Face Your Fears, A Lesson Learned From #DisneySMMoms

At the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I had many "a ha" moments.  Two in particular stood out, however.  First, was Peter Shankman.  Among his points was a slide about obstacles in your way.


(Let’s ignore for a second that I have no mascara to run if I cry. ;-)  )

Too many times, we hit a brick wall in life and just sit beside it complaining about how awful life is to put up such obstacles.  Complaining doesn’t move the wall, however.  It might feel good temporarily (believe me, I know), but it doesn’t solve the overall problem.  Instead, you need to figure out a path around the wall.

Later, Lisa Druxman spoke.  She mentioned about how gremlins will sit on your shoulder and tell you "You can’t do that."  I instantly realized that my gremlin is "High School Me."  Back in high school, I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly.  I was more like a social potted plant in the corner of the room.  Whether it was due to all of the bullying I endured, or just the awkwardness of being a teenager, I didn’t do well in social situations.  I’d stand quietly as close to the wall as possible.  Though I longed to be in the spotlight, I also lived in mortal fear of it.

High School Me sits on my shoulder, I realized, telling me that I can’t ride certain rides, can’t attend social functions, and can’t do a dozen other things.  It’s not that I actually can’t do these things, mind you.  Though I may face some difficulties (for example, remembering people’s faces and names), I can get past these and survive.

In an effort to knock the gremlin off my shoulder for good, I hope to ride four Disney World rides that scare me: Space Mountain, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, and Expedition Everest.  Each of these rides raises huge red flags with me and makes me not want to proceed.  Luckily, each of these rides also offers photos of you riding the attraction.  I plan on stitching the photos together, along with some phrase either from the conference or inspired by it.  Then, when I feel that shoulder gremlin telling me to just give up over the brick wall in my path, I’ll tell it to look at my montage and then beat it.

Do you have a shoulder gremlin? If so, what does it look like?

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Aloha Friday: Social Fears

Bridge_CrossingWith the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration approaching, I’m going to soon face one of my biggest fears.  No, I don’t mean the Wild Africa Trek’s rickety bridge over the crocodiles (though that’s sure to trigger a big fear too).  This is the fear of socializing.

You see, I might seem like quite the extrovert online, but put me in a room full of people, especially people that I haven’t known face-to-face for awhile, and I become a huge introvert.  The idea of approaching someone I don’t know and talking to them terrifies me.  The possibility that I’ll "introduce" myself only to find out that we’ve met in person before fills me with paralyzing panic.

I’m much more comfortable in the online arena where I can more easily remember if I’ve conversed with a certain user before and take my time to craft my response for maximum wittiness.  In many ways, my "online persona" is closer to the real me than my "in-person persona."

I suspect that I’m more extroverted in public than I give myself credit for.  While I’ll often feel like the socially stunted high school kid I used to be when dropped into a social situation, I try to keep reminding myself that I’ve grown so much since then.  I’ve attended two Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations already (albeit as B’s guest), I attended BlogHer in 2010, and I’ve been in many social situations at work where I spoke with people I didn’t know well.  I tell myself that my fears are unfounded, but they still dog me.

However, I’m a big advocate of facing down your fears.  I might have a fear of falling, but I’m not going to let that stop me from walking across the bridge on the Wild Africa Trek.  Neither will I let my fear of social situations stop me from talking to people at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

Just do me a favor and be patient with me if I introduce myself and we met before, ok?

My Aloha Friday questions for today are: Are you an introvert or extrovert in person?  How do you face down your fears?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #135

A Nightmare Getting Ready For Bed

turtle_hits_floorTwo nights ago, it was time to get the boys ready for bed.  For some reason, NHL was complaining so B went to take care of him while I got JSL ready.  Don’t ask me why, but I decided to pull JSL’s shirt off of him while he was standing on a stairwell.  As the shirt went up, JSL lost his balance and fell.  He went clunking down the stairs and slid to a halt face down and not moving.  I screamed for B to call 911 and then… I woke up.

Yes, all of this was a nightmare.  A horrible nightmare.  Although, I was relieved that it wasn’t real, I lay awake in bed afraid.  I was terrified that, should I go back to sleep, I would re-enter the dream from where I left off – with JSL lying lifeless on the floor.  The image of JSL laying there, face down with his arms splayed, was (and remains) burned into my brain.  Though I was exhausted, I forced myself to stay awake for a few minutes.  Thankfully, the rest of my dreams were free of injured children.

