When I was a little girl I had a small obsession with Disney. It wasn’t the princesses. It was all of it. With cousins in L.A., I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland each time we visited, so I was able to go several times as a kid. Disneyland was, in my mind, the perfect world. Everything was clean, organized, and magical. Each trip I would choose two or three glass figurines, for which I’d saved up, and I would bring them home and add them to my collection. Goofy, Micky, Minnie, Donald, Alice, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Snow White, etc. I treasured that collection of little glass characters, dusted them each week, and had them spread across my meticulously kept bedroom. They reminded me of the magical world that I sometimes got to visit.
Recently my girlfriend Aych brought her daughter to Disneyland. We too had hoped to bring our little girls there this summer but alas…the trip had to be postponed due to taxes. Stupid taxes. I was so excited for Aych’s trip and talked about my love for rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, and It’s A Small World, and Space Mountain, and more. I remember when I went as a little girl we would always go on the It’s A Small World ride, and it made me nuts. That damn song would play over and over in my little mind for days, if not weeks. But as we talked prior to her trip, I remembered it fondly, and found that the damn song still has the power to stick in my head for days if not weeks.
I’ve been a sap lately. This whole family health troubles thing? It’s for the birds. And I am not a bird thank you very much. So if the health issues could kindly leave my aunts and uncles and grandma alone, I would be ever so grateful. On one particularly sappy feeling evening, my husband and I were waiting for the little girls to come home from a day of playing outside, and I received something similar to this via email.
I actually teared up when I watched the video of Aych and her daughter going through the It’s A Small World Ride. True story. It was EXACTLY what I needed at EXACTLY that time. The fact that Aych remembered our conversation, had the wherewithal to take video while attending to children and sitting on a water ride, and send it to me was so fabulous and so appreciated. I’ve actually watched it several times since and it makes me smile each time.
Over the past couple of days I’ve shared that my family has had a rough couple of weeks. Today two things happened. First, I received an email from a friend I’ve not seen since high school, checking-in and making me feel better about yesterday’s post. Second, I received a message from my best friend from college. I mentioned her in a post the other day. She and I have been trying, well not really trying as much as talking about trying, to get together for…I can’t believe I’m going to admit this…years. We’ve been talking about trying to get together for YEARS. We live maybe 35 minutes from each other. Anyway, she wrote me a lovely message asking if we can please try to actually get together soon. Both messages did a remarkable job of cheering me up today.
I’m so often compelled to say or do something for the people I love. Whether it’s sending a quick message, writing a letter, sending a small gift, or just texting them something simple. Often times, however, and I decide to skip it. Thinking that a) they likely know how I feel about them, b) they likely don’t need MY two cents, c) they will feel like they have to send something back, or admittedly d) it makes me feel just a teensy bit too vulnerable. For someone who regularly puts it all out on the table, ALL the time, it’s weird to admit that out loud.
But what if we all did those things when we felt compelled to do so? Can you imagine getting kind notes just when they are most needed? Or getting a small gift in the mail at just the moment when you feel most defeated? Or receiving encouragement from someone you haven’t heard from in what feels like a lifetime? Wouldn’t those teensy little acts of kindness and of opening our hearts to each other make life feel a bit more lovely?
Today I was thinking about Disneyland again. The reason I loved it so much is because they think of every little thing possible. From the layout of the park, to the customer service skills of their employees, to the roaming characters, to the ride experiences, down to what it’s like to park before even entering Disneyland. Every single thing is thought out to extremes so that the experience of park goers is seamless, fun, organized, and amazing. You leave feeling like it was well worth the trip, the cost, and the craziness that is Disney. It’s the teensy little things that make it so magical.
What if we all had a little more kindness and encouragement in our day-to-day life because we all tried to do just a little something for each other? If I actually followed through with even half of the things I feel compelled to do for those I love…it would mean a lot more kindness would be thrown out into the world. And how could that possibly be wrong?
TODAY: What if when I’m compelled to do something little for someone I don’t overthink…I just do? What if we all committed to do little things here and there to brighten the days of those we love, know, and respect? Wouldn’t it make all of our lives a little bit more magical?
PS – I dare you to try to stop singing that DAMN SONG within 48 hours. I contend that it’s not actually possible.