Flyin' Shoes

I remember the first time I heard Lyle Lovett sing “Flyin’ Shoes.”  I had to play it over and over again. I especially loved the verse and chorus:

Day’s full of rain

The sky’s coming down again

I get so tired

Of these same old blues
Same old song

And baby it won’t be long

‘Til I’ll be tying on

My flyin’ shoes
My flyin’ shoes

‘Til I’ll be tying on

My flyin’ shoes

— “Flyin’ Shoes,” music and lyrics by Townes Van Zandt

Oh, if only it were that easy. Have a tough day? Put on my flyin’ shoes. Don’t like a situation? Put on the flyin’ shoes. Frustrated by people I’m in contact with? Put on my flyin’ shoes and fly away. Whatever the situation, just put on those flyin’ shoes and be gone.

There have been many days when I would have given anything to get the heck out of Dodge, leave everything behind, and start over. I know that’s not too encouraging coming from a motivational speaker. I know I should be able to talk myself out of any sad situation by listening to the same presentations that I regularly give to my own audiences. Sometimes, I can. Sometimes, it’s really hard to be positive.

Life is tough. Life is great. Life is one day up and another day down. That’s just the way it is. I would never lace up those flyin’ shoes; there’s too much to leave behind. I could never leave my son, my friends and family, my dogs and cats, and even some of my treasured belongings. But sometimes, I dream of the “what ifs.” What would my life have been like if I’d chosen not to get married but joined the Peace Corps instead? What would life have been like if I hadn’t done what I thought a grown up was supposed to do after college: get a job, get married, have children? Where would I be if I had made different choices?

I can fantasize about adventures I would have had and could still be having. I can visualize my life as a teacher in Africa or as the leader of an orphanage in a Third World country. I can see myself as one who would be making my mark on this planet by helping others and following a dream.

I walk by Andrew’s room and pause as I watch him sleep. He’s beautiful, he’s peaceful, and he’s mine. I have made my mark on this planet. I’m the mom to a wonderful, fascinating, lively, and adventurous son. There’s no place else I’d rather be.

One day, when he’s grown and making his own mark on this planet, I’ll find those flyin’ shoes. Then, I’ll lace them up and go for a ride.

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