And so it was that on the day we checked out, my husband was determined to golf. It was that bright, cloudlessly sunny weather he preferred, and it was that course designed by a certain famous person (whose name any golfer would recognize). He had to play. Meanwhile, I wasn’t committed to doing anything. So it was that after looping the parking lot in our lavish little golf cart, I narrowed down my indecisive thoughts and opted to tag along on the green.
What was I thinking? Watching professional golf on T.V. had always struck me as a somewhat boring endeavor. Now here I was soaking in ultraviolet rays and squinting a few hundred yards up the course where my husband—a thin sliver of khaki—strove for that perfect putt. After drinking up all the little cans of apple juice in our cooler, and eating peanuts and string cheese, and a few other little snacks I normally don’t care for, I was ready for the game to end.
Now I don’t want you to get the idea I was miserable because I wasn’t. I love my husband and being with him and watching him play any sport—something his athletic self thrives on—is not bad at all. I wasn’t gloomy, no; I was just thoroughly ready for some action of my own.
This readiness happened at about the 8th or 9th hole. After this, my mind began to wander. I couldn’t help myself. I began imagining I was playing golf and got thoroughly lost in it, and I was under par. And I could feel myself swinging my club. I had on some cotton shorts and a pair of those odd shoes. See that sand pit? I whispered to the cart. My ball would sail right over it and those scrawny trees! I was in the game, and I was competing. I was fully and happily delusional.
Wired to Participate
And then it hit me. I thought of the many discontented people I’ve run into in the course of my life so far; people who were bored out of their minds or even delusional about things real. No wonder, I thought to myself, checking out my bright red shoulders. They must have, at some point, decided not to play, or worse, believed they couldn’t. And there they were, silly for all of the action they had watched.
This had to be a huge cause for much of the ill will on the planet. Yes, especially with T.V. making the watching game really quite engaging—reality shows anyone? But what will never work with this whole watching thing is the fact that we are not wired to just watch. We are wired to participate.
And how many times have we opted out of our place on the field? It reminds me of what is probably the most accurate definition of Superbowl Sunday—a few very over-exercised athletes running around on a field in front of millions of people who desperately need to exercise. Life was meant to be lived; not watched.
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Claire Worley writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.