We were at Disneyland many years ago with a dance group which was a very different experience than going as a family. There was a schedule to keep, rehearsals to get the Princess to and a lot of people to spend time with. One of the families we spent most of our time with were even more ‘Disneyfied’ than we are. They did all kinds of things that we had never done, taught us about some of the cooler places around for food and deals, plus they were just too much fun. There was one way that they were different. Their daughter, we’ll call her Tinkerbell, didn’t ride Space Mountain. It wasn’t a roller coaster thing, she loved Thunder Mountain. It wasn’t a dark thing, she rode the Haunted Mansion. There was just something about Space Mountain. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to ride it, she just couldn’t. She would get in the line, but not make it on the ride. Apparently she once got all the way to the loading area, but just walked straight through the train to the exit. This has been going on for years.
Our very last day of the trip we were all trying to figure out one last thing to do before we had to go our own ways and the group settled on Space Mountain. Tinkerbell agreed to try one last time. We moved through the line, got to the loading zone, and she GOT IN the train! Three minutes later I doubt there was a happier person in the Happiest Place on Earth. Her face was full of joy and wonder and the first thing she wanted to do was get back in line. She couldn’t believe she had been missing that much fun all that time.
Not all attempts at new things turn out that well, but the important thing was that Tinkerbell didn’t give up. She tried and tried until she had the experience she wanted. If it hadn’t been good, she would have known that she could walk away from the ride with no regrets. That’s what trying is about. Being able to say that we did the best we could. That we gave it our all. We will not always succeed, but if we know that we gave it our best. Failure has less power.