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April 13, 2009
Finding Joy In the Little Things
A week ago last Sunday I put all my ski stuff back in the storage spaces that are installed around the upper reaches of my garage. To make room, I needed to pull my golf clubs down. By doing such, I pledged to actually get out and hit the links a little bit this year.

If you had asked me last week when the last time I had played golf was, my best estimate would have been 'about a year ago'. However, the airline tag on the travel bag suggested otherwise; March, 2007. That's when three high school buddies and I spent a weekend in Las Vegas. For a guy that used to golf three or four times a month, I couldn't believe I had abandoned the sport for so long.

Friday afternoon I decided to see for myself if I still had any passion for the game. I headed over to the course I can see from my bedroom window (yes, I know that makes my lack of playing even more pathetic) and walked on. I was matched up with a father and son duo: Prior to teeing off I warned them how long it had been and how poorly I was sure to play. I proceeded to birdie the hole.

Over the course of the round, I rediscovered the joy of hitting a great shot, as well as the frustration of shanking into the sand/water/fill in appropriate hazard here... Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time. Yes, I shot one of my best scores ever (maybe the time away from the game did me some good). More importantly, I enjoyed the company. My playing partners were gracious, good-hearted, and knew how to have fun. In fact, we traded phone numbers at the end of the round, promising to do it again in the near future.

While waiting to tee off at one of the holes, the father (Bruce) told me that his business was suffering terribly. He had been forced to cash out his 401K, and acknowledged the outlook was pretty grim. Even so, his attitude was the polar opposite of what you'd expect. He was relishing the time he could spend with his son, who had just graduated from college and now lives on the other side of the state. As we said our goodbyes, he asked what time of the week would work best for me if we were to play again. He said he would call, and with a smile on his face, said he'd keep playing golf "until the money runs out." What a great attitude.

That golf game on Friday caused me to examine all the 'little things' in my own life. Wrestling with my kids on the living room floor. Mountain biking with my friends after a long day at the office. Spending quiet time with my wife after the kids are asleep and the phone has stopped ringing. It all matters. Remember, whether you are spending quality time with the people you love or holing up trying to figure out how to get back to where you were (financially) two years ago, you are making memories either way. What kind do you want to look back on 20 years from now?

Make it a great week.


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