While taking a walk the other day I heard a neighbor telling another neighbor he was selling his golf cart because he never uses it. He got it because before moving to Florida everyone up north told him he would need one.
As I continued my walk I started to think this over. Florida is a state that wears a lot of labels from the home of Disney and NASA to heaven’s waiting room.
Those of us who call Florida home cringe at some of the less flattering labels. Yes, we have an abundance of retirees, but come on – when non-Floridians come here on vacation don’t they see all of us non-social security collecting retirees working at the hotels, restaurants, and stores? While some labels are simply false others we fully embrace – yes, we are home to amazing beaches, theme parks, attractions, and restaurants – and all of this under abundant sun-shiny skies.
My husband and I moved here with some typical pictures of our future Floridian lifestyle in mind. We would spend every weekend at the beach, be regulars at Disney, and eat dinner every night on our lanai. All of this would occur in our Tommy Bahama decorated house, with Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney CDs serenading us as we wear Lilly Pulitzer clothes.
As I reflect on our first seven years here in Florida I realize we were misguided in some ways, just as our golf cart selling neighbor was. This misdirection was largely due to the lovely pictures Jimmy and Kenny paint through their songs and Tommy and Lilly show us in their catalogs.
While living in Florida we still have to do housework, mow the lawn, run errands, and pay the bills. Our evenings are filled with grocery store runs and laundry. Our weekends find us cleaning, running errands and taking care of the house. Jimmy and Kenny sure don’t sing about this!
Life isn’t all work here – just a little more ordinary than we expected. We do get to the beach – mostly when chilly northerners come visit, we do go to the pool – when all the errands are run. We definitely get to Disney (18 times last year alone!), and we do enjoy glorious sunsets. Maybe Jimmy and Kenny should sing a song called: “After the laundry, and chores are done, lawn is mowed and bills are paid we will go to the beach – if we aren’t too tired”
We might not be running around in golf carts, drinking margaritas each night and relaxing at the beach or pool every weekend – but we do have a lot fun after the work is done. Plus, Florida gives us easy, quick access to beaches, warm gulf waters, theme parks and more. It is kind of fun living in the vacation capital of the country. Now, that’s a label we Floridians fully embrace.