The ultimate Boomer, Jimmy Buffett, will be 72 on Christmas Day. Even though he only had a few hit records, Jimmy continues to be one of the biggest concert draws, year after year. In fact, he was in Phoenix a few days ago for a sold-out concert. He portrays an image that is a combination of beach, booze, sun, women, and song into his 7th decade. His lyrics are often witty, literate, and captivating. For millions of Parrotheads, he speaks to their dreams, aspirations and lost youth.
Confession time: I am a semi-retired Parrothead. I have been privileged to see Jimmy in concert several times, once flying to Denver just to see his show. There is no way I can see him in person or listen to his music and not smile. You can bet whenever my wife and I go to Hawaii Jimmy's music is along for the ride. He has been very much part of my satisfying retirement.
With tongue firmly planted in my check, I contend that many of life's important lessons, especially for us retired and pre-retirees can be found in the lyrics of Jimmy's music. Not so sure? Here are some examples to convince you I am not just a cheeseburger in paradise:
"Few have ever seen, most of them dream. I've got to stop wishin' and got to fishin'."
- Too many folks dream their life away without doing what they really want to do. There comes a time to stop dreaming and a time to act.
Vision of good times that brought me so much pleasure. Makes me want to go back again."
- I have known so many people and been to so many places, but they are no longer part of my life. Luckily, I'll always have my memories and I can visit again anytime.
- Memories and the past are great, but sometimes they just hold me back. I am excited by what is ahead.
"I'm growing older but no up. My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck. I'd rather die while I'm living, than live when I'm dead."
- I don't care what the calendar says, I can still be a little kid sometimes. I don't want to always act like a gown-up and I refuse to stop grabbing all that life has to offer.
"I'm a cultural infidel,. believe in common sense. I'm a cultural infidel, love the present tense."
- They may not be "appropriate" for someone of my age but blue jeans and funny T-shirts are just fine for me. I don't live in the past; I take what's best about today.
"I wish lunch could last forever. Make the whole day one big afternoon."
- My schedule is mine. I understand the importance of being wholly invested in whatever I am doing at the moment. And, if that is a long meal with friends, so be it.
- My 20's were a blast and completely different from my life today. My values, lifestyle, choices, and mindset then would probably shock many of my friends now. But, I learned tolerance and the ability of maturity to work its magic.
Jimmy speaks to the parts of us that mean so much: treasuring our memories but not living in the past, staying active and full of dreams, and keeping the streak of non-conformist alive, if only in our mind. I wouldn't suggest we try to model our life to fit the image Jimmy projects. But, it is a fun escape with some life lessons tossed in.