Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
I’m a golfer.
know, so many sports, so little time. In fact, I’m a very good
golfer. During the past few years I haven’t gotten out there very much,
but these past few months I’ve started playing again and I’m really
I had a real AH HA on the course that I’d
like to share with you. I hope you’ll find it both amusing and
instructive, even if you’re not a golfer. It’s more about the human
experience than golf.
If I don’t have anyone to play with I play alone. I enjoy the
time to myself, and focusing on my game and not chatting with anyone
while I play allows me to relax.
The third hole on this course (which I’ve played many times
before) is not a particularly long one (par 3), but it’s uphill all the
way. I pulled out the club I’ve always used on this hole, and REALLY
MISS-HIT my first shot off the tee. It flew into the trees and almost on
to another fairway.
Here’s where the AH HA begins!
There’s something in golf called a mulligan. A mulligan is
basically a do-over shot. When you miss-hit your first shot off the tee
and you take another shot, it’s called a mulligan.
I don’t take mulligans! That’s
why I can play 18 holes of golf in under 2 hours! In fact, one time the
guy in the golf pro shop noticed how quickly I played my round of golf
and he said, “You don’t take mulligans, do you?”
My attitude about mulligans is rare. Most golfers do take them,
and some take them on EVERY HOLE and anytime they hit a bad shot. This
can drive a golfer like me CRAZY! I’ve seen golfers drop balls in the
middle of the fairway or play two or three balls at the same time.
I want to scream, “Hey, this ISN’T the driving range!” What’s the
point of taking the same shot over and over on the course; you’ll
never improve that way.
Where was I? Oh yeah, golf and AH HA moments.
So, I’m watching my shot go way off track and I think to myself
(for a fleeting moment), do I take a mulligan here? And my answer comes back
NOPE. Play it where it lies.
I walk to my ball and I see that I’ll have to hit it over a tree
and uphill to land it on the green. I grab a 7 iron and hit the most
beautiful shot. I watch it land softly on the green. If you could have
seen my face, I suspect I was grinning from ear to ear.
I love it when things like that happen when I
don’t take the easy way out and I reap the rewards of facing the
I felt uplifted the whole day. For the rest of the day I couldn’t help but see how what I had
experienced on the course was a metaphor for life and
being middle aged.
On the one hand, by the time we reach middle age there are
choices we’ve made and roads we’ve traveled that simply cannot be done
over. Mulligans don’t apply, so we’re best off making peace with what
In another sense though, life does present us with opportunities
to take mulligans. There can be times of do-overs.
If we take a more spiritual approach to life, every moment, every
hour, every day can be seen as mulligan time. But I was thinking more
about the bigger picture.
If we make time to take stock and play it (life) where it lies,
then there are many USEFUL ways to take mulligans.
We can do over how we’ve been eating and the nutritional choices
we make each day.
We can take a mulligan and start an activity program that really
motivates and energizes us, doing what we enjoy (like me playing golf
again) and doing less of what we don’t enjoy.
We can do over relationships that aren’t working well or embrace
new ones to fill in the gaps.
Here’s what I encourage you to do.
At the end of your day or at the end of the week, take some time
to write (or at least mentally go over) about how you spend your days
and what choices you’ve made and see where mulligans would come in
That’s a great first step.
Call it your LMT…. Life Mulligan
Keep me posted on whether or not you’re taking mulligans and what
metaphors your sporting life is presenting for you.
Believe it or not, in an hour I’m off to play
that same course. Who knows what’s in store for me today!
I want to thank you all for the wonderful
heartfelt emails and cards I received in response to last month’s
newsletter about my dog, Lucky. I appreciated them very much!
Have a great month and keep swinging
those clubs, swimming those laps or dancing with exuberance! It’s all