I was following my daughter around on the golf course today and as I sat there watching her play, I was reminded just how blessed I am. If you had asked me 20 years ago if I could ever picture myself hanging around a golf course, I would have said, “Nah.” I know very little about golf and the sport always seemed like more of a hassle than absolutely necessary. But my daughter really seems to enjoy it and to my surprise, it isn’t nearly as boring to watch as I once thought it would be. There must be something peaceful and satisfying about chasing this little ball around. Even though it can be difficult, getting to the end of a match gives her a sense of accomplishment and she has really enjoyed the game for the last few months. Now that the season is just about over, I’m hoping that she will continue learning and practicing for as long as she can until the next season rolls around.
Sports like golf give us a way to relax while still being active. Sometimes in life we need this kind of low-pressure challenge (if we can call it that) to give us time to rest while still growing. Something we can continue to do at our own pace and within our own boundaries. Personally, I have always done better with individual pursuits, so I suppose golf would have suited me had I needed to participate in a sport. As it was, I was drawn to things like pool and darts and bowling. Things where my performance hinged solely on my own abilities and determination. I played pool religiously during my teen years and my late twenties and over time, I got pretty good at it. It became my go to recreational pastime, and I would take any opportunity to play a few games. Even today, if I had time and a place to play, I would still be out there playing. Unfortunately, the only place you can go to shoot pool is a bar and I don’t tend to enjoy hanging out in bars these days. Maybe one day I’ll have a house big enough to accommodate a pool table of my own and I’ll be able to play whenever I want. But that really isn’t meant to be the focus of this post. The point is that it is good for us to have a hobby that helps us to develop certain skills but doesn’t pressure us to the point where the hobby is no longer enjoyable.
No matter what the hobby may be, it is important for us to have something we can do that isn’t required. There are so many things that we have to do, it’s nice when we can just pick up and go do something that we want to do. This goes for adults and children. Our kids are so stressed out trying to learn things that don’t necessarily make sense and trying to be kids in a world that would have them grow up way too fast. I’m not big on being part of a group, but I definitely see the benefits of being part of a team. I’m glad that my daughter is learning how to do something fun that is also good for her in so many ways. She’s learning teamwork, sportsmanship, strategy, and how to deal with disappointment as well as victory. I don’t remember having this opportunity when I was growing up. We had way too much going on for me to even think about being active in a sport. But when I got older and joined a bowling league or a pool league for the first time, I remember feeling a sense of satisfaction and belonging that I hadn’t felt before I joined. This is something we all need to experience; especially us loners who are out here trying to conquer the world on our own.
47 Days of Self-Care is a blogging project that is being published between three different blogs owned by Author & Publisher, Rebecca Benston. Over these 47 days, she hopes to share thoughts and resources for better self-care. You can view related posts at Higher Ground for Life, at the Leading the Follower blog, and on the Higher Ground Books & Media blog.