A Parrothead Looks at 50

Midlife reminds you that maybe you left some dreams behind.

Beth Bradford, Ph.D.
8 min readSep 2


palm tree and sailboat on a beach
Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been revisiting the work of two people who brought me joy and inspiration in my late 20s and early 30s. I came across my old CD travel case — one I haven’t used in maybe 10 years — and found my Jimmy Buffett CDs and an old compilation of talks from Wayne Dyer. I began listening to the Wayne Dyer CD, which brought me back to so many ideas I had forgotten. Of course, the CD had some issues with it so many of the talks weren’t available.

Then I put in my favorite CD from Jimmy Buffett — Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads — which is a 4-CD compilation. The Boats CD was my favorite because it had some of my favorite songs you never heard— “One Particular Harbor” (although the live version is much better), “Steamer,” and “Love and Luck.” Listening to that CD took me back to days when I daydreamed of being married and living the “good life” by the beach.

The Jimmy Buffett lifestyle was free, light, and playful. I’d go to his concerts and meet a ton of people. Everyone was your friend at a Buffett concert. Even listening to his songs in my apartment — wherever that was — brought a lightness within me. When I picked up the CD again, I remember the lightness that I put down so many years ago.

Yes, sure, I feel that lightness when I play in the ocean or walk along the beach. I feel that lightness when I’m connecting alone in nature. But it’s easily forgotten when I’m striving to get a new job or struggling with the current one I have. How can I remind myself of this lightness when darkness — the heavy darkness — wants to pull me down?

sunset on the coast with aqua water on the beach
Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

Last night when I was trying to settle my mind down, I wanted to read something inspiring rather than educational. I didn’t want to read any complicated or opaque theology. I came across one of the Wayne Dyer books I had downloaded after he died. His family offered them for like $2 when he died, so I bought the ones I hadn’t read. (Part of me hopes Savannah or Delaney Buffett will do the same with Jimmy’s music.)



Beth Bradford, Ph.D.

Former TV person, college professor and media researcher. Ironman triathlete, meditation teacher and yoga instructor. https://www.brad4d-wellness.com