A Million Miles of Fun

1999. The year the artist formerly known as Prince asked that we party like.

That summer, chauffeur to soccer games, school dances and babysitting jobs, a familiar beat reverberated in this mother’s minivan. ‘Steal My Sunshine’, a one-hit wonder released by Toronto-based band, Len.

‘Steal My Sunshine’ is one of those songs that, should it strike a chord with you, you may never grow tired of. One of those songs that will transport you back in time. ‘Steal My Sunshine’ brings me back to summer.

A Million Miles of Fun!

In 1999, I still toyed with the idea of being a writer. I mean, only a select few special, talented, rare individuals could actually be writers. Ordinary people, like me, were moms, in minivans, driving kids to karate lessons.

In 1999, I was mother to a 16-year-old male. You know the type, uttering neanderthal grunts we struggle to distinguish as either Yes, No, or I dunno. My little neanderthal wanted his own money, truly wanted a summer job with which to make said money, but wasn’t keen on the actual seeking of job. Had we lived in the Stone Age, my little neanderthal’s reluctance to leave the cave would have meant no hunting, and no hunting would have meant my little neanderthal would have gone hungry.

We did not live in the Stone Age, but the Technological Age, and so my neanderthal was jobless yet well-fed.

I shared with him advice I’d heard somewhere, sometime, said by someone I can not credit here because the memory fails, just know this wisdom did not originate with me:

‘You can’t build a reputation on what you say you’re going to do.’

Silly minivan mother. I thought this wisdom would light a fire under my neanderthal’s couch-potato bum. Apparently, fire had not yet been discovered in his world.

Enter Len. Enter the lyrics to ‘Steal My Sunshine’:

And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done.

And then, the consequence:

So I missed a million miles of fun.

Fast forward 2012.

Trying the Cooper on for size. Toronto Auto Show, 2011

Minivan is now a Mini Cooper, and all of my neanderthals have learned to enunciate, found gainful employment and left the nest. Summer is on the rise, I exercise my 2-60 air-conditioning (2 windows down, 60 miles an hour) and crank the radio.

‘Steal My Sunshine’ blasts from Cooper’s speakers.

The last six months have been met with challenges. Nothing catastrophic, just life–with  a few extra ounces of complication. I have embraced the writer title, but the writerly tasks have floundered this year.

In my ongoing effort to be thankful in all things, I am thankful I am not yet under contract, for this year, I’d have failed. Deadlines would have come and gone.

And still, I am bothered that I have accomplished so little on the writing front.

Yes, allowances had to be made, time had to be taken for family and home and life. Yet I wonder, could I have been more disciplined in my professional life?

Good angel says, Yes.

Bad angel says, Hell, yes.

Of course I can’t become if I only say what I would have done.

In April, I joined the Life List Club. I have said what I will do, but all the life list clubs and lists of goals in the world mean little if I only say, or write down, or blog about what I would have done.

A million miles of fun is a lot of fun to miss. I am a thief. I did this to myself.

I stole my sunshine.

But now, I’m taking it back.

I know its up for me, making sure I’m not in too deep, keeping versed and on my feet.

Thanks, Len, and thanks 104.5, for the inspiration!

How about y’all? What song lyrics, movie lines, or verses of poetry light the fire under your keister?

Join us Friday, when Marcia Richards takes the reins! Or visit Marcia today and share in some Dr. Suess wisdom.


17 responses to “A Million Miles of Fun

  1. *Aaargh!* Again, Huey P. ACKard fails to play a clip I want to view.

    Posts like this light a fire under my keister. And, any boogie down, two-stepping, or Cotton-Eyed-Joe song.

    Two sayings as well: What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? and How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?

    Sherry, I think the Cosmos are speaking to me today. There’s another post that told me to get going. I know it’s impolite to pimp another blog in comments, so I’m going to forward the blog notice to you.

    We’ll chat about it. WHEN YOU GET ONLINE! Whoop. Sorry for the shouty caps.

