Last Saturday I got one of the worst scores in my golf game. I have been playing for nearly 4 months every weekend and I was improving but I now realize that I need to make radical changes. I have been fooling myself into thinking that my game was getting better but in the end I lacked consistency. According to my golf buddy, I need to start from scratch – change my swing, my posture, my stance and ball position, my mental attitude and so on. So I decided to stop playing for a while and work on my problems. I need to break everything down and start from scratch. Unfortunately, I lack the motivation and I am again attempting some short cuts, like practicing at home and using gadgets; instead of going to the driving range and perhaps getting professional help. But golf is a game for amateurs and I will continue to self-teach myself into being a better player. I will attempt this improvement by watching DVDs borrowed from the library, watching YouTube videos; taking video clips of my swing for self-analysis and reading self-help books.
Perhaps it was a confluence of events; doing too many things like taking online courses, fixing the house and feeling pressure at work and on the rental property as no takers yet that I decided to stop golf for a while. The rental property will hit me financially and I need to act within 6 months if there are no renters. Otherwise I will go bankrupt. Such is the fate for being ambitious. Unfortunately, I spared no expense in purchasing new stuff for the house – proving the case that decline starts with owning property. But I feel I have no choice – approaching middle age I need to give my family some pride and stability by investing in a decently sized house. Owning property does not make me feel more affluent; more like an investment such as buying stocks. I have purchased about 4 properties in my lifetime – one in the Philippines which I rent out for a pittance, a flat in Singapore which I sold and earned some profit and 2 properties here in the US: a town house which I am trying to rent out and a reasonably sized home where we now live. Not an extravagant lifestyle by any measure but perhaps seizing opportunities when it presents itself.
Playing golf is an expensive sport; also feeds the illusion that one is well-off, and coupled with a nice home can increase one’s folly. I need to return to my desire to write and try to earn extra income, to practice golf smartly without spending too much. The coming months will show if I made the right bets. My Saturday golf game gave me relief from the stress at work and life but it was an indulgence and escape which I no longer can sustain without worsening my troubles. The poor golf score was only the trigger. Happily, this week was a time for self – reflection: in my Toastmaster meeting on Thursday I talked about visiting old friends in NYC last April; in the afternoon, we had a department meeting where each member was described with a specific paragraph: mine was about working in 14 different countries – a record that exceeds most of my colleagues. I guess I need to feel proud of my current state. Last week I read the short heroic biography of journalist Maria Colvin who was killed recently in Syria. I cannot help but measure myself against her life - one of constant travel, adventure and significant work in the world’s battle zones. I guess I am not doing badly.