This is a tale of two very different travelers — going in two different directions — on two different journeys for two very different reasons.

But in the end their journeys shared much in common.

Let’s call the first traveler Mighty 90. That’s because she’s about to celebrate 32,850 spins of the earth: her 90th birthday. Mighty 90 is a friend of mine determined to take a trip to Disneyland one more time.

Let’s call the other traveler — well — Yours Truly. Destination? Reality — back east where I hadn’t been for many a year — to spend time with family, more specifically her ailing bed-ridden sister and elderly aunt who was one of her biggest supporters.

Both travelers had their doubts.

Mighty 90 knew her trip to Disneyland would require walking more than she was accustomed to as well as the standing required to go on rides. Concerned she’d hobble those with her, she thought maybe the happiest place on earth was meant for the younger crowd.

Yours Truly had concerns about the effect the straightjacket-like airline seats would have on muscles weakened by muscular dystrophy. In fact, before the journey, she thought she would never fly again.

But both travelers had the power of positive thinking.

Did you know that neuroscientists at Oxford recently proved that there was actually “power” involved in positive thinking?

The premotor cortex is a central brain region involved in the decision to take action. This area lights up — like a spark to a fuse — with energy milliseconds before other brain areas that control our physical movements are engaged. The stronger the spark, the more motivated one is to act.

The good news is that this trigger to the premotor cortex can be strengthened consciously on a daily basis by giving ourselves a pep talk: “Yes, I can do this,” or “Stop thinking and just do it!”

Mighty 90 resolved to go to Disneyland with her family and do whatever her mobility allowed.

Yours Truly figured out a way by asking her nephew to help her get from one coast to the other.

At Disneyland, Mighty 90 had many magical moments, the time of her life and was even treated as a VIP by Mickey!

Mighty 90 had the courage to make the trip, enjoyed every moment and hasn’t stopped bragging about it since she got back.

Yours Truly reveled in the time alone with her failing aunt, spent talking about politics, widowhood, health, family and neighborhood memories.

It felt good when my cousin, my aunt’s son, told me that he “hadn’t seen his mother so happy as she was spending time with you.”

Little did Yours Truly know that her beloved aunt would pass away exactly one week after the visit.

I guess the gist of all this is no matter at what age, you can always find time to cherish the magic moments of your own personal journey.

Or as Walt Disney himself said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Until next time…keep thinking the good thoughts.

— For more than 30 years, Rona Barrett was a pioneering entertainment reporter, commentator and producer. Since 2000, she has focused her attention and career on the growing crisis of housing and support for our aging population. She is the founder and CEO of the Rona Barrett Foundation, the catalyst behind Santa Ynez Valley’s first affordable senior housing, the Golden Inn & Village. Contact her at The opinions expressed are her own.