Have you ever experienced a very realistic dream about your children being hurt?

Disclaimer: The image above, Turtle-Hits the Floor, was obtained from OpenClipArt.org.

Aloha Friday: Flying Fears

I’ve written about my fear of flying before.  When the airplane I’m riding in takes off or lands, I get very nervous.  Just writing and thinking about it is causing my hands to shake a bit.

I try to fill my mind with statistics which prove that air travel is safe.  I tell myself that the number of accidents involving fatalities in the past 5 years is only a handful compared to the tons of flights that take off and land uneventfully day after day after day.  Still, the Hollywood image runs through my mind of a plane coming in for a landing when something goes horribly wrong.  (Perhaps Hollywood Airlines should get some better planes because a plane in a film or TV show almost invariable encounters problems along the trip.)  The fear remains with me no matter how unreasonable I tell myself it is.

Still, I’m going to have to endure this if I want to go to Disney World.  I could do this with no problem, but this year there’s an additional fear: Airport Security.  I’m all for security on airplanes, but I’ll admit I’m afraid of the enhanced security procedures that I’ve heard are in place.  From Rapiscan scanners (seriously, could they have come up with a worse name for it?!!) that effectively display a nude image of you while exposing you to radiation to TSA personnel who must pat you down in areas that only my doctor and wife ever touch.

And it isn’t mainly me I’m afraid about.  Were it just me, I’d steel myself for it and get through it.  It’s my kids I’m worried about.  Will they ask JSL to step into the scanner by himself?  Will they want to pat down NHL such that our Stranger Danger lessons get triggered?  The boys are excited about the Disney World trip and I’d hate for an airport security nightmare to mar the experience.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you travelled with kids recently via airplane?  How was your airport security experience?  If not, do you have any fears about your kids handling airport security?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #78

Aloha Friday: Daddy, I’m Scared Of Dying

On Tuesday night, I tucked the boys in as I always do, got my computer and sat down beside JSL’s bed.  As I always do.  As they always do, my boys decided it wasn’t *quite* time to go to sleep.  Instead, they were going to trot out delay tactics.  NHL said his stomach hurt and I told him it was probably gas and to go to sleep.  Then he said something that made me realize that he wasn’t delaying.

“Daddy?  I’m scared.  I’m scared of dying.”

Uh oh.

To be honest, I think this fear has been in the back of his mind for some time now.  Ever since B’s grandfather passed away nearly four years ago.  NHL was very close with B’s grandfather.  They loved spending time together eating ice cream or Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins.

What NHL didn’t understand was that his great-grandfather wasn’t well.  He had Parkinson’s disease and was slowly but surely succumbing to the illness.  When I first met B, her grandfather walked with the aid of a walker with only occasional trouble.  Eventually, he couldn’t reliably stand on his own for too long.  He would fall over and I would need to rush to B’s grandparents’ apartment to help lift him.  (Lifting a 200 pound man who can’t help you lift himself isn’t easy!)

Eventually, B’s grandfather was moved to a nursing home.  Of course, Parkinson’s is an unforgiving disease and it kept progressing.  Eventually, his mind went as well.  He would be perfectly lucid one moment and talking to me as if it were decades in the past another.

When we last saw B’s grandfather, NHL refused to go near him.  We think he could sense something was wrong.  We were there to say our goodbyes.

In the years since his great-grandfather’s passing, NHL has occasionally displayed an interest in death.  He would talk about death in ways that made adults uncomfortable.  Completely innocently on his part, of course, but still uncomfortable.

Fast forwarding back to Tuesday night, I hugged NHL and told him that he didn’t have to worry.  He mentioned that everyone dies and I agreed but added that he wouldn’t die for a long, long time.  He mentioned being scared about being buried and eaten by ants.  I told him that his soul, the part of him that makes him him, would go to heaven.  This soothed him enough for him to go to sleep.  Still, I could sense the impending bad dreams and repeated awakenings the night would bring.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you spoken with your child about death?  If so, what did you say to them?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #71

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