**Disclaimer: The photos I'm sharing here have absolutely NOTHING to do with this story. I just like them. ;) )
Earlier this summer, I started golfing again after a ten year hiatus. The last time I picked up my Callaways, I'm pretty sure I was pregnant with Bobby and Chris and in no shape (and with no time) to check out for four hours and slice a little white ball all over creation. But with Michael going to college in just a few weeks and those aforementioned twins now able to tend to their own needs, I decided it was time again to get back into the game. Easier said than done.
There is likely no more frustrating game in the world than golf. Just when you think you've gotten the hang out of one club, or one swing, or one move, or one ANYTHING, the game slaps you in the face and reminds you who's boss. And it's not you. The challenge, then, for anyone who wants to play the game well, is to chuck whatever expectations you have into the closest water hazard and accept the fact that the balls you buy to play with are nothing more than a donation to Nike. Or Bridgestone. Or Titleist. Or whatever. You're going to lose them all. Plain and simple.
The thing that's fun about golf is how the game – in a single stroke – can slice every player down to their innermost core. Are you a blamer? A finger pointer? An excuse maker, or a reasoner? Hmmm. Good luck with that. Or do you accept the fact that, unless you play four times a week, you're a sucker, just like the rest of us? That you're not good, and that regardless of that fact, you enjoy the beauty of the course, the pleasure of good company, and the challenge to perhaps plays better today than you did last month?
How did I do today? I did a double Mario. Sixty six on the front nine and 66 on the back. "Wow, Mom, you're terrible," my son Jack mused as he checked over my scorecard. Now, son, that's entirely a matter of perspective. 1. I count every stroke. No do-overs, mulligans, cheats or "throw ins." If everyone counted every single stroke, how well would they really do? 2. It doesn't benefit me to cheat myself. I need to keep ten scorecards to legitimately have a handicap. Only sandbaggers lie about their scores. And I'm not good enough to lie. 3. As long as I do one thing well each hole, I'm pretty happy. How upset can one get when one doesn't play but ten times a year? 4. I love to spend time with my husband. My play may be ugly, but he doesn't care... and neither do I. Enough said.
The moral of my story? Think of golf as life. We certainly can't expect ourselves to do everything we try to do well. Rather than getting caught up in the score, in the nuts and bolts of our performance, perhaps we should instead pay more attention to enjoying the ride. After all, once you score a 132 (which is WAY better than the 145 I had last week).... everything less than that is a complete and total victory.