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Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Mental Game: Sometimes Life Just Gets In The Way

For the most part I enjoy being an adult.  Within broad limits I set my own daily schedule, order and rearrange my priorities, decide what to eat and when to eat it, go to bed when I'm tired and get out of bed wen I'm rested.  And, as I've slowly and systematically set aside the demands of a job and the domestic requirements of an earlier era, I've become pleasantly accustomed to arranging all other aspects of my life around my golf schedule.

Thursday is a regular golf day.  Today is Thursday.  I should be sipping my smoothie, making my sandwich, stuffing some little carrots in a baggie for my mid-round snack, and heading out the door to the golf course.  I should be, but I'm not.

I forgot to pay my car taxes.  I didn't forget to write the check.  I just didn't finish the job and get it to the tax assessor's office.  I forgot to tend to some business with my property insurance.  I failed to follow through on some community volunteer work, and people are waiting for me to move some paper.  In short, I seem to have an unusually large number of [virtual] dropped balls lying around that are creating a potential mine field of small disasters right on the verge of exploding in my face.

This is such a perfect day for golf!  Sun, no wind, low humidity, temperatures in the mid-80s.  I can envision my ball flying, rolling, dropping.  I can feel the sun on my back.  I can hear the soft whispers of women, standing by their own balls, across the fairway, considering their own next shots, waiting for me to take mine.  But, given all the dangling participles in my life right now, the mental game that's so completely and inextricably grafted onto the technical game of golf, would be completely out of whack today.  I need a clear mind as well as a steady hand to drive straight and consistently roll balls into the cup.

I would almost gladly give the pond that intersects the #8 fairway one of my balls today, if I thought that kind of bargain would remove the undone obligations currently weighting down my shoulders.  Sadly, only personal action will lift this weight.   Today, being an adult means setting my regularly scheduled round of golf aside and tending to things left undone.

There's no virtue at work in my decision.  It's entirely pragmatic.  I can't play golf when my mind can't focus on the game.

So I'm going to put on my big girl panties, weave the loose ends back into the fabric of my life, maybe swing the club a little bit in the yard this afternoon, just to do some work on extending my left arm, which has developed a tendency to fold up and do a good imitation of a chicken wing, and clear out the space my mind requires to tee of with pure joy.  I can hold on to that promise until Saturday.