The problem with life, and past mistakes is that they keep creeping up to screw us in the present, trust me, I know about this one.
And if you’re reading this, you probably have some experience with it too, shit, even if you’re not reading this, you know what I’m talkin’ about. My friends know that I love to play golf, when I can afford it (rarely these days), and the ones who play with me, or used to, know that I’m kind of the Man on the Golf Mountain, which basically means that I never shut the F up long enough for them to concentrate on their next shot. That being said, I’m gonna give you a little advice from the mountain.
Life is Golf.
FORGET ABOUT YOUR LAST SHOT!!! That shot is OVER. Nothing you can do, short of cheating, can change the fact that you just chopped that ball right smack dab in the middle of the F’n LAKE, or sent it to play pinball wizard, crack cracking, careening from one white pine to another before landing in a mosquito infested pond. Sorry, tough shit, it’s DONE! Pick the damned ball up, or put another one down, choose another club, forget about the last shot, I mean put the damned thing out of your mind entirely, and choose the next target. Swing again.
One of my good friends, we’ll just call him J.W. (he knows who he is), has the god-awfulest golf swing in all of golf history! I mean people, when he swings a club, it looks like he’s chopping F’n WOOD…big holes in the ground, dirt flyin’ eva-where, chunks of turf blowing in the wind, followed immediately by a string of obscenities..and usually resulting in a shot much like I described above….either WET or lost in the Woods. However, on occasion, and I mean about every 10th shot or so, he manages to smack the crap out of one, and it lands in the fairway. How this happens, there are no scientific explanations, but trust me, even J.W. can hit the ball well every once in a while.
Sometimes, and this happens about once per game, he manages to string together several of these shots over 2 or 3 holes, sometimes even a fourth! This is miraculous to watch, and for me, the most amusing thing ever. Because I KNOW, what is going through his mind by the time he finishes that 3rd or 4th ‘good hole’. He’s starting to feel ‘confident’. This is when I strike, hahahahahaha, and it works EVERY SINGLE TIME, because I KNOW that J.W. is already projecting himself into the ‘Green Jacket’ (Master’s Tournament reference for you non-golfers), at the end of the game. I can see it in his eyes. His gaze narrows, nostrils flare; beads of sweat trickle down his furrowed brow. He grips the club a bit tighter, walks more erect, all signs that he’s ripe for the pickin’, so to speak. And this is when I get him, every time. All I ever do–and I time it just before his next tee shot–is to say, “Hey man, you’re playin’ purrty good today” (I know how to spell ‘pretty’, just in case you were wondering, but I am from the South, and if you want to know what it sounds like, you gotta resort to a little Twain to get the feel right). Every time I do this, J. W. stops, looks at me like he wants to beat me to death with his driver, and says, “Thanks man…” with the sound of utter defeat in his voice. He then draws back the club, races it forward as if to chop down a redwood tree, and smacks the F’n ball…RIGHT INTO THE WOODS! hahahahahahaha It NEVER FAILS. EVER. And J.W. is then eliminated from the competition for the afternoon.
In case you were wondering, this ain’t about golf? Nope, it’s life. If you’re worried about the last shot, or thinking about fitting for a Green Jacket (i.e. adding up your future shots), guess what…you’re headed for the drink again…SPLASH! So people, stop worrying about the mistakes you made yesterday, or last week, month, year. You can’t change that. Make peace with them, pull your ball out of the water, take your penalty, and pick a new target. What kind of target? How do you choose one? We’ll talk about that later. But also don’t forget to stick to the target, and not let your mind wander too far into the future either. You have no control over that, only the shot you’re getting ready to make RIGHT NOW. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.I know, all that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I know it. I’ve knocked so many F’n balls into some ponds that I’m surprised you can’t walk clean across ’em. And I’ve smacked so many into the trees, that I’ve become the master of the recovery shot. But I keep swingin’. That’s all I can do. If my ball managed to hit you in the head, or landed in your living room via the bay window, I apologize. Please forgive me. I’ll try to keep on target next time. Because when it comes to life, I’m just J.W.
Continue to, What’s Your Target: Life is Golf, pt 2