September 30, 2007 was a Sunday. It was the day that I began this blog titled The Disney Obsession. Back then I really didn't know what the blog was to be or what it was to become. It was not my intention to write the "go to" or "must read" blog. Granted, I liked it when the readership grew and I could see that people were stopping by. But really, the blog began simply as a way for me to share my love for Disney with someone besides my wife and family.
Looking back over the years, there were times when I was posting regularly and then times when posting was laborious. A seemingly endless string of other things kept me from ever getting into a rhythm. And knowing that there were others who were putting up great content on a regular basis, well, it became easier to step back from writing. What I did find though was that Disney was a photographers paradise. I loved taking photographs in the parks; especially after the sun went down. So, if I made any contribution to the accumulated library of the fan community, perhaps it was a few nice photographs.
Now, it has been a little over five years. I have posted 518 entries; some long, some no more than a photograph. This is my 519th entry and it will be my last one. I shutter The Disney Obsession happy to have started it and hoping I may have made a slight contribution. But if we are being honest, I close it having a few regrets.
I wish that I had finished my posts on IllumiNations. Not the Reflections of Earth version, but the one prior to that. The “Classical IllumiNations” as I like to think of it. I wish that I had been more diligent with exploring things to write about and then actually writing them. There is a notebook here in my office with ideas that were never fleshed out; Post-It notes and scribblings on scrap pieces of paper that will not find a voice. I once began a series on The Women in My Life. It started with Mary Poppins and I was going to write about the other "Disney women" in my life; Tinker Bell, Ariel and Belle and then sharing about the most important woman in my life, my heartbeat, my wife Gerrie. I wish I had finished that. I wish I had made more of an effort to be engaged in the broader community; made a few more trips at the “right” time or visited with the “right” people. I wish I had worked a little harder at finding that “niche”; that something that defined the blog. But do I have regrets for having composed this chapter of my life - none whatsoever. The greater regret would have been to have never started.
The Disney Obsession was the catalyst for a few truly wonderful friendships. I feel that without the blog I would not have met Ryan Wilson, George Taylor and Glenn Whelan. The Disney community is vast and I have had the chance to meet a number of wonderful people, but these were my friends in the beginning and are friends to this day. Time and distance keep us from visiting that often, but it doesn’t diminish the friendship and appreciation I have for these gentlemen and will continue to have.
It has also opened up the opportunity for great friendships closer to home. The friendships I have with a few incredible people here at home, I know, came about because I took a chance, started a blog and stepped out into a broader community. We may have come together because of a common interest in Disney, but our friendships have grown far beyond that common interest.
Though The Disney Obsession is putting up it’s “Going Out of Business” sign, it doesn’t mean that I have stopped writing. This past year I began a new blog called Sharing the Good Times. It is a somewhat more personal; sort of a “life and times of...” blog. There I reflect on art, literature, music and life. Since Disney is still a part of my life I am sure something Disneyesque will appear from time to time. I am sure some photographs will crop up. Sharing the Good Times may not be for everyone, but I welcome everyone to stop by and take a look. I hope you will! Perhaps you’ll find something interesting or thought-provoking.
A little earlier I mentioned not “finding that niche”. Come to think of it, maybe I did.
I don’t recall the exact way it was said, but a good friend once told me that The Disney Obsession was written from the heart. That it showed emotion and compassion. That, I suppose, was the greatest compliment ever paid to what I tried to do here.
For everyone who has ever visited The Disney Obsession or took the time to comment on something that I shared, be it an article or a photograph, thank you. Knowing that someone has taken a moment and shared a bit of their time with me is the reward. For you, those who visited and extended your friendship and kindness, please allow me to close by offering this for you:
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift us His countenance upon you,
and give you peace.”
I wish to remain, your friend,