Recently, I was going back over some old blog posts, and came across an unusually prescient observation that I made in June of 2008.
That summer, my family and I were preparing a move to Orlando, FL, from Nashville, TN.
On Memorial Day, the family and I drove down to Orlando, where we noticed that the traffic on I-75 was extremely light for a holiday weekend. Even, abnormally light.
We spent the next few days at Disney parks – and we noticed that all the parks were sparsely attended, at what should have been the beginning of peak tourist season. We never had to wait longer than 10 minutes, for any ride in any park, across 3 days of park hopping. Unheard of.
We had the same experience at our resort pool, and at the resort restaurants. No crowds. During peak summer.
Having lived in Orlando previously (well, Celebration, FL), we were used to the summer peak rush of tourists. But the uncanny lack of tourists that Memorial Day Weekend reminded me of another time – the time following the Post-9/11 crash in tourism in Central, FL.
In hindsight, knowing now what would happen just a few short months later – the beginning of the “Great Recession” – I probably should have listened more closely to what my gut was telling me; something strange was happening in the economy.
But who could have anticipated the precipitous events of September 2008? Apparently, I noticed something. And did nothing.
We often talk ourselves out of taking action, by ignoring what’s happening all around us. Sometimes we do this out of denial, or a lack of sufficient information to act responsibly. And sometimes, we just can’t believe what our senses are telling us.
Acting on feelings, in the absence of data, can be an extremely dangerous personality trait. But learning to trust your “gut instincts” can also mean the difference between thriving, and simply surviving.
Looking back, I wish I had been more receptive – and proactive – to what I was noticing. All around me.
Go, and be you.