Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Easing out

I lost a very good friend few weeks ago. She was past 70 but had a lot of life still left in her. She was active and wanted to do many things when cancer claimed her. This had me wondering what more I want to do in this life than what I have done or already doing? Surprisingly, I found very little that I want to do before I die. There was however one thing that I wanted to do more often. Don’t be under the impression that I want to see more patients. That desire to see more and earn more has been dead for a long time. So what is that I wanted to do more often? Not surprisingly [at least for those who play golf], it is to play more golf. That means talking another half day off. This I began doing two weeks ago. What about my patients and their reaction? One quality I have come to appreciate in them is their stoic acceptance of my maverick ways. There was not even a grumble. May be they think by allowing me to play one more day, they expect me to improve my clinical skills and thus give them better service? Whatever may be the reason, I am now free to play on Tuesday afternoons in addition to my other two regular days.

What is it in this game that makes me go over and over again, week after week, spend four to five hours, whacking a small white ball around? Why this little white ball sitting on lemon green grass is so inviting to hit. I cannot think of any valid explanation. Of all the games golf is probably most addictive and most soul satisfying. May be it is so because in golf the real opponent is not the one who is playing against you but the course itself. As a matter of fact you are playing against your own self and the mistakes you commit, you cannot blame anyone else but yourself. Thus even when you are playing with three others you are left to yourself most of the time to think, ruminate, plan and then with all that get into a trap and curse yourself. Occasionally or more often [in case of a good player] the ball does what you want it to do and you do the hole in regulation. The joy of seeing the ball disappear into the hole or hearing the chuck sound of the well struck ball and seeing it soar high and long is something out of this world.

Playing good golf is really having a good life and now I am playing to a handicap of 15 which is not bad for a 68 years old. Today is Tuesday and in a short while I am off to my game. Cheers.

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