"Oh, you're at work today? That's nice. I'm at Universal Studios. For free. In the middle of the week!"
I know I'd hate me.
Because I get jealous of people I know or kinda know or don't know on the Internet all the time. I think it's the way of social media. It connects us, yes, but it also pits us against each other. It used to be that we had to buy a People Magazine to see just how much better the beautiful people had it. Now we can do that with everyone we know.
I think the whole celebrity culture thing is really unhealthy (and now we're ALL celebrities...). It's not good for us to look outside ourselves to find out how we're doing. And yet, it has become almost second nature. There's no quicker way to stop enjoying what is than to take a look around to see what else there is.
But I think the opposite might also true. If we're enjoying what is but also kind of worrying about how our life might look to someone else, being careful not to be too much better or worse than the next guy, aren't we robbing ourselves of joy?
And if the Internet didn't come into play, would any of this even matter? I mean, think about it. Why do we share what we share online? I can only speak for myself here but I know I only share things I want to share. Which usually means good things, right? I'm not talking about this blog (I like to think there's more going on here than that...) but definitely Instagram and Facebook. If I'm not putting something up there to brag, why am I doing it? I have considered getting rid of all of it but haven't been able to bring myself to do it just yet. I've found a way to use Facebook in a way that works for me but I'm really struggling with Instagram. I used to use it just for editing and storing my favorite photos and that's what got me hooked. I still love it for that but the social media aspect is not working for me anymore. The boys and I love to scroll through and see all of our favorite pics but I feel really gross when I share too much or about too many good things (which, again, why would I put photos in an album if I didn't think they were great?). And when I get in the trap of looking at all the other beautiful people's lives and my head starts to swirl with everything that isn't in my life, I feel even worse about my sharing.
I'm telling you - it's not good.
But I don't know what to do. I hate the thought of deleting my account and not having access to my little online photo album but I don't feel good about things as they are. Anyone techy out there have a good solution?
In the meantime I will share here that our impromptu trip to Orlando (and New Orleans!) was a total blast. Bill has some awesome clients down there (Universal, Cirque du Soleil) who hooked us up with a very magical couple of days. Liam was pretty much in heaven at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Finn was, well, mostly freaked out.
Our very first stop in Diagon Alley was Olivander's Wand Shop. There were no lines so we were immediately whisked to the back of the shop where a very convincing witch used some magic to help a wand choose a wizard. Two seconds into her spiel Finn broke the hushed amazement of the crowd by saying loudly, "Why did we come here?" He then spent the rest of the day asking when we could go home.
He was a little trooper though and hung in there a good part of the day. He may have even enjoyed himself a little!
They do such a good job. I mean, I actually got choked up when we came around the brick wall and found ourselves in Diagon Alley. I felt just like Harry Potter must have felt when he discovered the Wizarding World! Everything was magical and the Muggle World was just a distant memory.
With the wands we bought (we promised ourselves we wouldn't and yet it turned out to be everyone's favorite part...) the boys could actually perform magic inside the park. There were secret medallions on the ground here and there and when you stood on one and followed the spells on your map, magical things would happen.
And if you had trouble getting your spell to work right away, a witch or wizard would appear out of nowhere and ask if you needed a little help practicing your magic.
It was good to the last drop of Butterbeer!
Once we left the Wizarding World, Finn sort of came alive again (I think he was really scared, poor buddy). So we headed to the Dr. Seuss area and rode a couple of rides and hung out for a bit.
It was awesome to look around at this whole world that is so real to so many of us and think, "Man, one guy came up with all this. One guy!" If Theodore Geisel hadn't let his imagination run wild (and chased after it with a pen and paper and lots of hard work), we wouldn't have any Sneetches or Truffula Trees in our lives at all. A whole chapter of our childhoods just wouldn't exist! Same with J.K. Rowling and a million amazing details of the Wizarding World. It's awesome to see entire worlds that literally would not exist if not for one person's imagination. I hope my kids were as inspired as I was.
On our way out we decided to make a quick stop at E.T. which is awesome because it means I got the best souvenir ever ever ever.
I know that in and of itself is pretty great. But when you see that it's actually a recreation of a photo taken 25 years ago? Priceless.