I’ve written this article, or a version of it, three times now. The other two versions were not quite positive enough to be motivational. Instead, they were trying to work through my own fears and frustrations. With coronavirus, politics, and stupid people, those anxieties are legion. Some days, there just isn’t anything for it, and those are the days that I turn to Jimmy Buffett.
My Connection to Jimmy Buffett
I don’t turn to the man personally because I don’t know him. I turn to his music. Of course, I knew about “Margaritaville” growing up. I didn’t attribute “Come Monday” to him until recently, though again I knew the song. There may have been other songs that I ‘ve heard him sing, but he wasn’t on my radar until I worked at Old Key West in Walt Disney World. There, he sang “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and I was hooked on that song.
Vacation in Paradise
Still, my interest in his music has only recently blossomed because of a couple trips to paradises – there are more than one of them on Earth: Hawaii, where they have a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, and New Zealand, which has nothing to do with Buffett, but still, his music represents an attitude that can be found there. I suspect that there are other places in the world that are also paradises. I believe we could choose to make our own paradise anywhere in the world, but it takes a majority of the population to actually want to create it. Visiting those places and feeling the peace and life that that I experienced there changed me in ways both wonderful (Paradise can exist) and terrible (Why don’t we live there?).
Listening to Buffett gives me the pleasure of knowing paradise exists, but he doesn’t sugar coat it, either. He acknowledges there are problems in his songs. “Fins” is about sexual harassment. “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” explores the problems in the workplace. And a lot of his songs include the problem-solving techniques of getting drunk and/or screwing, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but it’s not my place to judge for others. Most importantly, Buffett’s songs are filled with truth, joy, and a way to a better life if we could only choose to reach for it.
As a freelancer, it’s hard for me to remember that I have to go through times when I’m not motivated. Writing, like many other jobs, is a treadmill. I have to write something every day – for my blog, for my SEO job and for my news job. If I don’t, I might not be able to pay the bills for the month. So, I can get stressed out if I have no inspiration to do one or more of those things because it might mean skipping one or more meals to make up for the lack of productivity. Jimmy Buffett helps me find my inner peace, so I can find my creativity and writing power again. (Click on the link if you want to read about Jimmy Buffet songs and creativity.)