A few years ago when I started to panic before every birthday because I hadn't accomplished enough, Jimmy Buffett was kind enough to release License to Chill, which contained this song:
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living, it's that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go.
Not a damn thing. And it's that way no matter who you are or what you've done, really, at least over the grand scheme. So let's just enjoy the ride, shall we?
That's not to say that years of family pressure and self-flagellation haven't dented my determination to merely live "an interesting life" -- as a dear friend put it in the first birthday greeting I got this morning -- but every time I start to beat myself up for not becoming a hot shot lawyer, publishing a book or making a living off only my photography, or just generally doing something fabulous, I listen to this song and I calm down. I have other priorities, at least right now and perhaps forever. And that's quite all right. I like the wonderful melange my life has become.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's 7:00 a.m. and the tree in my front yard is turning gold from the sunlight, and I must go watch it.