It’s getting ugly out there. Jordan Spieth lost it, choked or had a melt down of sorts on the 12th hole of the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club. He had led the best in the world for 65 holes, won the Masters last year along with the US Open and went 1-1-4-2 in the majors. Oh, by the way he also won the Fedex Cup in 2015 and has yet to see his 23rd birthday. That’s a choke artist if I have ever seen one.
It’s an environment that is not for the faint hearted but what will get him through this defining moment is his myriad of swing and psychological gurus, a great caddie and a neat mom and dad. Good for him but I hope he takes more from this dose of reality if we can really call it that. You only learn from heartache and defeat even if the blow has been softened.
I often think about what your surroundings has to do with your success in life and your attitude towards it.The proverbial silver spoon is much touted but I have seen more than a few train wrecks in well to do families. We see mayhem and violence of every sort and you wonder how does this all happen? David Feherty interviewed Jason Day, the highly successful Aussie golfer. It turns out his dad was a drunk and a beater..of his mother and the children. Somehow he survived.
We speak of broken homes and fatherless children or drug raged mothers and yet these kids go on to some sort of a life if they are lucky or prison if they are not. It is so easy to be smug and aloof but I wonder how far off tragedy could be if one is not vigilant. If we don’t tend to this garden we call life. We need goals and expectations to stimulate us. We need an occasional hit to keep us grounded. Most of all we need to take control of our environment.
In the past I have pointed out a wonderful book called, “Repacking You Bags.” In it, the authors unpack their luggage and put things into four piles:place,love,work and purpose. It is everything you have accumulated over the years and for better or worse retained. Both the good and the bad. They can be a gentle and guiding hand or a toxic reality that continually bites you in the butt.
Place is everything we dwell in starting from your country, state, county,village home and even particular rooms. Is it everything you hoped for or merely an accommodation to life twists and turns? Love is everyone you come into contact with. It can be your spouse, golfing buddy or an associate at work. You interact with these people. Work is what you do to put food on the table or keep family intact. Purpose is a crazy quotient that tries to describe why you were really put on this earth. That doesn’t alway synch up with one’s chosen profession by the way.
From all these pieces we fashion a tapestry of what our life is. You could be looking at anywhere from adolescence to old age. The bag keeps getting packed and unpacked and packed up again. Nothing is forever and that’s what takes guts. Look at it another way. All that melange is what you breath in and out every day of your life. It provides the nutrients for our soul and hopefully expels the foul air of sadness and displeasure. If you looked out the window and saw the orange haze of smog would you take a long run or breathe deeply? Sadly some of us do.
When we were in Florida I was struck by the coldness and lack of eye contact in people. Some were just reticent I am sure but some were downright angry and grouchy. Not just the old but the wait staff in a restaurant or the guy in the golf shop when you were paying your greens fees. Was it the end of the season or just a lot of bad hair days? The sand, the Gulf and sunshine made this all the more surreal. Why would you be cranky in place like this? Maybe the bitterness and disappointment of where they came from was sealed in a little jar and they took a hit of vitriol every morning along with their coffee. Is this their nirvana?
I probably reached too far but I tried to imagine what brought this on? It might have been physical maladies but you had to consider the mental aspects and be drawn to that as reason. Was it depression or just a bad mood? Bipolar or the time of the month? This is where building one’s life or should I say reconstructing it really comes into play,
Some time just look around you. Are you surrounded by positive thinking, creative and happy people? Or are the naysayers and whiners, residents of your inner circle? I bet if you hang around one type or another long enough you are going to become just like them. If everyone is there to flaunt this or that then you will constantly be comparing yourself to them. That can be the gang at the country club or the gang in the hood. Samo,samo.
Ok what about me? If I didn’t have kids and grandkids it would probably be Coronado Island in San Diego. I would have a small place near Orange Avenue and have coffee and assault every unsuspecting schmuck with my blather as they bellied up for their morning Joe. I would play golf at the little Municipal course on the water. No carts except the pull kind. Probably find a spot to look over the ocean where I can enjoy my glass of red and an occasional cigar in the evening. Not a bad start.
Where’s Kathy? I guess she would have to have the same mailing address in her bag or then again? No, I would not leave that cute little thing for anything. Well, almost anything. But that’s the bitch. You have to make tough decisions when you are repacking so you don’t make the same mistakes over and over again. Environmental hazards? Of course. Like anything else you just have to learn how to avoid them.
Ted The Great.
Millions of people are born and live in more or less their home areas for their entire life. Is this stability and consistency or lack of imagination? Good question.
Environment: the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc., of someone or something
Toxic: containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation
Hazard:A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential.
Happiness: mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. There are a lot more than that but hey it is start.