Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Open Letter To My 19-21 Year Old College Self

 Dear "E",

Have fun and enjoy the ride that the next few years will provide.  I can promise the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  I can promise that you will have some of the absolute best times of your life.  I can promise that you will laugh until you cry.....and other times cry until you laugh.  I can promise that you will meet one of your lifelong bestfriends, and believe it or not, you will be bridesmaids in each other's weddings. 


Yes, you're going to get married at age 24.  Stop stressing and please for the love of God stop thinking that your current boyfriend is "the one."  Please know that you deserve better than this, and please find the self-confidance to not stay in this purely because it is convenient.  "The one" will come along.  He will come along when you least expect it and when you stop looking for him.  He will be a knight in shining armor so cleverly disguised in Polos and Khakis that you will fall and you will fall hard.  Lucky for you, he will be there to catch you.....and he will hold you for the rest of your days.  He will make it impossible to envision your life in any other way.  So for now, stop worrying about the fellas and relationships.

I wish that you could know now what you will have to learn, sometimes the hard way, and often repeatedly. I know that you can't possibly know what lies ahead.  Maybe that's the beauty in this all.  You can't possibly know.....but I wish I could save you some of the headaches and just paint the big picture for you.

You have a really great life.  You are blessed with two of the best parents in the world and a Nan who tops even them.  Your extended family is amazing and you have a short but genuine list of friends.  Use this as your foundation and dream bigger.  Discover what makes you tick and stop apologizing for these things.  I'll give you a hint.  Yes, it's perfectly fine to be a super preppy redneck.  These two things can happily coexist so stop fighting it.  Nobody thinks you're a poser because you are equally happy in pastels and hair ribbons as you are in Carhartt overalls. This is what makes you unique and what makes you relatable to so many different types of people.  Again, start learning to love yourself and have the inner self-confidance to match your outgoing demeanor.

Don't take college golf for granted one single day longer.  It will not last forever.  I know right now it seems that it will never end, but when it does you will wish every single day that you could do it all again.  You will desperately wish that you could do it differently the second time around.  Enjoy the travel and the ability to see different parts of our great country.  Keep a positive attitude and respect that your parents have taken time off from work, traveled through the night, and sacrified financially to see you compete.  Honor them by giving them a good show....they don't care if you make a double bogey....they only want to see you smile and know that you are enjoying their investment.  Know that the pettiness between your teammates really isn't as big of a deal as you think it is at the time.  Know that even if you don't agree with every single thing your coach does or how he makes his decisions, chances are good that you don't know the whole story and don't have as much information as he does.  Chances are even greater that you are only looking at the situation from one angle whereas he examines it from many.  You will find this hard to believe right now......but Coach Lott is showing you the way.  You will become a collegiate golf coach because of the shining example that currently drives the van and provides yardages, snacks, and water.  Respect this man and you will earn his respect when you coach your own program someday.   

Most of all, be the type of person that you wish others to be.  Spend your time building people up instead of tearing them down.  Spend your spare time talking with intelligent people about ideas and less time focused on the group who talks only about other people.  Let stuff roll of your back and know that sometimes somebody is just having a bad day.  Don't crucify them for this because chances are good you too will have bad days.  Get thicker skin but know completely that nobody has the power to affect your day, good or bad, unless you grant them that power.  

Be resilient

Smile brighter

Laugh a little bit louder




 and what the hell........drink a few more beers! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MASTERS SUNDAY: A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER

Lend me two and a half minutes of your time as this about captures it all.



...Now I've gone and given myself goosebumps again



Today is my favorite Sunday of the year.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES

I was feeling a little bogged down in my reading about a week ago.  I had been spending way too much time glued to reality television and a certain "dramedy" that comes on Thursday nights at 9:00 on ABC and rhymes with "Schmay's Kamatomy."

Not that television isn't wonderful in its own right, but I was a little dissappointed in myself in having read so little to start the year.  Up until last week, the only book I had managed to finish was Atlas Shrugged (started in November) and A Walk in The Woods by Bill Bryson.

I found myself rereading Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone thinking I would work back through all seven installments of that series, when a coworker of mine suggested The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

"What's it about," I coaxed.....and to be honest the response I got didn't have me breaking any speed limits towards Barnes & Noble.  It sounded interesting enough, but I almost dismissed entirely as "not my cup of tea."

But later that night with none of my unread books in the bookcase jumping out at me, I decided to purchase The Hunger Games on my Nook for the price of $7.00  It was a risk I was willing to take........

The official synopsis from the back cover reads: 

"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her is second nature.  Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender: But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love."

Not rushing to Barnes & Noble either?  Well let me say this!

The Hunger Games is captivating from page one until the very end.  In fact, if you're anything like me, you won't be able to get ahold of the second installment fast enough.  Taking away the whole post-apocalyptic angle and you're really just left with an amazing book about human relationships and the unconditional love of family.  Your heart will break for Katniss and District 12.  You will find yourself torn between Peeta and Gale.  And you will continue turning pages with the same determination and fierce desire as the twelve Tributes you meet.  This book is, at the surface, an amazing journey to a far-away place.  At the root, this book is a startling examination of big government set to the soundtrack of relationships of the poor and middle class.

Take a chance on this one and I promise you won't be dissappointed. 

Go on now.....enter the "Arena"......I dare you.
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