A Type A individual is defined as one who is “ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving workaholics who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.” Let’s face it; that’s not the most flattering of portrayals. I’d like to claim that I don’t resemble that description at all, but who would I be kidding? You might as well just put a picture of me next to it and be done with it. I mean seriously, my daughter came across David Farragut’s famous quote "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" and was surprised, as she had always attributed that quote to me.
You can take a vacation from work, but you can’t take a vacation from your own personality (believe me; I’ve tried). So even when I’m at the Happiest Place on Earth I’m still, well, me. I hit the ground running and tour the parks commando-style (but don’t worry, I am wearing underwear. And yes Mom; it’s clean.) I not only have plans, I have printed lists. I have folders to keep track of my dining reservations. I study the menus of the restaurants before leaving, and generally walk into the restaurants already knowing what I’m going to order. I have a strict touring plan for visiting the attractions. If a member of my party wants to sleep in or slow down, I will leave them behind rather than abandon The Plan.
The saddest part is that this isn’t even a recent development. I remember at the age of five, pouring over the map for the Magic Kingdom and presenting to my mother a step-by-step itinerary for the entire family. It’s probably a good thing there was only one park back then, or I’d have really driven her nuts.
But for the very first time, I will be visiting Walt Disney World as a Disney Vacation Club member. I (theoretically) don’t have to worry that this may be my last visit to the World for a long time. I’m supposed to visit annually now. Therefore, I should be able to relax, and not feel the need to cram every possible experience into every available moment, right? Right?
That’s my resolution. I have promised my family that this will be a “stop and smell the roses” trip. My husband, who claims that one of his arms is longer than the other because of the way I’m constantly pulling him around by it, simply laughs at my vow and says my naïve belief that I can change is very cute. My daughter (Teri Junior) is baffled at the very concept of willingly slowing down. It’s my fault, really. Let’s face it; she didn’t start referring to The Swiss Family Treehouse and the film in Norway as “crowd control measures” on her own.
I’m already facing my first test to my resolution. Our trip is booked for early December, and now that our hotel reservations are made, my thoughts would normally be turning to dining plans. As in, I would typically be making lists of what theme parks we would be visiting each day, and which restaurants (at what times) would best fit our schedule. After researching which parks are historically least crowded on which days, I would come up with a corresponding list of restaurants (a top choice and two back-ups), along with preferred eating times. I would have these printed out (and in my folder) so that I could simultaneously call and check online at the 180 day mark for availability. But not this time. I want to try taking a trip without making a single Advance Dining Reservation. This is truly my intent, but the mere thought has me breaking out in hives.
Do you think I can do it? Do any of you “smell-the-roses” folks have any advice for me? Please let me know over at http://www.facebook.com/disneygene!