What I Learned About MYSELF at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2015 – #DisneySMMC

We are never fully FREE of who we are but it’s o.k. to just be you!

popeyeAfter several years of watching with envy as friends, bloggers I admire and many others jet off to Walt Disney World® Resort to attend Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, this year I received the coveted invite to attend. I admit I was thrilled. I was also a little apprehensive.

I love what I do – my original site, The Adult Side of Disney, enjoys a large readership and is fairly well-known in the Disney community. With that said it is also important to say that the work I put into that site has often left me exhausted, over-whelmed and feeling inadequate. I am a self-taught blogger. The first year The Adult Side of Disney was in existence I worked 10 to 12 hours a day – much of that time watching YouTube videos and reading articles explaining the blogging world, researching how to do things the “right way” and trying to implement what I learned.

I started The Adult Side of Disney because I wanted to share my love of all things Disney and my Disney Side with everyone. My love affair with all things Disney started in the 70’s when the only thing in Orlando was the Magic Kingdom®. I have watched it grow into the enormous phenomenon it is today and continue to visit and be amazed. Disney has meant so many things to me and my family over the years so it’s only natural that I have once again learned some life lessons from Disney!

At just a few months shy of my 60th birthday (I’m the same age as Disneyland®!) I am usually one of the oldest in the group when the bloggers that I love, travel with and work with, get together at Disney or any other social media conference. I have often felt completely inadequate when it comes to certain aspects of social media when I am with this group of young Moms who can write a blog post on their phone – (geez – I’m lucky if I get a decent picture to use on my phone!) Anyway – off I went to this coveted, invite-only event – An almost 60 year old Mom blogger with 2 adult kids (28 and 31) to learn, be inspired, celebrate and, of course, feel inadequate.

I am what I am and that is all that I am!

Instead of coming home feeling inadequate, I am happy to say I learned so much through the experience about myself that the feelings of inadequacy are no longer there. I accept who I am, what I am comfortable with and how I do what I do regarding social media. It may not be the way the young Mom bloggers do it but it has worked for me for almost 4 years and hopefully will continue to work for me into the future. Does that mean I won’t work on the areas that make be feel inadequate – absolutely not. I will try to get better in those areas. I will spend time focusing on expanding some of my comfort zones. Most importantly, I will be true to myself – ignore criticism, not wish I could do some of the things the younger Mom bloggers do and continue to try to help other bloggers that ask for my help. I am who I am. I am what I am. Take me or leave me.

I am what I am and that is all that I am!


Not happening here! Is it age? Is it confidence? Is it some other UNKNOWN? Who knows! Who Cares! Not my comfort zone. Will most likely never be in my comfort zone no matter how hard I try! I’m just not a fan of having my picture taken – why? – who knows.  Never have been and most likely never will be. My Mom was never a big picture taker. There are no huge family albums of pictures of me as a kid or events throughout my lifetime. Even in a group setting you can often see the difference and discomfort I feel with having my picture taken.


One of the other bloggers in my circle who happens to be my age is a master at selfies and photo opportunities. I envy her ability and the fact that at 60 she is comfortable with this part of what we do.



Gayle T. – @DisneyGalsDisneyGals.com 


Yep! You got it! That’s her with that huge, confident smile sitting in front of George Clooney at a blogger event!


This is an area I plan to work on this year. Everyone loves a good video – even me. Will I be in those videos? I doubt it – that would be sitting right there next to those selfies. Not in my comfort zone. But I will try. I think it’s important to progress and move forward.


I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I understand it is a necessary part of what I do. The connections created on Twitter can make (or break) you. I don’t really like Twitter. I am what I am and that is all that I am! I no longer have a quick wit, a quick thought, a quick way of doing things. Unfortunately I have to process and think before I move forward. I didn’t have to in my youth but with age comes compromise. I am what I am and that is all that I am!

donalddriverDonald Driver (author/NFL player), a speaker at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, said: “Think before you Tweet.” I sat and listened to him and said to myself – Thank you Donald Driver! He also said: “Don’t blog to get attention. Blog for a reason.” Thank you again Donald Driver!

Even though I thank Donald Driver for making me o.k. with thinking first and tweeting later, I still envy those quick-witted, rapid finger tweeters I see. Two perfect examples:

The ability to quickly tweet what is happening around them – with photos – and still pay attention to and be in the moment. Youth, confidence, ability, quick wit, quick fingers – but … I am what I am and that is all that I am!

