I recently returned from a three week trip to Orlando, Florida, which is why there have been no posts in a while now here.
The trip was one that my brother and I planned in 2019, and was originally meant to take place in April 2020. Walt Disney World had a Star Wars themed running race weekend in April, and in those heady days of fast passes you could (and should) have booked things 6 months in advance. We had everything planned to the day and to the hour: hotels, restaurants, tours, parties, and rides.
And then there was Covid.
The world, and the parks, shutdown, the races were cancelled, and we went into lockdown.
The Disney World parks eventually reopened, and even started gradually to return to their former glory. In November 2021 the races returned to Disney, with a tearful group of runners standing on the starting line after missing an entire season of races.
I was in the last, and hardest, parts of my chemo treatment at the time.
When I finished treatments my brother insisted on re-booking our planned Disney World trip. We didn’t plan on including a race weekend in it at first, as I didn’t even know if I could run, let alone run 5k and 10k in the Florida heat. We selected a date mostly based on the hurricane season and when the parks would be less busy. Then we realised that it fell on the Halloween season, and potentially a race. After that we expanded the trip to include both the Halloween and the Christmas season, and the Wine and Dine 5k and 10k races. We’d be in the parks in their 50th anniversary. We’d take a few days to see Universal Studios. It was going to be expensive, but a once in a lifetime trip, one that was three years in the making.
It was. It was exhilarating, joyous and intense. We covered all the parks, ran in the races, swam with dolphins, petted a rhino, ate a lot of good food, went to a lot of parties, and had a ton of fun. We walked 25,000 steps a day on average, with some days reaching 35-39,000 steps. We also had a hurricane hit the parks, in a season that is supposed to be hurricane free. But that was also part of the experience.
I returned home to jet lag and some family and personal health issues. My dad will need to have an aorta valve replacement surgery in the very near future, and my lungs are only up to 74% capacity. I’m seeing a lung specialist tomorrow, to see if there’s anything that can be done to improve their recovery.
I have the Diamine Inkvent 2022 green advent calendar, and I intend to use it. My original plan was to post reviews of each colour on each day, filling a fountain pen and writing and drawing with it, as I have done in the past. That is still my intention, but as I don’t know what the future will bring, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do that.
This is the time of year when a lot of people feel a lot of things about their family. Whatever kind of family you have, please take the time to consider that they may not always be there, and you may not always be here for each other. Life has a tendency to be shorter than you planned, and it’s oftentimes more dicey. Try to be gentle, kind, open, and understanding if you can. Most people go through a certain amount of trauma in their lives, and that leaves scars, usually of the kind you can’t see.
Be gentle with each other. We are all there is in the end.