Back in the swing of things

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“Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.” ~ Author unknown

The Rock

(image credit:  therockgolf.com)

After an almost two-year hiatus, I have begun to reintroduce myself to the game of golf over the last couple of weeks.  The hiatus was unintentional – my life was a roller coaster and reality seemed to keep getting in the way.

Before my absence on the course, every day off was spent chasing that little white ball around for four hours.  The thing I truly enjoy about golf, apart from the breathtaking scenery and communion with nature is the fact that the only real competition on the course is myself.  Sure, there may be some side bets with my golf partners, but the only thing I am really trying to beat is my last score.

Last week I put the clubs in the car and met up with some friends.  We went to the course by boat and the day was stunning.  The picture above couldn’t be a better indication of what we experienced since that is the course we played. (I birdied this hole yesterday!)

Although my game is not as proficient as it was two years ago, my muscle memory is making it easier to pick up where I left off.   Each time I swing a club it feels more familiar and comfortable than the swing before.

Being back in the office today and looking at another gorgeous day through the window is tough, but at least I know I’ll have a few more games before the snow flies.  Why didn’t I start this in the spring?

Setting aside the time

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Finding time to set aside precious hours, or even minutes, for those things we truly love to do seems to be more difficult as we get older.  Responsibilities pressure us into doing the right thing and prioritizing family, work and chores leaving little time to do the things we yearn to do.  Hobby items collect dust and ideas for great stories become trapped in the vault of our mind waiting for that large iron door to swing open and let the ideas tumble into the forefront of our thoughts.

vault

(image courtesy of Google)

I am learning to make more time for myself.  In the winter months it is much easier to make that time since I work the normal Monday to Friday hours that an office job dictates.  However, when the resort opens for the season, I am back to six days a week and generally my work days start at 7:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm, if I’m lucky.  The summer affords me one day off a week which is spent catching up on the aforementioned priorities, leaving little time for recreation or writing.  I am an avid golfer and at the end of last summer had not even played one full round of golf.  My gazebo waved at me from my front lawn as I passed it on my way to work and simply sighed as I dragged my weary body into the house on my way back from work.

This summer will be different.  Life is far to short to spend all of my time making someone else happy and forgetting about my own happiness.  Changing patterns and routines is difficult, but I have already begun the process to alter my patterns.  With the help and advice of friends I am slowly learning to make myself my first priority.  My alarm encourages me to rise an hour earlier than normal and my laptop is eagerly awaiting the gentle touch of my fingers on its keyboard.  My golf bag smiles knowingly at me every time I pass it on my way to work, somehow sensing that this golf season will be the pendulum swing our relationship needs to get back on track.  And my gazebo seems more inviting than ever.

I have finally come to realize that the change can only begin with me.  If I don’t make time to do the things I love to do, nobody else is going to make that time for me.  I am going to print this post and put it on the wall in my office to remind me that life is not all about work.  Although I enjoy my job, work is a means to an income.  Nothing will ever be as satisfying as writing a paragraph rich in imagery or hitting that perfect drive down the middle of the fairway.

Do you make a point to set aside time for the things you love?