What a hectic day I had today. Somehow everything was running at the breaking point and under constant power. Nobody wishes that. But unfortunately, sometimes it can't be avoided.
The theater started for me already with the fact that I turned off the alarm clock in the early morning - probably half asleep - and rolled over again in bed. Surely I dreamed something fine, unfortunately I can remember it only rarely. Today was not one of those rare moments. I wasn't in bed too late yesterday either, so I should have been catching up on sleep urgently.
I simply overslept, and for about three quarters of an hour. And then, suddenly, I really startled up. I knew immediately: it was later than normal. My elevated pulse confirmed it, as did my glance at the clock. The inner clock had sounded the alarm, unfortunately it is probably running a bit behind, pretty much exactly three quarters of an hour.
Now, fortunately, it doesn't happen to me very often to oversleep. But now and then it happens. And what follows is always hectic. Which was completely stupid today, because: I had no appointments. No one was waiting for me, no conference, no phone call, no golf date. I could have taken it easy for the day. But something inside me made me hurry, wanted to make up for the missing 45 minutes.
Yes, I know, it sounds like major mental health issues when you're unable to call yourself to calm down when the stress is unnecessary and baseless. But today, Woody Allen's line from the movie Annie Hall ("The Urban Neurotic") would have fit. To his girlfriend's statement that she feels she urgently needs to visit her psychoanalyst again, Allen replies: "Bullshit. You don't have anything that can't be cured with a large pack of Valium and a polo mallet..." So I'm as normal or verqueer as other people. An average guy, nothing special.
By the way, when I bring up this movie quote among friends or acquaintances, I naturally replace the polo mallet with a golf club. Which brings us back to the topic at hand.
What would have brought me back down to earth today would actually have been a round of golf. But even though I didn't have any scheduled appointments, there were a few things to do. There just wasn't time left for the drive to the course and a leisurely 9-hole round.
Unfortunately, because - as I'm sure I've already written - nothing calms me down more than the walk to the first tee, teeing up and addressing the ball. This is always a moment of contemplation, concentration and - relaxation. And in this state I would like to complete the round. Admittedly, I don't always succeed in doing so, for example when I throw a tantrum after an unnecessarily bad shot.
Of course it upsets me when I ruin a shot and the ball lands in the deepest rough. I'm also capable of getting so caught up in these bad feelings, caused by my inability to handle the clubs, that virtually nothing works on the holes that follow. Then I am not infrequently on the verge of throwing clubs into the landscape. But fortunately I can control myself for the most part.
The phases of annoyance become rarer. Not because I'm getting better and the bad clubs are fewer. But because I'm slowly learning that bad or unsuccessful clubs are part of the game. They may indeed become fewer, but they will always be part of the game, even if I should be a passable player.
Well, that will probably never happen. I'll always be bumbling around on the course. But no matter, as long as I basically have fun doing it and enjoy chasing the ball. Becoming calmer, reducing the self-generated stress, maybe even avoiding it altogether at some point, is therefore pure self-protection. Too much adrenaline is certainly not good for the heart.
The fact that I will certainly never completely achieve this absolute calmness on the round has, by the way, not only to do with me, but also with other players and their probably lacking knowledge of etiquette. So there are two situations that can make me furious on the grass: First, when a foreign ball flies around my ears without an audible "Fore!" call, and second, when the flight in front of me once again has all the time in the world.
You know these gangs, the small clubs, which are not necessarily, but often composed of pensioners or - on my favorite course, which is open and therefore can be played without a golf license - of ignorant and incapable fairway hackers. The senior group may actually play so slowly because they have a lot of time. To the newcomers, on the other hand, no one has yet explained the simplest rule that applies on the golf course as in traffic, and that is: "Show consideration for others."
And that consideration includes not dawdling or sneaking around so as not to unduly delay those behind you. Or, the other option, which also doesn't work in traffic: Simply standing back, that is, letting others play through. To my delight, I actually experience it from time to time that my flight is let ahead, just as we like to let faster golfers go ahead from time to time.
Unfortunately, however, the comparison with road traffic is increasingly apt: "First me, then others" seems to be becoming more and more the credo on golf courses as well. If, on top of that, the comfort from the vehicle is brought onto the course, which prevents the blinking on the road and the "Fore!" call on the course, then it sometimes becomes not only annoying, but also dangerous.
What I want to say with this almost 1000-word sermon is simply stated:
Please remember that you are not alone on the pitch.
First take a breath, then grumble or get angry. Because the latter has certainly already settled after an extensive draught of fresh and clear natural air.
Finally, just one more request: If you ever meet me on the golf course and see me getting terribly upset or angry, please remind me of this text. Thank you very much.
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