by the Night Writer
As you read this I will have completed my 50th year on this planet. Yes, I know, hard to believe – at least it is for me. Somehow in my mind’s eye I still kind of picture myself as I was in the 1980s, though that is a man my children never knew and my wife may even have a hard time remembering, which, truth be told, is probably a good thing for all concerned.
As friends and family members, especially the golfers, have reached this milestone in the past I have commonly bestowed upon them a cheerful, “Good luck on the back nine!” Now it is I turning toward the clubhouse. Though I have my share of fairways and bunkers ahead of me I realize that this isn’t necessarily the half-way point. Fifty doesn’t mean there’s a real-life 50-50 balance between the time I’ve lived and the time I have left. Believe me, I’ve worked with enough actuaries over the years to know about that.
Sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one — they couldn’t come fast enough.
Thirty — “what the…?”
Forty — “now wait just a minute…”
Fifty. Fifty? Fifty.
Nevertheless I feel good, I feel strong. My blood pressure and cholesterol are low and everything else seems manageable. If I no longer swing a 20-pound post maul all day in the sun, or polish off 27 spare ribs at a sitting, I can still remember what each felt like and believe that I don’t do those things now simply because I’m old enough to know better.
Yet there it is – old enough. To know better. From this vantage point I can look back and see all the faces that helped me get here who are here no longer. And thanks to them, I see the young faces around me now and I can turn and look into the distance and imagine the even younger faces to come.
There’s still time for some practice swings, though, and to work on my game. Yeah, the ol’ backswing can’t help but get longer, though the important thing now is the follow-through. I’m not familiar with all the holes I have left, but I know I’ve got a wise coach and caddy who has said he’ll never leave or forsake me, so I’ll take my time and enjoy the round for there’s no sense in hurrying.
I do hear the Clubhouse is spectacular, though.