Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Golf Lessons For Life, Part 2 - It's OK To Let Others Play Through

If you missed yesterday's post, you may click here to catch up.

My husband and I made it to the golf course pretty early in the morning. This was only my second time out in 22 years, and I was a bit nervous.
Not nervous because I felt the need to impress my husband, but nervous because there was a two-some behind us. They were a couple of men who were obviously better golfers than I am, and I felt pressure to hurry so as not to make them wait on me. OK, they never were actually waiting for me to finish a hole, but they were always right behind me and I was getting anxious.

My husband, smart man that he is, realized:
me + anxiety + a golf course = BAD NEWS

Brian knew removing anxiety from the equation would greatly increase the probability of me having a good time, and thereby agreeing to golf with him again. So he looked at me graciously and said, "Do you want to ask them to play through?"

At first I wanted to say NO. Inviting the men to play through would mean admitting that I am not a good golfer, that my playing might slow them down. Having them play through would require me to humble myself and acknowledge my imperfection - right there on the golf course in front of my husband, and those two men, and, and, well, I guess just the three of them.
Did I really want to do that???
But I knew allowing them to play through would be the right thing to do in regards to golf etiquette, and I know my husband is wise. So I agreed.
We stepped aside and waved them through, and they played on ahead of us.
And I?
Didn't feel pressure anymore when I stepped up to the tee, or when I went out 30 yards to hit my second shot, and my third, and fourth. I didn't feel anxious to hurry up with my first, or second, or third putt.
Confessing my short-comings - being open with the fact that I am not perfect - relieved the pressure I was feeling, and allowed me to relax and enjoy nine holes of golf with my husband.

And so it is with life.

Trying to live up to the expectation that we need to perform perfectly - Even when we're just a beginner! - brings on stress and anxiety, and useless guilt. But, oh, the freedom we can find by admitting our weakness. What joy there is when we shun our pride and accept who we are.
It's liberating to declare that I can't do it all!
And that's why I am convinced, It's OK to let other's play through.

Come back tomorrow for another Golf Lesson - For Life!

post signature


Jessica said...

What a great post! I didn't know what play-through meant, but how apt! :-)

Kelly Combs said...

Perfectionism is one of my many issues. (MANY! LOL!) This was a great post!

luvmy4sons said...

Oh the freedom of letting go of our pride and the spirit of the fear of man! Great lessson! A good one for me. Thanks for sharing it!

My ADHD Me said...

"What joy there is when we shun our pride and accept who we are."

How did you know that I have been struggleing with that very thing these last few months?

Regarding your previous post, I had to add your quote by Mark Twain to my list of favorites. "Golf is a good walk spoiled." LOL. My feelings exactly.

Have a great day!

Ronel Sidney said...

What a great lesson in life... I can't wait to hear what else you learned on the golf course!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I have only played golf with my fella a few times also, but I actually encouraged the other men around to play through so they wouldn't watch me!

Leah said...

You amaze me. A golfer. I never would have imagined. An an honest one at that. Great life lesson, my friend.. Thanks for sharing.

I have never had an urge to try golf although my man is a great golfer. Maybe one day when I slow down a bit.


Anonymous said...

What a GREAT post!!! So, so true!! And thanks for clarifying the "play through".

I LOVE the way in which you link back to Him! :)

Patricia in nyc

Genny said...

Such a great post, Karen. I used to really struggle with perfectionism, but, over time, have gotten better. It still sneaks up on me now and again. Great reminder. Thank you.