Because I do understand the importance of Twitter it is one of the major things I will work on over the next few months. Will I get better at it and with it? Another Who Knows? I will concentrate on trying, but in the end –

I am what I am and that is all that I am!

And…I’m O.K. with that!


  • I love this post! At 40 and with an almost adult daughter I too feel a little out of place out times. Plus, I’m just awkward. But the selfies?! I am TERRIBLE at posting selfies. People literally snatch the phone out of my hand and take my selfies for me. Sad, but true. It was nice to finally meet you!

  • What you are is terrific. <3

  • Way to make me sob! As you know, NO ONE was more excited to see all of your dreams come true and to be there with you when you opened that magical email- I will hold that memory in my heart forever. Thank you for including me in this -it meant the world to me and as Jindy and everyone else will tell you -I still can’t do a selfie-although many have tried to teach me but how can you not smile when there’s Disney magic touching your life! Always #BelieveInThePossibilities and #LiveYourDream-we have many more dreams ahead of us!

  • What you are is FABULOUS. I’m so glad I had a chance to spend time with you! This post hits home with me too- despite feeling good in front of a camera, the smile hides my insecurities as well. Coincidentally- I too felt “I am enough” after this conference. Disney Magic does it again! Hugs Ms. Janice!

  • As someone who sat next to you at several of the functions last weekend, I can assure you, never once did I think, “Who invited the grandma?” You are incredibly admired by many of us bloggers and I was very grateful to meet you and experience your kindness first hand. You are also great at hiding your photo apprehension as all of my photos of you (including a few selfies) are beautiful. Thank you for allowing me to share such a special experience with you.

    • bjkbrady@aol.com

      You are so sweet Lauren and one of the highlights of my weekend was finally getting to meet you in person! I hope we will have many more opportunities to spend time together!

  • Janice, I really enjoyed reading your article. We all have our own comfort zone,and some love to be in the fore front,some love to sit in the last row(that’s me) and some love it somewhere in -between.
    You along with my mentor Gayle Turner have inspired me, taught me and encouraged me to be true to who I am. I lean everyday from seasoned bloggers like you two “diamonds”.
    We can only be who we were meant to be and you are truly amazing,selfie or not.
    Thanks for sharing your story, the part that makes you, uniquely you.
    Although we have never met,I know you are one of those honest people that friends can depend on and your friends are very lucky to have you in their lives.

  • This is a great article Janice. I was really nervous about attending the Disney Social Media Moms for several reasons. I have only been blogging for one year and sometimes feel I have no clue as to what I am doing. I also attended without my family. My kids are both teens and we own a really large 750 acre farm and this is our busy time. I don’t consider myself old because age is just a number but compared to the other moms that attended, my kids are a lot older. I was excited that I got to experience Disney for the first time in a different way – without kids.

    • bjkbrady@aol.com

      I’ll admit I go to WDW regularly by myself! They rarely let me take my granddaughter out of school and both kids are busy with jobs so I’m on my own most of the time and love it! I still get all giddy every time I go to the Magic Kingdom!

  • What a great post! I tried so hard to meet as many new people as possible and I am sorry I didn’t meet you!

  • You are enough. You are fabulous and so glad you were invited and attended the event. You don’t have to be all things to all people. Just be you. You are enough.

  • Janice is was fantastic to meet you IN PERSON!! Thank you for including me in your blog post too. Even though I try to stay current with new technologies but there are a few things I am behind in. I loved taking a selfie with you too. 😉 I even get butterflies at events like this, they can be so overwhelming but it’s nice to know I have my friends with me and new friends to meet. I hope to see you again soon. #DreamBig

  • Oh I loved this post! I had no idea you weren’t 29 like me! xoxo

  • I’m so very glad that I got to meet you last weekend, because you are beyond fantastic. I can’t take a good selfie to save my life and making videos is also a step out of my comfort zone but a goal for the coming year. Glad to know I’m not jumping off the video clip alone, and can’t wait to see what you create. Also, I love the Adult Side of Disney, used it when planning my days there solo after the conference. Thank you so much for that info and for these great words that are important reminders to not only be ourselves, but be the best version of that self.

  • What a great post! Now I want to check out your blog! I felt that I wasn’t good enough to go to this event also. I kept wondering what it was that Leanne and her team saw in me to select me to attend but it must be something and I have to take pride in that! I also feel like I am old (43) and still have a lot to learn to be more “post on the fly” with my social media. But we learn every day. What did you watch on YouTube to help you? I’d love to learn more!

  • David Mullican

    Janice that’s exactly why we love you. YOU are just awesome! You are truly an incredible lady. You just keep on being you.

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