    SQUEE! I love your MiMi Cooper Pic. I’ll soon be there to see that in person. Get your boots on, gal. We’re going line-dancing.

    • Cotton-eyed Joe, she says. Gloria, I’d about fall right down and skin both me dimpled knees with that one.

      How old would I be if I didn’t know my age? Five, singing and skipping on my way next door to bestie Gloria’s house for an afternoon of make believe Starbucks barista Barbie.

  2. Fun post, Sherry! I seriously feel like dancing. 😉 “Enough is Enough,” a duet performed by Donna Summers and Barbara Streisand, lights my fire every time.

    • August, that song is the bomb! When I lip-sync in my living room, I flip back and forth between Donna and Barbara!

      Hm. Look out cats, momma’s grabbing the soup ladle. Er, microphone.

  3. I’ve always loved that song!! Dancing in my chair, getting motivated 😉

    The line in a song that jumps to mind for me (the song, Proud) used to be the intro for The Biggest Loser. “What have you done today to make you feel proud. It’s never too late to try.”

    Here’s a video of the song:

    Great post!

    • Great song! Inspiring video?

      What a terrific question to ask yourself at the end of the day. Or, a challenge when you wake up in the morning: “What will I do today to make me feel proud?”

      Thanks, Kim!

  4. I feel so silly on my blog because so many times I’m reduced to sounding like a Nike commercial saying “Just Do It,” but as you point out, that’s really all you can do. Talking about “it” doesn’t make it happen. Thinking about “it” doesn’t make it happen. Each of us has our own power to make “it” happen, if we just do it! I love your post and your pictures, and congrats on getting back on the horse. Oh, and don’t be like me, don’t beat yourself up for the lull. That’s not helpful, either. But, you don’t seem like a beat-yourself-up type of person! 🙂

  5. Oh, I wish I’d had your post last night when I was staring at my computer screen until 2am. My eyes still hurt. I had my good and bad angels fencing over whether or not I could be dismissed to bed. Bad angel won, and now today good angel is waggling her finger at me going “Told you so.” So onward we go!

    Thanks Sherry for some motivation!

  6. Pingback: 30 Dr. Seuss Quotes That Can Change Your Life and 5 Fun Links | Marcia Richards

  7. Great inspiration and motivation here, Sherry! Love the song, too! I need to be reminded of this daily! So I have a note dangling in front of my face each morning reminding me to do what it takes to be proud of myself at the end of the day. Thanks!

  8. Pingback: What Do We Do When We Miss the Mark? « Sonia G Medeiros

  9. ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you say you’re going to do.’ What a GREAT bit of advice for the neanderthals. And for fledgling writers. *points finger at self* My writing goals for this year have been circumvented by life as well as my own self-sabotaging demons. I’m gonna take another page from the book of Sherry and tack that quote up where I’ll see it each day. (BTW – the first page I ‘stole’ from the book of Sherry was to give myself permission to buy some rockin’ high heels.)

  10. Ah, it is great advice, Tami, and I think I shall have to pin it to my forehead! Perhaps secure it with a stiletto heel…

    In the meantime, do as I say, not as I do. Snort!

  11. This post made me smile – one of those big cheesy grin kind of smiles. All we can do is do it is so very right. As for “my song,” oh geesh … I’ve got a laundry list. “Daylight Fading” by Counting Crows (it made me cry on my 40th birthday because I never wanted all my “anger and my eloquence to bleed right into fear.” “How Do You Like Me Now” by Toby Keith when I’m all daydream-silly about being a best-selling novelist. “I’m Gonna Be Somebody.” I’ll stop now before I write a book here : )!

    • How do you like me now? Snort. That’s a great get-even song for any circumstance, so why not when you become that best-selling novelist. practise singing it in the shower, Hawley! Or at the next conference-sponsored agent pitch session!

  12. Pingback: It’s all About the Milestone Party « Sonia G Medeiros

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