While listening to some of the podcasts there have been several times when either Kathe or a guest has said something that really caught my attention. She was sharing about how couples can, over a long marriage, stop sharing activities with each other. They have separate but parallel lives and then all of a sudden, they are together 24/7. Navigating this can be either rewarding or challenging and can sometimes lead to divorce. Since for us, divorce is not an option, the activities we choose in retirement will require lots of conversations and some give and take.
I already explained earlier how much my husband loves to golf. About 15 years ago, he thought I should learn. I wasn’t really excited but I went along with the idea. I was fitted for clubs, took a few lessons, I even got golf shoes and some cute outfits. But I was really terrible. I don’t think I have the best hand-eye coordination and I missed the ball nearly as much as I actually hit it.
I was working full time by then and my job was very stressful. As far as golf, either I didn’t have time or wasn’t willing to take the time to play or practice. The worst part was that he was trying to “help” me. He would watch me swing and then miss and he would try to give me little golf tips. I didn’t take the correction well and it felt like I was being criticized. I still think that husbands shouldn’t coach their wives on the golf course unless they are professional instructors, and even then I’m not so sure. I just really didn’t have a passion for it so I didn’t make it a priority. We talked and at that point, we sort of agreed that “golf is your thing, it’s not mine.”
As we were packing for our get-away to Idaho, I found out that my two long-time friends have taken up golf. My husband blew the dust off of my clubs in the garage and threw them in the back of the truck, “just in case you want to play.”
Our first morning, they all wanted to play. We went to the Priest Lake golf course. Who knew that I would have so much fun? I told my husband to not coach me and he only slipped a few times. What I learned is when you play with girls it was completely different from what I remember. We don’t keep score, we encourage each other and as long as my husband wasn’t trying to coach me, I was having a blast!
Of course, I missed the ball and it didn’t go as far as I wanted but I connected with enough good swings that it was fun. One friend said that she just thinks of it as a “beautiful walk in a park and if the ball doesn’t land in the right spot and you’re worried about holding someone up – just pick it up and keep going!”
I was worried that my husband wasn’t having fun with me along for the round but he said he was “really happy I was trying.” He talked about future adventures we could take and that if I wanted to take this up more seriously now that I’m retiring, that I should. He said, think of it this way, “it doesn’t matter how good you are playing, because you’re playing against yourself and the course, not me.”
What a surprise, we played two rounds of golf at Priest Lake and I was so excited that we decided to go to another golf course called Twin Lakes Village. At least in Idaho, when you play during the week, it is less crowded and I didn’t need to worry about slowing others up because there were fewer people on the course.
Right now, I’m practicing for retirement. I’m trying new things and I think I just found another vision for my life. When we got home from our trip I signed us up for “Couples Night.” A local farmer has a turf farm and he has opened up a little driving range. The range allows for social distancing, two buckets of balls, two drinks, and then the golf pro comes over and gives you tips.
It was a date night! We even ordered take out from the little food truck on a gorgeous warm, summer evening. As the sun was setting over the valley, I realized how grateful I am for this chance to try golf again with a completely different attitude. For retirement, I can try out an activity that my husband and friends love to do. An activity that I can enjoy when we travel, all with my best friend.
On my retirement vision board, I’ve added new clubs, new shoes, a new bag, and some golf lessons. Oh and I probably need to get a cute outfit as well!