And like that, it was fall.
I feel like my writing has unintentionally turned to be marked by changes in the seasons, like the sudden rise or drop in temperature or shift in the wind or hours of sunlight makes me suddenly snap to, stop and assess what’s going on in my life. This time around, I almost want to say well, not much? There actually isn’t that much going on right now! But that’s a lie, because even though my days have found a pleasant drumbeat of a new routine that involves things like waiting for the school bus in the mornings and spelling homework and cycling through the valley and sleepovers and taming a very hyper dog, all of that adds up to very much going on. I think the difference is that despite the sharp departure from what was my ‘norm’ of the past few years (‘norm’, ha), the chaos isn’t the same kind of chaos, the problems are smaller, and therefore it feels blessedly ‘boring’ in comparison.
(It’s not boring. I’m not bored at all. Au contraire, I am never bored.)
This summer we decided to play golf, at first as a random thing to do one spring weekend, and it morphed rapidly into a minor ‘obsession’, where we scoped out the local courses and travelled through Nevada and California for any cheap deals we could find. My parents learned to play golf when Steve and I were in about 3rd/4th grade, and consequently dragged us along… and I – let’s not mince any words here – hated it. I wanted to like it (I really did), and because I was athletic and somewhat coordinated enough, I did pick it up pretty quickly for that age, but my Type A perfectionism hit an all-time high with it. I was really good at repetitive tasks (like softball pitching, or math equations, and oddly now, bowling), and something like golf – where you swing the same swing over and over again in a concentrated period of time should’ve fallen into that category. It did, sometimes… but then it also didn’t a lot of time, and it was incredibly frustrating to me to not be able to make that little pink (yes, pink) ball go exactly where I wanted it to. There was also a healthy dose of antsiness mixed in, where (surprise), I got anxious spending the entire day on a golf course (usually in the heat) when there were So. Many. Other. Things. I could be doing. It was not relaxing. For any of us.
But alas, when you learn to golf at a young age and do play consistently at that age, the motion memory does persist. Over the years, particularly the first few I lived in South Carolina post-Scotland, I started to play more regularly as a fill-in for the Seabrook Sunday Couples Golf, and it was slightly (okay, a lot) less frustrating and slightly (okay, a lot) more enjoyable than I remember it being, and I (surprise) wasn’t actually half-bad at it.
Anyway, maybe it’s a testament to the old ‘time heals all wounds’ adage or possibly more of a testament to emotional maturity, but I’ve loved playing again. It’s still frustrating – I cannot putt to save my life – but in a different way. I’ve embraced the challenge of it and the variety, and while it does drive my crazy that I can’t ever seem to really put everything together all in the same day, it’s not so disheartening that I don’t ever want to come back again. I’ve also really enjoyed being outside without the pressure of having to be running up some mountain, and it’s the perfect combination of relaxing and active where I don’t feel like I’ve been idling, but also don’t feel exhausted.
If anything, my problem now is detaching too much from what I’m doing; like in all things in my life (or so it seems), I play entirely by feel, without really thinking about how my arms are moving or weight is shifting or where I’m aiming, and it results in solid shots that usually feel good (and when they don’t, really feel bad) that are often slightly out of line of where I want them to be. And, as Tay remarked to me while riding around the other weekend in her 10-year-old astute observation – ‘why don’t you ever get angry or frustrated?!’ I don’t know, kid. There are a lot of other things to get angry and frustrated about, and right now this isn’t one of them.
In a way, I’m sad summer’s ending and my clubs are about to take up residence in the garage, but the first snow has fallen (yes, it is still September), and it’s getting hard to suppress the ‘it’s almost ski season!’ giddiness that is officially starting to bubble up.
And now, I will return to my blessedly boring Friday, where I lie on the couch working wrapped in a blanket with my fuzzy slippers on, Otis snoring loudly beside me, post bus stop drop offs and chilly sunrise runs, pre evening trips to Reno and a balanced weekend of a little bit of action and a little bit of relaxing.