Monday, May 28, 2012

three things i learned about life while playing mini golf

My dad started playing golf about a year ago.  Ever since, he's been very gingerly and very patiently trying to coax me out onto the course with him.  Two weeks ago I decided to give it a shot.  We hit a bucket of balls than joined his brother from my first round of golf.  I found it mind-numbingly frustrating really enjoyable!  When we got home, Jake was abuzz with questions and put out that he was left at behind.  And so it was decided that at the very next opportunity we would go play a game of golf that was more up Jake's alley - mini golf!

Now, dear reader, you might be thinking - "How are deep and meaningful life lessons to be learned from a game of mini golf?"  A fair question, I'll give you that.  And, I admit, it might be a stretch.  But I've been accused in the past of being a thoughtful person - sometimes too thoughtful.  As in, "Adam, there's no way a sane person would think about X," or "How in the world did you put Y and Z together to get that?"  To that, I unabashedly say:  No comment.  

What follows are some thoughts I had about life as I watched my son play a game of miniature golf.

1.  Slow.  Down.

You will never sink a putt you rush.

"Life moves pretty fast.  If
you don't stop to look
around once and awhile, you
 could miss it."  - The Great
Sage, Ferris Bueller
If I had a nickel for every time I heard one of my parents or Jetta or whoever tell me to slow down I could buy a pretty good steak dinner.  I've always had trouble taking my time.  But as I watched my dad line up his shots (he actually got a hole in one) I saw the very picture of a methodical golfer.  And as I watched him, I thought, "Adam, why are you in such a hurry?"  I don't want to get all sappy and "Life's a journey, not a destination" on everyone.  But what I will say is this:  Over the past 24 months I have learned that living your life for "It'll be better when..." or "Once XYZ happens, then things will be better." will leave you strung along and ultimately, unsatisfied.

2.  Wait for everyone in your party.
This one goes hand in hand with #1, but applies to a group of people, not just yourself.  The old adage "People, not things." is applicable here.   While it may seem like a good idea to rush ahead and get to the next exciting hole, there are people you're playing with that haven't finished the one you're on.  Give them time to plan their shot, take a few practice swings.  They might get the yips (a technical golf term I learned from my father) and have to have a little talk with themselves.  Who knows, maybe the hole that's around the corner will be the one you have trouble on.  The point is, let's make sure we all play this game together.  I promise, it's more fun that way.

3.  Have a good time.

The mini golf course we played on had, every couple of holes or so, a little spin wheel that, when spun, would land on a hole challenge.  Silly things like, "Make your next putt with your eyes closed," or "Bowl your next putt."  Variety is the spice of life, right?

So when I say have a good time I don't mean this in the "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." kind of way.  That's inconsiderate.  That's thoughtless.  What I mean is allow yourself to be silly.  We spend so much of our life acting like adults (whatever that means) that when presented with an opportunity to let our hair down and be playful we balk more often than not.  But c'mon, who cares.  Everyone is hereby given permission to have a good time.

"Whoohoo!" - Jake
"Whoohoo!" - JAK
"Whoohoo!" - ABK

-- abk

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