Yes I am a pirate 200 years too late. The cannons don’t thunder. There’s nothing to plunder. I’m just an over 40 victim of fate. Arriving too late…
Since I was 14, I’ve loved Jimmy Buffet’s song, A Pirate Looks at 40. I always identified with it as a person who constantly longs for adventure. This year though, I heard it at the beach, and it kind of threw me. How could a Jimmy Buffet song be depressing to me? He’s the most chill singer ever. I’m at the beach. I’m supposed to be relaxed without a care in the world. This is my happy place.
I walked down to the beach, stared out over the ocean and had one of my weird, honest conversations with God. I vented and admitted my frustration. I finally opened up about what was really bothering me and asked for his help.
“God. I honestly don’t mind getting older. It’s fun. I love being a grandma. I love not having the drama of the teens and early twenties or the pressures of my thirties. I just want it to slow down!!! Where did 40-46 go? It feels like everything is flying by. Can you just make time pass more slowly like it used to?”
Then I jabbered on for a while and didn’t remotely try to listen for an answer. Why does time pass more slowly for children? When I was 8, why did the time from Christmas to Easter feel like 10 years feels now?
Then I got frustrated with God because he didn’t send a skywriter to give me an answer. He didn’t interrupt my long internal rant with a Mufasa voice. So, I continued. Until, finally, I quieted my mind and tried to listen…
I remembered an incident where my youngest son Daniel got in trouble in kindergarten for not staying in line:
“But mom! There was a ladybug crawling on a poster. It was sooooo cool!”
I remember discussing the issue with his teacher.
“Did you tell him to get back in line?”
“What did he do?”
“He got back in line.”
I’m not sure what I said. Though I like to imagine that it was eloquent and life altering for this young teacher.
I do remember thinking “I’m not going to teach my 5-year old to quit being fascinated with the world.”
THAT’S IT! That’s my answer. I let myself quit being fascinated with the world. With God. With people. With my life. I enjoy life. I love God. I love people. But it has been a long time since I was fascinated…
I reflected on how much I love being around toddlers and young children. Every day is filled with new discoveries and the smallest things are fascinating to them. No wonder each of their days feels like 100 of a forty-year-old’s days! In a child’s mind, each day is filled with fascinating, dramatic, events worth focusing on.
“But God!!! How do I translate that to me as a 47-year-old? People will think I’ve finally fully given in to my crazy if I start wandering off to stare at lady bugs!”
The answer came pouring in:
As an adult, I have the ability to not only be fascinated by a ladybug, but also to be fascinated by the creator of the lady bug and the complex system of life that this tiny bug is a part of.
I can reflect on the beauty of our world and all the potential it holds.
I can mourn over the brokenness of our world and all the people who never realize their potential.
I can celebrate that even in our brokenness, we are still surrounded by beauty, love and mercy.
I can be fascinated the creator of all of this and how he somehow works in all of this beautiful mess.
Because every person I meet is created in the image of God, I can try to view every conversation and encounter as a holy experience worth being fully present in.
I can keep learning about this amazing world I live in. I can view each day as a day full of discoveries. Whether it be something I can do better at work, a problem a friend is having, or about the expansion of the universe (probably won’t be this one for me!) I can learn something new every day!
As I was thinking about this, I remembered my family standing at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were all mesmerized by the beauty. My husband, said, “We get to live here. Don’t ever forget to appreciate how beautiful this is. People come from all over to get to see this beauty and we get to live here. Always appreciate it.”
We forgot. Of course, we had to live our lives. But we seldom took the time to appreciate where we were and the beauty around us because it became familiar.
That’s symbolic of how we tend to live. We get used to things and they no longer fully appreciate how wonderful they are. After 47 years, I don’t think I’ve fully explored how wonderful this thing called life is.
Like Jimmy Buffet, I’m still going to regret that I never get to be a pirate, and some of my dreams just have to remain dreams. But I’m going to keep being fascinated with all the wonder that this life holds.
I will focus on being grateful and in awe of this world and this life. I refuse to let my next 47+ years just slip by unappreciated and not fully lived.
Be blessed. Share my page then go reflect on all the blessings in this world!!!