Consider having fun

Having fun in the rain, then and now: Drew and Matt at EPCOT Center in 1995 and 2003

Having fun in the rain, then and now:
Drew and Matt wearing the SAME PONCHOS at EPCOT Center in 1995 and 2003

“If you only do what’s important, you’ll never have any fun, unless you consider having fun important.”Ashleigh Brilliant

If you don’t consider having fun important, I hope you’ll think about it and change your mind!  Recently we had a discussion in the comments here, about end-of-life wishes, and things people wish they had done more often.  A lot of the wishes center on doing fun or important things – often both.  But one thing nobody in our family will probably ever say is “I wish we’d gone to Disney parks more often,” since we enjoyed more than our fair share of visits there.

We love Disney, at least the Disney movies that were produced up through the mid-1990’s, and all the classic characters.  And we never tire of going to the Disney parks; we’ve literally lost count of how many times we’ve gone to either the California Disneyland parks, or the Walt Disney World parks in Florida.  We never got too old to enjoy it, and some of our happiest memories happened there.

The photos above were taken more than eight years apart, in almost exactly the same location at EPCOT Center — and the boys are wearing the EXACT SAME RAIN PONCHOS! I am not making this up. (I told you I never threw anything away.)  I bought each of us a rain poncho right before we visited Walt Disney World in 1995, while we lived in Hawaii, and we found them so useful I kept them and took them along on every subsequent Disney trip, long after the boys were wearing adult sizes.  The great thing about a poncho is that one size fits all.

When we had some rain during our 2003 trip to Disney World (taken to celebrate Matt’s 18th birthday) Drew thought it would be fun to get another photo like the one we had taken so many years before.  I don’t know which was more fun, taking the photos or comparing them years afterward!

I hope you are making time for enjoying funny moments with people you love, and maybe preserving those memories in photos or journals, or both.  Someday it will seem way more important than it might seem now.

Happy Lunar New Year!

One year ago today

A happy talent

23 Comments

  1. raynard

    Julia I could of posted ” a picture of me wearing a trench coat over a pair of “Long Johns with the flap in the back” I was just telling someone the other day”In order to have fun in your life, You have to have “life in your fun” Laughter is good medicine, and I did see in the bible where “God laughed”( it didnt say some guy dressed like a court jester was “running around hitting people in the face with pies… Going back to sleep. There was a early morning fire in my apartment complex across the courtyard . We were not affected but pray for those that were. Be blessed..

    • I like that quote about fun! I should use it in the blog here someplace. I’m sending up a prayer for your neighbors who had the fire. This is an awful time of year to be displaced by something like that. Years ago when I was spending the night with a friend of mine in East New York, Brooklyn, the building across the street had a fire during the night. I remember looking out my bedroom window and seeing all the fire trucks and all these people standing in the chilly air at 2:00 am, outside wearing only their pajamas and robes. Fires are so scary. I am grateful to our firefighters.

  2. Julia, good morning. I like your photos! And enjoying your visits to Disney. Enjoying life with our families is important to our well being.

    • Thank you Merry, I’m glad you like the photos! You can imagine that our sons had to get used to having a camera on them from birth on. Drew liked it when he was a child, but as he got older he got increasingly impatient with how many photos I took. Matt is not crazy about posing but has learned to indulge me. I agree that having FUN together is one of the most important things we can do!

  3. Jack

    When my now 22 year old daughter, educated, beautiful child that she is now (and was then) first went to Disney World, we were met at the entry gate with a parade headed by the beautiful Ariel of Little Mermaid fame, her favorite (“You want thingamabobs…I’ve got twenty!”, great line). She got so excited that she had finally encountered the REAL Ariel that she hyperventilated almost to the point of requiring medical attention. We have this great picture of Snow White trying to comfort her, but she wasn’t a Snow White fan and is crying in the picture. That one’s on the photo Wall of Fame, now and forevermore.

    Thanks for making me smile at 500 AM!

