The world is a better place with all of us in it.
For those of you who’ve been following this show for a while you know that I live with anxiety and PTSD. This reality means I can go from having a wonderful time to crashing into a severe low where you feel like you’re drowning. I’m currently writing this episode from Disney World. You’d think that a place designed to encourage happiness would mean that there are no epic meltdowns but ask any parent who’s been to a Disney park and they’ll tell you that the environment doesn’t provide immunity to a childhood meltdown. And I can say that as an adult it doesn’t do that either. Having a panic attack at Epcot was not on my bucket list, but it is on the list of experiences I’ve had at Disney.
I spent several years of my life avoiding being happy due to the slide from happy to depression being such a traumatic experience. The logic goes like this. If I kept myself from being happy then I won’t slide into a panic attack. I think the logic is flawed now, but I really did live that way for several years.
My life isn’t depressing and this show isn’t built to be depressing for its audience. So, here’s the hook where we turn this around and show how simple it can be to short circuit someone about to slide into a depressive state. One technique that works for me is friendly examples of openness and a few days ago I saw some of the best examples of this—examples worth sharing.
When you go to a Disney park with family it’s rare to be away from family during your trip. The other night a group of us park hopped to the Magic Kingdom with family but I split up that group when I prioritized the Jungle Cruise over Pirates of the Caribbean. While in line I saw some folks with some great video tech and started a conversation. It turns out they were the YouTubers Marky Mouse and Eva Loves Disney and they were live-streaming the experience. They were some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met—and that’s saying a lot—I live in Boise!
I wasn’t about to slide into a panic attack when I met them, but their warmth and caring personalities would have been exactly the recipe to make sure I didn’t have one. For them they were just sharing their natural excitement and kindness—but those ingredients are precisely the cure I respond to in those moments before I crash. Those are also traits we can choose to share whether we’re on a vacation or living in our vocation. This planet is full of wonder. We should be excited to be here and kind to those who are here with us.
I’m going to recommend that you can check out the [Eva Loves Disney] and [Marky Mouse] channels on YouTube. These people are awesome. Here’s the link to where I showed up on Marky’s video: [https://youtu.be/JKTubOXDq-Y?t=1929]
So my Disney experience is less publicized than theirs. In part that’s because I stayed at Disney’s Polynesian resort which has the most terrible WiFi I’ve experienced in the last 10 years. I can’t upload at 38Kbps in the evening and I only get 1 bar of data in our room. It was bad enough that I made friends with the manager, Jessica who’s assured me they’re upgrading it for my next stay. BTW. Jessica is a rock star and I hope her boss notices.
A Disney experience is a rich one because there’s always new things to notice. There’s often some detail hiding around the corner that delights the discoverer. There’s also a large swath of the folks who go to Disney who, like me, can only handle so many of those each day. I want to say thank you to the content creators like Eva and Marky who spend their time documenting the Disney experience. This helps reduce the amount of new someone has to deal with in a single dose. You’re making the parks more accessible to those who have real needs to prepare in order to make the trip successful. Thank you!
And while we’re at it, I want to say thank you to the Disney team for allowing those content creators to create and share in your space.
Not being at a Disney park doesn’t mean we’re exempt from being in places where we can make a difference. Wherever you are, please don’t close yourself off. A smile and friendly greeting at the right time can make a world of difference. This week I found two great examples where openness makes an impact. I hope you’ll take this episode and be encouraged to find those examples or be those examples in your own spaces—and if you do, please leave a comment below and tell us about it. If you’re listening to the podcast version of this show you can hit the link to the show notes and leave a comment there. We’d love to hear from you. That link will take you to ParkingThought.com where you can peruse our back catalogue of content.
I’d also like to reach out to Mark and Eva. Will you hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org? That’s the easy version of connecting when you don’t want to leave a public comment.
Thank you everyone for choosing to be on this planet at the same time I did. The world is a better place with all of us in it. Let’s remember in a world where we can choose to be anything, why not choose to be grateful?
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/parking-thought/support