Last year, I was invited to the Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration. Days before we were to leave, my husband suffered a cardiac arrest. The phone call I received was the most traumatic moment of my life. One moment I was on top of the world, and the very next moment I received the most devastating news of my life.
But first let me tell you about my DISNEYSMMC 2015 invite. I remember getting my email. I remember exactly where I was sitting in my kitchen. I remember screaming with joy! This is a memory that is embedded in my data bank! I was beyond excited. I wrote a blog post about my feelings and excitement. You can read my thoughts from last year here – For the First time in Forever.
When I say that I have not pursued any interests of my own, it is not an understatement. For the past 28 years, my focus has been on my husband, children, homeschooling and my household. That is not to say I don’t ever do anything for myself, but my attention has been solely on my family.
|My husband and me|
Ironically for as upsetting as it should have been to not attend the celebration last year, I was okay with it. My husband was revived after 12-15 minutes, had a subsequent quadruple bypass, and is doing well. The months immediately surrounding the Conference were a blur. We spent 9 days at the hospital and then he spent months rehabilitating. I didn’t have much time to think about anything besides my family.
April 30, 2016 will be a year since Jeff’s cardiac arrest. In a year’s time, this is what I have learned by not attending the conference.
1. There is always a next time. And if there isn’t, there will be something else on the horizon.
In a few short days (unless something catastrophic happens), we will be leaving for the
2016 Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration
The good people at Disney have invited me to participate this year, and I am excited to learn and meet new friends.
2. Learn from the things that are “out of your control.” When bad things happen (and they will), use it to better yourself, learn from the experience and move on.
As Walt Disney said,
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
3. When things don’t work out the way we want, whatever it may be, just keep swimming. Try new things. Better yourself. Attend a conference, take a class, read a book. Whatever will help you grow and become the person you are meant to be.
4. There is always a silver lining. At the time, it may not seem like it, but if you look, you will find it.
Some of our silver linings through our experience: Meeting people we wouldn’t have met – the doctors, nurses, online friends, etc., re-evaluating where we are and where we are going, spending more time together, a new outlook on life, and getting a needed break.
5. Sometimes experiences are given to us to remind us of what’s important – People. There were some awesome people placed in our path, and people are more important than things.
6. Plan, but expect roadblocks and detours. If something does go as planned, count that as added pixie dust. On vacations: kids get sick, flights get delayed, you leave things home, and there are literal detours along the way. At work: people quit, workloads change, employees get sick. If you expect that there will be obstacles, you give them less power to control you.
7. Pixie dust can happen in our own backyard. Sometimes we travel all over looking for something special, but we can create special right where we are. People (myself included) love Disney because of how the Cast Members treat you, how clean it is, how wonderful it seems, but you can create a world like that right where you live. Look for ways to sprinkle pixie dust in your neighborhood.
8. My family and friends are awesome! Okay, so I already knew that, but our immediate family has never had a long hospital stay or recuperation. Watching my older kids pull together to help out when we were in the hospital was truly inspiring. Extended family and friends making meals, lending a hand, and praying for us, was a humbling and fantastic experience.
9. Life should be celebrated everyday, not just when you have the time. Take time today to find ways to celebrate. It may be something small and insignificant (picking flowers, baking cookies, or skipping across the street). Find ways to celebrate and do it with gusto!
10. Without sadness, we don’t really understand joy. Those low points in our life help us to find real joy. And joy and sadness can exist side-by-side.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” –Walt