Everything is back on track.
Margaret has returned, bringing the elves with her. The house looks tidier, smells nicer and everything is where it should be. Both Spice and I have a spring in our step.
But for how long? One of Margaret’s closest friends is at the bedside of her mother, who will pass away today after a sudden illness. That’s a punch of perspective in the face. Mags is considering whether she should be getting back on a plane. Spice and I have both declared that we’ll manage; with practice, we’re improving.
My ten days of golf, (which was actually eight days, one hiking day and one rest day) were lots of fun. I am fitter, striking the ball better and even managed to avoid rehydrating with beer. Whilst I feel spritely, my trousers are still tighter than I would like; having dealt with the ‘move more’ part of the equation, I now need to face the ‘eat less’ part. Boo.
I love playing golf, and it is a great way of getting exercise that is appropriate for a round middle-aged man. But, my, it takes a long time. Let me explain.
- Commute. The course is 25 minutes drive away. So, if I’m due on the tee at 0800, I leave the house at 0700. This will require me to getup at 0530 / 0600 to get Spice exercised and fed.
- A round takes anything between 3.5 and 5 hours. Usually 4 to 4.5. So, I’m coming off the course around 1230.
- It’s traditional to raise a glass with your flight, and I’ll take the opportunity to order some lunch too. That’ll take me to 1330 / 1400.
- Half an hour home. 1430 / 1500.
- Play with Spice, get a wash on and have a swim and shower. Hang the washing out to dry. 1530 / 1600.
At this point, I’m ten hours into my day and pretty tired. A nap looks much more attractive than any work.
Add in dinner and some TV, my day is done. I need to get back on track with work.
So – much though I love playing golf, there is no way in the world that I can sustain playing every day or close to it. “Poor you”, I hear you think. You’re right, this is not a first world problem, it’s a privileged, entitled, complete non-problem.
It has taught me that a “leisure-only” lifestyle does not appeal to me. I missed working, I missed “margin”, by which I mean, time that is not assigned to anything specific.
There we are. Pushing fifty, and I’ve worked out that life requires balance. Better late than never, I suppose. Time to get back on track.