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.
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.
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.