    • Jack, I love that story! The Little Mermaid was such a magical movie in so many ways – it was the first recent Disney movie that seemed to re-claim the greatness of the earlier classics. I just love all the songs, especially the one from which you quote here – so wistful and lovely, I think any little girl would be enchanted with it. Thanks so much for sharing the story of your daughter and her excitement over seeing Ariel. I don’t blame her! 🙂

  4. Awww…I adore these photos! How blessed are you with 2 amazing sons! Big hugs to all!xo

    • Thank you Misifusa! We do feel blessed. As parents we sometimes wonder if we are doing ANYTHING right, but it helps to look at our kids and think “You know, despite everything, they are pretty great.” 🙂

  5. MaryAnn

    Ah! FUN…brings to mind so many great experiences! We went to Yosemite Family Encampment 20+ years. There are MANY highlights. One that comes to mind, making me almost giggle, is our classic water fights. During the year, my mother, Annie Tillman, would save all the plastic tubs, etc. She would bring them all out & begin to dip water from the Merced River. The joyful fun that ensued was priceless. She was in her 60’s & 70’s, so some people thought we were mistreating her, WHEN it was her idea & instigation! All the family, from Grandma Tillman to the youngest, had such FUN together!
    This photo of Drew & Matt makes me want to find a puddle to splash. (Even better, splashing w/ them!) What a great idea to recreate a happy time, thereby adding more “happy”. Love how you think!

    • Mary Ann, thank you for this precious memory of dear “Sister Annie.” I think anyone who knew her would easily believe it was her idea! I can imagine her cooking up just such plans. I bet there are a lot of other stories to go with this one. I’m sure you owe a lot of your fun spirit to her! I am smiling as I read this. I appreciate your sharing it with us.

  6. This photo makes me so happy. I love looking back at pictures to see how my boys have grown. You have a lifetime of memories to sustain you, Julia. Our past is a gift to our present and future selves.

    • Thank you Alys, it’s so true that our past is a gift. Happy memories can give us strength, and remind us that we have been happy, and will be happy again. It helps to break out of that hopeless feeling that sometimes overtakes us. And even the unhappy memories have something to teach us. Isn’t it amazing how much we would forget without photos? We are lucky to have them so readily available!

      • I so agree on, Julia. I think humans are built to survive and thrive through adversity or we would simply die out. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, depressed and yes, hopeless too, but we seem to overcome, and learn for ways to cope in the present and to move on. It’s not always easy, but as you say, it makes us who we are.

        As for photos, yes, hard to imagine memories without them. With social media and blogging, we’ve created a digital trail, the likes of which no other generation could have imagined.

        • I think it’s so exciting to contemplate how many photos and words are documenting everyday lives! I hope that these digital “artifacts” will survive and prove useful, interesting or enlightening to future generations. But if not, at least we tried 🙂 and had great fun while we were at it!

  7. Jenelle

    I just adore this picture and the significant of them. I would share more, but my kids are super sick. But I just had to say that this post is really really cool 🙂

    • Thank you Jenelle, I’m so happy you like them! As a mother I know you can identify with how much I enjoy these “then and now” comparisons. I’m sending up a prayer that your kids are better soon!

  8. What a wonderful story…and memories. Your re-staged photo was genius!

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your being with us today, and especially your kind comment. Of course, the second photo was Drew’s idea, but I took it! 🙂

  9. Julia I loved the pictures of Drew & Matt. Our local newspaper has been publishing photos of families just like your pictures. The original picture from years ago and the same family members recreating the picture years later. Thank you for sharing. My prayers to you and your family. How wonderful to still have your parents.

    • Jackie, what a great idea for the newspaper to do that! I wish the Washington Post would do that with visiting families (a.k.a. tourists) who surely have tons of photos alongside monuments and other sights that are instantly recognizable and haven’t changed much. I appreciate so much your visits here, your kind thoughts and prayers. YES, my brothers, sister and I all feel SO lucky that we still have our parents with us. Each and every day is a gift to us, one that we never take for granted.

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