I was recently able to go on a trip to Orlando, Florida for my cousin’s wedding celebration. It was a good time to connect and enjoy those that are important in my life.
(And who knew Mickey and Minnie would come to the reception.) These are my random thoughts on mindfulness, mortification and memories.
Wedding preparations started months earlier. Talk of plane tickets and places to stay and what to where have been forefront for quite awhile. Finally the time for the trip arrived. I heard from several people the statement “It will be over before you know it.” There was a lot of anticipation and a lot of activities once in Florida. The
worry with this situation is that there is so much to do in such a
short amount of time it is possible to forget about actually enjoying
the moments. I wanted to avoid it being “over before I know it” and forgetting to enjoy my trip. Trying to practice what I preached I made sure I took
moments to just be. I looked off the 18th floor balcony overlooking
Epcot Center and Downtown Disney, feeling the wind, hearing the
background noises and enjoying the view. When I was getting bored in
a ride, I would try to stop and focus on the ride, who I was with, and
what was being said – not thinking about the rest of the trip. At the
wedding and reception I tried to focus on enjoying myself in each
moment whether it was the beauty of the vows, or the rhythm of dancing
or photos being taken or who I was talking to and not when I’d get sleep, or when I needed to get to the airport or how much money I spent. Taking time and effort to be
mindful helped the vacation be much more meaningful and relaxing than
it may have been if I was task or worry oriented.
I also had a mortifying experience during my trip. Yes, I am sharing
it with everyone out there. I was on Mission Space (or something) at
Epcot Center and did not follow the instructions. Yep, I closed my eyes and felt very disoriented. (Reminder to self: Sometimes rules are there for a reason.) I became nauseous and yes I actually got sick on the ride. For a
grown woman this is beyond mortifying. You know what though? I lived
through it. Sometimes it is necessary to be reminded that each of us
has the ability to live through awkward, embarrassing or anxiety filled moments.
My 10 year old cousin offered the statement “Don’t worry Julie.
Sometimes things happen in life. It is OK.” Nice wisdom and compassion from him. (Of course the second his oldest brother got in the van he said “Hey,
Julie threw up on the ride!)
Sometimes when something happens that mortifies you remember how you
handle it says a lot. You can live through it. You will be OK. You will not be forever marked. You can be a role model for others. You teach your kids that bad things happen but you can make it through. Embarrassment is not the end of the world. A mortifying moment is not a catastrophe.
Memories are part of our identity. They help us with meaning. They can
be a source of joy and contentment. All the situations from this trip will be
cherished memories that will remind me of who I am and can be shared
with those I am close to. I am sure sometime in my future someone in
my family will jokingly ask if I’ll be able to handle going on a
Merry-go-Round or something. I’ll remember the weather and laughing
or worrying with friends. The memories help me be who I am. What
jokes does your family share year after year. Which memories are the
most precious to you?
I am grateful for being able to practice mindfulness, live through the mortification and cherish my memories from the trip.