My 40th Birthday Trip

I struggle with drawing attention to myself. I am the person who down plays having a PhD because it might make someone feel bad (I am working on this…). With my 40th birthday coming, my amazing husband and sister asked what I wanted. First, it was difficult feeling like we should do anything overly special. During our spring break Disney Cruise, my husband asked if I wanted to take a three night Disney Cruise for my bday and I said yes before he could even finish asking. I love DISNEY and especially their cruises.

As we were planning we decided the day before we left for the cruise we should get park hopper passes and go to three parks. We quickly realized Star Wars was opening at Hollywood Studios the day we would be hopping parks, but thought we should avoid because of crowds. I made a plan (aka a spreadsheet) to hit key rides at three parks: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. It didn’t matter if we were exhausted after our day because the next day we would set sail for three magical nights of relaxation.

Our plan was fantastic… and then… Hurricane Dorian decided to cause some problems. Even before we caught our flight, we knew it could be an issue. I was already calculating plan a, b, c, d e….. A glass of wine at the airport and one on the plane helped me to not completely freak out. The next morning we hit Animal Kingdom and the magic of Pandora and the Avatar ride captivated me. When we got to Epcot, I got an email saying we had the option to reschedule because they could not promise the ship could get back Monday. We decided to reschedule the trip… I was sad… I was thankful we had an option.

After our amazing travel agent got everything worked out, we were set to spend an extra day in Florida. We decided with a free day we would go to Hollywood Studios and experience the craziness of Star Wars on day 2… and it was magical. I saw my husband geek out and it was pure bliss. We rode roller coasters and had a second day of acting like complete kids.

This trip was not at all what we had planned, but through the changes I realized it was the trip I needed to show me how much I have grown especially in the last ten years… I remember turning 30 and being so excited. My 20s has been so hard and at 30, I finally felt like I had a grasp on who I was and what I wanted.

As we were sitting at Magic Kingdom watching the best firework show, I had to hold back tears. I was disappointed, but not devastated. My plan A had not worked, but oh my goodness plan B was pretty magical. I realized 10 or 20 years ago, I might have been so upset that plan A hadn’t worked out I would have missed the goodness of plan B.

This trip was a complete metaphor of my life. As my dad has told me, life is how you handle plan B because you rarely get plan A. My life has been so much of not getting plan A, but realizing if I don’t fully accept and appreciate plan B, I will miss out on the goodness of what is. So often in life we are complaining about what is not happening instead of appreciative of what is reality. If we focus on what is not happening we will never be continent, but by seeing the goodness of each moment we can all find joy.

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