Think Happy Thoughts:
What is your “Happiest Place on Earth?”
What is Your Happiest Place on Earth?
There’s nothing like Disney World. On that much we can agree. Nowhere on earth is reality suspended in such a magical, perfect way. I grew up less than an hour away from this happy place and I am fully aware that it is a love it or hate it type of attraction. As you may have guessed, I belong to the former group. I mean, c’mon. The sheer level of attention to detail and superior guest experience is rarely, if ever, achieved anywhere else…
I was lucky to be able to take a mental break and go “home” last month with my mom. Orlando had her sparkle on for us on the day we chose to go to Epcot nearly four months in advance. It was a perfect, sunny 72 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Epcot is probably my favorite park because of the World Pavilion, which is Disney’s take on eleven different countries featuring restaurants, shopping, rides, and education for each. In the Before Times, they also had cast members from those countries which was a special treat. I especially love going in October/ November during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, when they have food and beverages from dozens of countries.
What do you do when you can no longer return “home”?
My favorite part about the trip was visiting a place that has remained relatively the same since my childhood. These precious places are harder to come by the older I get, but it was such a relief and a blessing to get a change of scenery after nearly two years of pandemic life and visit a place that feels like home to me. “Home” in the sense of “that place where childhood memories reside.” My parents no longer live in the house I grew up in and we don’t even live in the same state, so there’s no “going home for the holidays” to where I grew up either. I never see people I went to high school with, which I know is rare for most here in St. Louis. And with so much changing so fast these days, it was wonderful to be in a place that feels like home; to pause and reflect on happier times with people I knew back then and find my center.
With the holidays fast approaching, what is something that takes you back to your childhood? A tradition that you still do every year despite the change around you? Is it visiting family you don’t normally get to see? Maybe it’s picking out a Christmas tree or baking cookies. Do you have access to a place you have gone to since you were a kid? Do you love the nostalgia of the holidays or do you dread it? What are some things you do to help calm yourself and relax when you start feeling the stress of the season? Do you know what your triggers are? And how to work through them?
The holidays can be a stressful time for a lot of people for many different reasons. I hope you are able to find some peace and reflect on warm memories this season. If you are without holiday traditions that bring you joy this year, I hope you start new ones. May I suggest making hot chocolate and going down Candy Cane Lane or picking out a favorite ornament that you feel represents you and your journey this year. Find something that brings you comfort, even if it’s just curling up under a blanket in your favorite pajamas and watching Elf for the 37th time. And don’t forget: your Friendly Neighborhood Massage Therapist is always here to listen and help you relax and find peace when you need it.