R.I.P. Jimmy Buffett

Ever since I was little, we would play Jimmy Buffett in the car

This post is as much a tribute to my dad as Jimmy Buffett. Growing up, a car ride with dad meant that the windows were rolled down and Buffett's "Songs You Know by Heart" CD was playing on the stereo.

As I think everyone knows now, Jimmy Buffett passed away September 1, 2023.

I know he wasn't the best role model or perfect guy, but there are a few things that listening to Jimmy Buffett with my dad taught me growing up which have shaped me into who I am today.

"Come Monday, it'll be alright."

Sure this is a love song, but Come Monday reminds us that hopelessness now doesn't mean we should lose all hope. Look forward to Monday, and everything will work out.

"Wrinkles only go where smiles have been."

I always appreciated Jimmy Buffett's childlike-ness. When I saw him in concert, he performed the whole thing barefoot, danced around the stage, and just looked like he was having a blast, a counter-cultural testament to choosing joy over appearances.

"Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair..."

Imagine only worrying if the tide is going to reach your chair. What a beautifully simple, joyful thing to worry about. Do you ever take a step back and find joy in your woes?

I remember being a camp counselor and having this conversation with a co-worker - we were so happy that we were working somewhere that our worries were "did my camper push themselves today? How can I help my camper make friends? How can I approach this child who's quiet?" Sometimes you can be grateful for the things you get to worry about.

"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane!"

Speaks for itself!

"Life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party."

Hadn't heard this one until I was reading about his passing! I love it though - Expectation is the thief of joy. If we expect life to be one huge surprise after another, something good over and over again, we are bound to be disappointed. Instead, think of it as a scavenger hunt - in every play, through every clue, you are uncovering so much more about yourself, others, and ultimately God!

I'm already there

The day Jimmy Buffett died I was learning to wind-surf

It was a bit of a random story how I ended up there, but I thought it pretty fitting that on the day of Jimmy Buffett's death I was out on the water, in the wind, trying something new and laughing with strangers.

My instructor was an older gentleman named David. He and his wife are beach bums transplanted from California to Charleston, SC. He seemed to be learning each water sport in turn, from surfing to wind-surfing to foiling, so when we had a moment, I asked him "what's next?"

He circled back a few minutes later. "You asked what I was working toward. Well, I had trouble answering because the thing is, I'm already there. You'll hear sailors say it all the time - there's no rush because whatever the goal is, I've already achieved it. Being out here on the water, I'm already there. I've accomplished all I need to and anything at this point is bonus."

It made me smile.

People don't usually live that way anymore.

Imagine someone telling you: You've come so far. You've accomplished so much. You did it.

Imagine living each day without that relentless pursuit of progress. Jimmy Buffett had that attitude: all I need is a beach and a guitar.

Because you've made it. Everything else is bonus, a scavenger hunt of blessings to uncover. So find joy in the discovery of what life is yet to hold, but don't forget the blessing of the present.

I got a school boy heart

A novelist eye

Stout sailor's legs

And a license to fly;

I came with nomad feet

And some wandering toes

That glide up my longboard

And hang off the nose...

Schoolboy Heart, Jimmy Buffett (aka my favorite of his songs)

a special thank you to my dad. You remind me to be present to my family, appreciate the simple pleasures of life, and to always have an attitude of humor, gratitude, and the mentality that "we're already there." Love you!