Hard Lessons from the Golf Course on Raising Kids
Enjoy your round
I received a beautiful bunch of comments regarding my last article. One that was particularly thought provoking was “Easy for you to say, you’re retired.” That got me to thinking. Now that I’m officially an Abundant Old Soul, how could I help the young people who are just raising kids? Starting careers? Going through hard times? I was on the golf course, that’s what we Abundant Old Souls do…. and a lightning idea hit me. It wasn’t raining. I wasn’t holding a seven iron over my head. Here goes.
The harder you push, the harder it is. That relates to anything. Raising kids, job performance, marriage, goal setting…. name it. When I hold my driver really hard, squeezing the life out of it, that’s exactly what happens. I squeeze the life out of the energy contained in the work I am trying to perform. When I let go and let the energy happen, beautiful things take place. 220 plus drives, high arches, straight to the target hits. The harder you work. The harder you work. You think anyone will care that you stayed late to finish a project instead of making that date with your kids? Your lover? Guess again, sonny.
Over time, I learned that the harder I try to hold on, the harder the kids push away from me. My momma used to say “the first step your children take is a step away from you.” Guide. Encourage. Foster. Want to keep relationships strong? Be strong enough to let go. Even when it hurts like hell.
The faster you go, the less you enjoy. I think that should be tattooed on very parent, newlywed and first year teacher’s forehead. Tattoo it backwards. No bangs allowed. Then, every time a person looks in the mirror, they will read the tattoo and remember to slow down.
I taught school for 34 years. I couldn’t wait for summer. Then I couldn’t wait for retirement. Then retirement came. And went. During the last year of teaching I would often look out the window over a busy street filled with car noise, truck fumes and neighborhood chatter. It was only then I realized that I had the best job in the world. The best kids in the universe. The best life in the galaxy. It only took 34 years to figure that out. See, I’m a slow learner.
Diapers today, weddings tomorrow. It’s that fast. What’s the hurry? Love the journey. Enjoy the fried onion smell of sweaty kids. Close your eyes and see your kid walking away from you on their first day at kindergarten, while they hold a big kid’s hand. Want to trade a Tiffany diamond for that sight? You are poorer than you think.
I’m 80 yards from the green. Sand wedge or pitching wedge? My God, the weight of the world is on my shoulders! What the heck? Go for it and see where it takes you. Thinking is bad for your health! My kid doesn’t have the right shoes! My boss thinks I screwed up! What am I going to do about money?
I went through all that with deciding to retire. I am soo glad I worried soo much. Guess what? The sun came up. All without my help! The world is still here. Did you know that if the history of the planet earth was a calendar, all human history would take up about less than one day of time? That the United States would be in existence for about 2 minutes? How important are we, really? Next time you get shook up; ask yourself “What was the name of the man who built the stable Jesus was born in?”
Now I am on the green! Putting away!! If only I could putt out. My partner is such a better putter than I am. Want your partners Colon cancer? Want his wife’s nagging? How about taking his bills that can’t be paid. Get the point? The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the green.
I haven’t said anything that you haven’t heard 400 times before. You won’t remember any of this twenty seconds after you read it. But maybe, just maybe, when your kid is crying and your spouse is whining and the bills are late and the grass needs to be cut, you’ll smell the coffee and know that the only thing you have on your side is time. The only thing you have to lose is time. Enjoy. Time.
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