Monday, July 31, 2017

The first time I went golfing

I had a goal last summer to go golfing. The summer ended without being able to achieve that goal. This summer is a new chapter in my life.

The first time I went golfing, I was 33 years old. It was more enjoyable and tiring than I had anticipated.

The grass on the course was the most exceptional grass I have ever walked on. I think a good way to pass the day would be to lay on it, and absorb its pristine quality through my pores. However, I learned a good lesson about golfing etiquette: don't stay too long on the course. Always let the men behind you go first, because they are better than you.

Golf is a bit of a conundrum, because it seems so leisurely from the outside. The reality is, a lot of the other players are in a hurry.  They speed hither and yon on their little carts, with no time to pause and reflect.

The sun felt hotter than normal on my skin; I was glad we went late in the day.

I discovered that the driver is my favorite type of club. I loved standing with my weight evenly distributed between my feet, focusing all of my attention on the ball atop the tee. I loved switching my focus to my form, pretending that I had been playing for 20 years, and that I was about to take the best swing of my life. I drew the club back like a pro, then felt my weight shift as my right foot pivoted forward to follow through after making exquisite contact. I lost sight of the ball momentarily, and used the time to stare into the sky like this was the greatest moment of my life.

I liked the driver mostly because of the whoosh sound it makes, followed by a swift crack when it strikes the ball. Everything was so quiet on the green that the sounds made the game. (Unless you are a professional golfer. Then your score makes the game.)

My friends and I didn't keep score.

We also only made it through six of the nine holes we had anticipated playing. I was getting a headache from the heat and humidity, and it was nearing my bedtime (see previous blog entry regarding nursing home).

Next goal: spend an afternoon at the driving range.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Phone

Let me preface this entry by saying that I should probably live in a nursing home, because I have a lot in common with 90 year olds.

I recently upgraded my previous cell phone by replacing it with a Jitterbug flip phone. I just want my phone to be a phone.

My 26-year-old coworker asked me yesterday how I find where I need to go without having a Smartphone. I don’t know where he goes on a daily basis that would necessitate the use of maps. I typically go to about four places in a given week, and I have the directions memorized. I am smart.

When I go out of town, I am almost always visiting family, so I call them as I get close if I can’t remember where I am going. I also like paper maps.

Then I added that I like to ask locals for directions, because it is a good way to meet people. My 50-something coworker then said, “That’s great that you find that exciting….but I am just surprised your face isn’t on a milk carton.”

Well, I am also a bit surprised I am not on a milk carton. However, I don’t think anyone looks at milk cartons or drinks milk anymore? Not sure; I can’t Google that on my flip phone. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

More Than I Hoped

Beloved Job,

I was attracted to you by your flip-flops and graphic tees. You shone with panache and flair that spat in the face of corporate pride. You stayed classy and relaxed in a building that enjoyed enforcing outdated and uppity ideals. You were the back-beat to my kick drum in a world of violins.

We officially became a couple on May 9. I never thought I would be the type to remember the exact date of our first date. Then you blew all of my presuppositions out of the water. 

From the beginning, you made sure to take care of me. You kept communication open, for real. You followed through when you said you would. You made sure we touched base each morning to see how things were going. You continually ask me what my goals are, and you help me grow as an individual.

Because you know I like reading, you occasionally give me books that we discuss together later.

You think servant leadership is the greatest, and you aren’t afraid to flaunt it, in a humble way.

You are always giving back to the community, and you encourage me to take time from my busy work day to get out and help out.

Even when altruism isn’t the motivating factor, you tell me it’s okay to come in late, leave early, take a long lunch, put my family first, etc. You always say “Yes, if…” instead of “No, because…”, just because you want to continue improving. 

You challenge me to be a better me without being condescending. I didn’t think that was possible. You also don’t value me based on doing everything just right. I also didn’t think that was possible. You’ve changed my mind about a lot of things.

I prayed about making the right choice before we made it official. I felt the Lord’s blessing, and I rushed to receive it to the fullest. He blew me away with the fulfillment I felt because I waited on His guiding peace. He’s used you to teach me and help me identify the lies I believed about “your type” in the past. I thought the only good job was a…well, I didn’t think a good job existed. I didn’t think I could be happy going to work each day.

You changed all that.

And now we both know that our relationship has a projected end date. We may only be together three more years, at the most.

It was beyond our control, beyond our knowledge. It only makes the time we have together that much sweeter.

I have laughed, cried, been hopeless, been hopeful, been sad, been happy, pretended like it wasn’t happening since I was told that, “Yes, it is happening.”

“In about three years…”

No more seeing you every day. No more lunches with you. No more spontaneous team activities. No more silly, fun Twitter posts about what we did together last week.

“In about three years…”

Thank you for being you, beloved job.

Thank you for proving that working is not a life sentence; it can be a joy and a privilege, and way more educational than grad school. And high school. And elementary school.

Work can be enjoyable and I can actually be good at it.

Thank you for proving that you are worth it. Thanks for being everything I thought you would be, and more.

Thank you for letting God use you to bring me closer to Christ and filling me with His life as I spend time with you each day.

Missing you already,