It’s golf, not a colonoscopy

“Why are you in such a hurry,” the long-suffering golf pro asked?

“Because I want to get it over with,” I replied.

I play golf like I do many other things: compulsively, desperately, and not very well. I am, I believe, on the threshold of mediocrity, and I’m determined to get better even though I’m well aware that at 72 you don’t really get better at anything.

So, when Chad Curley asked me why I swing so fast, the truth is that I want to have hit the shot because I have so little confidence in my ability to actually hit it. For me, this generally results in what is called a shank, where the ball clanks off the heel of the club, lurches sharply to the right, and often ends up in the woods. This takes the pleasure out of what some call a game.

Perhaps you too have the tendency to want to have done something rather than to actually do it, to check it off on your bucket list instead of enjoying it in the moment – the Zen of living in the now. By being so focused on the result, I think I sometimes miss the pleasure of the process.

Slow it down, said Chad. Enjoy it.

It is a game after all, I thought, not a colonoscopy. It’s supposed to be fun (even though it often isn’t), something to be enjoyed, not merely endured until it’s over. Sort of like life. You’d think I’d have learned by now.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.