Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Reading books while I'm not reading greens...

Several months into living in our new home, I got the itch to take my toddler to the library and make him a book worm. Which is weird, because I've never been much of a reader of fiction. I read a LOT of news, devour books that might help me coach better, but I've not really ever been a reader for "fun." But as my son has grown and starts to play more independently, I want him to be around a mom who has her nose in a book rather than on a phone or tablet whenever we have idle time.

Plus, I've always been intimidated by libraries. I don't know why but they make me feel so inferior somehow. In college and for my graduate degree, I did everything I could to avoid having to search for actual books for research -- I just preferred journal articles that could be found online. I'm a little ashamed to admit that. This is not something I want my son to feel.

So for the first time since college, I have a library card. And we've been using it! The kiddo loves to pick out books from the shelves, and I love not having any sort of deadline or objective to my book selections.

I wish I had read for pleasure sooner, because it's been amazing the types of things I've learned that would have been applicable to my old life. Also, the mental task of staying present in the story strengthens focus and the ability to ignore distractions, something which is super useful on the course. As does the ability to push through to finish a book when it gets slow or difficult. It's a sin and a shame that I did not make this effort sooner.

Here have been some of my favorites from the past few months, and what I loved about them. (non-affiliate links provided)

The Martian, by Andy Weir. My first successful sci-fi read as an adult, this book infused me with a jolt of "can-do" positivism, and made me feel encouraged to really dig in and love what I do. Have yet to see the film version, since I wanted to read the book first.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. This is one where sticking with it payed off with a great twist, even if I didn't love the ending.

Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secrets of Games, by Ian Bogost. I wasn't prepared for the philosophical treatise that this book was, but after chewing through it slowly and surely, I look at everything differently now. The mundane now has potential, and I have a much different attitude about both games and chores. Plus, he has a whole section about how golf is an "intentional interaction with nature" that I found incredibly enjoyable. What I gleaned from this book could take up an entire post in itself, which maybe I will do in the future.

Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. This book was possibly the most profound of all of them so far. It's just an amazing read; difficult, but so meaningful.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions you Should Have Answers To When You Work In The White House, by Alyssa Mastromonaco. This was a birthday present from a college friend, and it's a great book for any young person working these days. Mastromonaco clearly kicked ass at her job and this book is full of fascinating stories and advice. I am so thankful my friend gave me this kind of book, as it really helped me to feel connected to the working world again.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty. Really smart, really quick, and lots of fun things to talk about with all your girlfriends who might be reading it at the same time.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Entering the Third Decade.

Somewhere along the way, I've lost myself.

That's what keeps echoing through my head. Sometime, after my sweet second baby was born and I turned 30, I became a stranger to myself. I don't recognize this person's appearance, don't trust her taste, and feel sorry that sometimes, in those rare quiet moments, she thinks in another 10 years she'll have nothing to her name.

It isn't to say that I'm unhappy. There are many days when, if I do say so myself, I make this motherhood thing look easy. My boys are the absolute sweetest. The baby finally is sleeping through the night. We celebrated our 5th anniversary and I still love my goober of a husband. I can manage to shower and, sometimes, even makeup. Today the boys rolled around on my bed together as I gave their little cheeks and tummies kisses, and I did all I could to drink that giggled-filled moment in.

Long days, short years.

But it's nagging me, this feeling of being a stranger.

A couple things happened after I turned 30:

1. we bought a mini van.
2. I chopped all my hair off.
3. I bought my first pair of orthopedic footwear.

The van was a long time coming; the old car needed an improvement worth more than the cost of trade-in for it to pass inspection, so we finally pulled the trigger. I had psyched myself up to accept the convenience-over-cool aspect, but am pleasantly surprised by how much I love it.

As for my new hair, I chopped about 15 inches off into a very short pixie cut. I don't know. Feelings are still mixed. I was swimming in all that hair, and the baby kept spitting up in it and pulling it. The weight of the ponytail was rubbing my scalp raw, and I just felt swamped by it all. So a big chop happened, and it's not the worst, but my husband does tease me about it a little more than I like.

The shoes are some birkenstocks, and I wish I had done it sooner. It's another thing that feels like my high school self is mocking me, but my 30 year old self loves the arch support. L-O-V-E-S it.

All these things are not throwing me into an identity crisis or anything, but I constantly feel like I'm mentally defending this evolution.

Furthermore, people keep asking me if I get to golf any lately.

Like, when would that happen?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Round Reflection: Golfing Pregnant!

So last week, thanks to my sitter from the summer being home from school due to the terrible flooding in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew, I got to golf for the first time in months.

And I had an INCREDIBLE time.

That's not to say I golfed my best. Far, far from it. Partly that's because I'm so out of practice. But it's mostly because I'm seven months pregnant.

Seven months. Third trimester. The home stretch. And I thought it would be fun to try to get my shoulders and hips to twist in opposition to each other several times in a row so I could bang a small white ball around with sticks in a park for a couple hours.

Seriously though, I had a blast. I chose a new course that I've never played before which was very pretty and incredibly playable. And I learned a lot about how the game has to be modified with a giant beach ball around your middle. I've decided to make the most of this round for the blog by spreading these lessons out (hey, I'm starved for rounds right now which means getting creative with content).

So the first lesson I learned is: mindset really matters.

Pictured here is my score card. On the very first hole, I made sure to write my golf mantra in big, bold letters: THERE ARE NO DIAPERS HERE.

An obvious statement, sure. But every golfer needs to have a personal reason why they are at the course, and this one is mine. Golf is my "me time," and my "me time" is precious and only getting more sparse. Plus, it's gotten me through some really tough patches in the past.

The other thing I wrote is,  I GET TO PLAY GOLF.

The key words there are "get to."

If you really want to change your life, replace any sentence that is about "having to" do something to "getting to" do it. It immediately changes the task from an obligation to a privilege. It helps shift your thinking to being grateful for all the opportunities in life. I really tried instilling this ethic into my team when I was a coach, and I found that the best way to do it was to live it myself. And so I'm trying to do that as a parent, too.

You'll notice on my scorecard that I doubled and tripled the first two holes. That was pretty indicative of my day, and it actually took me about 14 holes to figure out how to manage my physical condition so I could play well. Despite that, I am so proud of the 98 I scored, because it took hard work to play while pregnant, and more importantly, I GOT TO PLAY!