Invading The Green

Comparison is the Thief of Joy ~ Theodore Roosevelt

June 8, 2017

We headed back out to Shoal Creek Golf Course last night and hopped into our little golf cart. I want to call it a buggy, but hubs makes me use the right terms. I oblige him and call it a golf cart. We crossed a lovely shaded bridge and then drove up a cute little hill to our first hole. We like to play the Twilight round as there are fewer people on the course and we don’t have to worry about keeping the pace. Tonight, though, we would have company.

After we arrived at the first hole, another golf cart unexpectedly pulled up beside us with two young men. My husband greeted them.

Hubs: “I could really play when I was in my 20’s, but I haven’t found my swing. Go ahead and play through. We can wait.”

Man #1: “I like to think I play like a 20-year-old!”
Man #2: “I’d like to be 20-years-old!”

Laughing, these two gentlemen grabbed their drivers and climbed the incline, teed off the first hole and scrambled back into their cart, waving and laughing good naturedly.

Hubs and I just stood there.

Me: “I wish I could hit like that. Did you see how far they hit the ball?”
Hubs: “They both had a good swing. I think the second guy’s ball veered left into the rough a little.”
Me: “I wish I could hit like that.”
Hubs (smiling): “You can. When your mad.”
Me: “Hey. They are driving their cart on the golf course. I didn’t know you could do that!”
Hubs: “Yes, but you have to stay off when you come to the red markers. I’ll show you after we tee off here.”

We both climbed the incline with our drivers. Hubs teed off and had a beautiful long drive right into the trees. His back has been bothering him (accident when he was a kid) and he’s working through it because he loves the game so much. His shots always veer to the right, though.

I cautiously tee up. I’m using white balls now instead of my lovely pink golf balls that I love so much. This is our third game of golf and I’ve lost every pink ball save two. Hubs gave me some generic, ugly white golf balls to lose tonight instead.

These are my favorite pink balls. I only have two left in my bag tonight.

Hubs: “I bet you won’t lose a single golf ball tonight because you don’t like them.”
Me: “Not likely. I’m still going to lose balls.”
Hubs: “But you won’t care about them, so you are less likely to lose them.”

Teeing up with my ugly white ball.

I look down at the ugly, white ball. It stands bravely on the tee, waiting for me to smack the hell out of it. I hope to see you soon, little ball. I keep my head down, keep my grip soft and let the driver do the work as I use my legs and upper body to swing through. I haven’t had any lessons yet, and I’m really just pretending that I know what I’m doing at this point. I hit a long, straight drive that goes right where I was aiming: the tree line. I wasn’t aiming there on purpose. Who knew that a few degrees of where you place your feet at the tee makes such a HUGE difference in where the ball lands? I’m learning trajectory math on the golf course tonight.

We hop into our golf cart and speed along the path then my husband veers into the grass towards where my ball landed. We pause in our play because we can see the two gentlemen ahead of us at the green.

Me: “They are playing really fast. I wish I could play like they do.”
Hubs: “This is a par 4 hole and their drives were good. That’s what happens when you play well. You play fast because you don’t need to hit the ball as much.”
Me: “They play fast because they don’t spend a lot of time looking for lost balls.”

And so the evening continued.

My husband kept comparing himself to when he was younger. Frustration crept into his game as he watched the group in front of us drive one long shot after another.

Hubs teeing off.

Me, I just wished I knew what I was doing like all those golfers I see at the driving range.

As we played, I remembered something my Mom used to say: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Mom never had an easy life, but she never compared her life to anyone else’s. She found joy in the moment. She still does. It’s a beautiful testimony to how we all should live our lives: without comparison. For comparison, according to Theodore Roosevelt, is the thief of joy.

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