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franklin county times

2022 presents opportunity to just enjoy ride

I’m just hangin’ on while this old world keeps spinning / And it’s good to know it’s out of my control.”

“Trip Around the Sun” is a birthday song – at least, I presume so, based on the first line and the reference to cakes and candles – but when I happened across it during a web search this week, parts of it seemed awfully fitting for the new year, too.

If you’re not familiar with this tune by Jimmy Buffet, allow me to share. The final stanza goes like this:

“Yes I’ll make a resolution

That I’ll never make another one

Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun

Just enjoy this ride…”

Man. If you’re a type A personality like me, that might sound like a lofty goal.

How do we, to coin a phrase, let go and let God? How can we commit to just enjoy the ride?

It’s not easy – at least not for some of us.

I’m not going to lie, I like to be in control. I want to know the plan; I want to know the schedule; I want to know the when and why and what time and wherefore of every situation.

Lists and schedules guide each day, and that’s the way I like it.

Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy way to live.

Life is unpredictable. Challenges arise. We face hurdles and roadblocks we could never have expected or predicted – like, oh I don’t know, a global pandemic.

And after all, after a while, trying to be in control becomes more exhausting than empowering, doesn’t it? When you fight so hard to be the master of things that are out of your hands – well, that will wear you down pretty quickly.

I have to admit – being able to let go sounds freeing. It’s so light. Do you feel a weight lift from your shoulders?

In a meaningful way, like Buffet said, it’s good to know it’s out of my control. It takes the pressure off.

Kenny Chesney has a “Trip Around the Sun” song, too. His chorus goes like this:

“It’s a hang-on kinda ride,

We’re spinning through space and time,

Rockin’ this big old rock just tryna have some fun.

So let’s drink another beer,

Here’s to another year,

Let’s take another crazy trip around the sun.”

Change the beer for a Diet Mountain Dew, and I’m in.

Buffet also adds this little gem: “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all this livin’ / Is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go.”

At first that sounded a little suicidal to me. I don’t know why my mind when to such a dark place. From a positive frame of mind though, these two lines just give us the permission we need – to know the earth spins on its axis and makes its yearly revolution not because of anything we do or don’t do but because God made it to do so.

Or, if you’re not a believer, because of science or gravity or whatever – but let me tell you, it’s because of God.

And if we don’t finish that to do list, or lose 50 pounds, or run a marathon, or develop a foolproof housecleaning routine, or get that promotion, or, or, or –

It’s OK.

Even more so, if we don’t solve climate change or homelessness or pollution – it’s OK.

Certainly those all are or could be worthy goals to work on, but the fact is, things are going to happen that are outside of our control, and that’s OK.

I won’t lie; I’ve made my resolutions for this year. Once again, I want to develop a number of positive routines and habits to better my health, my faith, my mental wellbeing and more.

But I think I’ve finally landed on my overall resolution: to let go, let God and just enjoy the ride – another crazy trip around the sun.

What about you?