths, watch their performances, etc., etc., etc.

Once I knew this, Disneyland became a different place. These people were there to serve me and make sure I had a great time.

As we approached the place where you meet princesses, I walked up to the "royal page" and said, "Hey! How's it going?" He was a young man in his late teens by the look of him. I had momentarily forgotten that this young man was in costume. He was playing a part. His job was to stay in character and make me feel that I was truly going to be meeting some royal princesses. My greeting was met with "Welcome, dear lady," and he ushered me into the line I was to wait in.

Of course he did. It was his job to be a character in this play of the day at Disneyland.

Another thing the cast member had shared with the Warden while we waited earlier was that he was known as the "lead." In other words, as far as that ride went, he was the main character. He was the guy in charge. Of course, he had others he answers to but his responsibility was to lead in that particular area of the park. Others, he mentioned, had parts they were responsible for but his place was there. It was his specialty. He understood all there was to know about that one job.

All of these things have been jelling in my mind....

  • What if I were to face every day as if I were a cast member in a much larger show?
  • What if I were to focus my efforts on making sure that others were enjoying the performance that is life?
  • What if I were to stay in character no matter how others interacted with me?
  • What if I were to accept the responsibility for being the "lead" in my life?
  • What if, as lead, I came to understand my role so well that I can make those things I'm responsible for run flawlessly?

I felt safe the entire time I was there. It was clear that each cast member knew his/her role. There was more than one time when I got on a ride with #7 and was concerned for her safety. It was then that I realized that I needed to learn to trust more. I needed to trust that those "leads" and "cast members" had done their jobs. They followed the rules and learned their parts and their main focus was me and my family and all the other individuals and families who came to enjoy their time there.

I have my own kingdom here. It CAN be the happiest place on earth. It is my own little show, and I am one of the leads. As lead, I'm in charge. I can make things go the way I want them to--any way I envision them. As lead, though, there are responsibilities that I need to take on that will keep the other cast members and those who visit my kingdom safe. One of the best things I can do is learn my part and be consistent in seeing to my role.

I now see that I also need to learn to be trustworthy--to learn my job and do it every day without fail. I need my children to know that as the lead, I have done my part and they can ride the ride of life without fear. They can trust that I have prepared them for the ride ahead.

Now that we're home, it feels like it was all a dream. Did we really go? 

Thank you to the Magic Kingdom for helping me understand my own kingdom a little bit better.


cj said...

I am always amazed at your analysis/insights. Thank you for suggesting that each of us has the ability to make our "kingdom" a happy place if we will just learn our job and do it well.
You're the best, cousin dear!

Ann said...

I love your analogy! Thank you for sharing your insights. And, by the way, I'm glad you all had a great time, and that you're back safely.

LeAnn said...

What a fun post. I really enjoyed the analogy at the end. I am sure you and your husband are great leads in your little show. It is a refreshing way to look at our families.

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