While swinging the golf club at my local driving range, I was enjoying a sunny afternoon and the Zen like quality of hitting one ball after another right down the middle… Well, some of them were down the middle. I was all by myself this afternoon. A perfect time to reflect on life and why someone would spend so much of it trying to hit a golf ball or so I thought.
The outside speakers at the driving range came to life with the sound of country music. I've heard it said that the rhythm of the music can help the tempo of the golf swing. Normally I don't pay too much attention to what's playing on the speakers at the driving range, but this day was different. I actually started to listen to some of the lyrics.
So there I was, the jumbo bucket of range balls and country music with my undivided attention as I listened and worked my way through my golf bag one club after another. I believe it was somewhere around my five iron that I had the epiphany -- I don't want my life to be a sad song. As I listened to our crooner’s tale of woe of this poor man’s life, I started to become aware of all the things he had lost. I began to wonder how he could persevere in the face of such adversity. His dog’s tragic loss of his eye. The pain he must've felt after coming back home from a long day’s work at the factory to tell his wife the bad news that the plant would be shut down and he was going to be out of a job. Only to find a note on the table saying that she was leaving with his best friend. Imagine -- wife leaves you, no job, no way to pay for that fake eye for Sparky, the brunt of jokes and ridicule by the other dogs in the neighborhood… Well, at least he still had his truck or would have if not for the repo man who he never saw coming. If he did, he might have a chance to convince him for some leniency. Just a few more days to come up with the payment, but unfortunately according to the song Sparky was also dyslexic. He was barking at the back door instead of the front alerting him in the wrong direction as the bank made off with this truck. Now it would be just him and Sparky the one-eyed dyslexic dog or would've been, but sparky hearing the meow of the neighborhood cat at the back door, ran out the front to give chase. He would have seen that car coming if he lost his right eye instead of his left.
Okay, I might be exaggerating and might have made up some of the lyrics of the song. Actually, I made up all of them.
My point in all this is that too many times in life we take inventory of our misfortunes, holding onto them, reliving them in our minds and experiencing the pain over again. I heard a poker player say once, I can't tell you too many stories about the poker hands I have won, but I can tell you about every bad beat I ever had. Parkinson's has dealt me a bad beat in life. It would be easy to write a sad song about it, but I choose to look at the gas gauge in my truck of life as half full. I look at what I have, not what I've lost.
Oh… It seems our friend in the song on the way home stopped off at the local convenience store, took his last dollar and bought a Powerball ticket, and won the lottery. Sparky had the good fortune of a mobile vet who happened to be a former beauty queen that had answered the tie-breaking question, if you win this competition, what will you do with the money. Her answer, I will become a traveling veterinarian searching the roads for stray and injured animals. She nursed him back to health. Sparky's life was saved and he was reunited with his now wealthy owner and as for veterinarian beauty queen, you guessed it. She married the downtrodden hero of the song and they lived happily ever after. There that’s much better.
I am Pat Younts, and I Move to Live