Sometimes my mind is set on the way I think things should be or are going to be. This can lead to disappointment when those expectations aren’t met.

In early December I took my 16-year-old granddaughter, who is a huge Harry Potter fan, on a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. A little part of me felt guilty for never taking my kids there, but hey, they didn’t beg to go or even ask that I remember. (Could be selective memory).

I didn’t ever want to go to theme parks. I do NOT like rides. I am very prone to motion sickness although I’ve gotten better over the years. I do still take Dramamine when I fly or go on a boat. And I don’t get why anyone wants to be frightened for their life just for the fun of it. I do not like being in crowds, standing in line waiting and feeling like everywhere I turn it costs more and more money for something that I pay much less for every day. So, theme parks sounded like absolute torture to me. The only thing about the trip I was looking forward to was spending time making memories and having an adventure with my granddaughter.

So, I put all those unwanted parts of the experience aside to fulfill a promise to my granddaughter. I put on my big girl pants and set out to have a great time. It was my granddaughter’s first time flying, so we both had lots of new adventures.

As soon as we got off the plane, we headed for the shuttle to our resort. My husband, who likes such things as theme parks, helped me book the trip so we could make the most of our two days in the park. We were staying on Universal property and that included shuttle services to the park. It took us two hours to get to our resort from the airport (it was a nine-mile drive), as we were the last stop on the route. I was thinking, “Oh great! I knew it was going to be like this!”

I quickly decided to get myself in check because I wanted to enjoy time with my granddaughter, and it cost a small fortune. (I kept thinking where I could have gone for that money) I had to gear myself up because I knew I was going to have to ride the rides she wanted to ride, stand in lines, wait, and act like I was enjoying myself.

I am thrilled to report that I rode all the rides she wanted to ride, with the help of Dramamine, even though there were warning signs everywhere NOT to ride if you got motion sick. I just closed my eyes and prayed. I found it is possible to meditate anywhere, anytime, even when you’re spinning in circles, holding on for your life.

We were there the perfect time of year; the weather was beautiful. The parks were much less crowded than they usually are. I can’t tell how surprised I was at how quickly the lines did move, how clean everything was, how easy everything was to figure out. Maybe mostly, I loved how helpful all the staff was. Everything worked like a well-oiled machine. I have to say I was impressed, and I would go back (if I had to).

We had a fantastic time and made memories that will forever change our relationship. I am grateful to have experienced all the things that I was expecting and those that I wasn’t.

When we change the world changes.

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