Friday, March 19, 2010

Birthday Bash Bust

Cindy seen in photo with all of the close friends and relatives who took the time out of their lives to help celebrate my 60th birthday with me in Florida. While it literally rained on my parade I was forced to some major introspection about relationships throughout the months long planning process for this event. Many people never responded at all, a trend of casuality that is plaguing our society, depriving us of civility in general. In the end many non-attendees offered explanations for their inability to be there that frankly if the exact situation were reversed, I would not have offered in excuse, and have been there without fail. That led to the introspection about the basis of my value system with friends and relatives versus theirs.

Shortly after this non-event I received an email from Beth Buelow, a lifestyle coach, which contained a rather pertinent message. This was “ Being attached to certain outcomes is different from wanting to achieve a goal. Being attached means that we want nothing less, more or different than our desired outcome. We perceive anything else as failure.Being open to outcomes, however, means that we have a goal in mind while being open to the unpredictability of the journey and how we get there. We are more in line with our intention (how we want to feel) than the finished product”. Wonderfully wise words but difficult to hold onto when you feel hurt by the actions virtually everyone that you felt important in your life, so perhaps I needed to change what I offer in relationships to be more on a par with others abilities to relate.

Particularly disappointing was that I had planned this portion of our trip with the hopeful intention of sharing some childhood experiences of the Beachcomber with my sister Sue, who was one of the no-shows after indicating she would be there, and thus central to the planning at this location.

At the same time I was also finishing reading the book “The Match” about an historic golf match with Ken Venturi, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Harvie Ward at Cypress Point, the author proclaimed underlying theme of which is “Friendship, loyalty, the real meaning of pride, and the high price paid for idealism and integrity in the real world.” Toward the end the author is talking about the ends of some of these lives and writes the following: “No four men will ever play such a match again, for the love of the thing itself. The genuine way they lived their lives makes most of today’s fast and frenzied sports and entertainment culture seem like so much packaged goods, a self-conscious, inauthentic hustle. In their best and worst hours alike each one of these four stood his ground, put all he had on the line, and for better or worse lived with the consequences of his actions and moved on. Some green, untested souls might be tempted to wonder why one should still care, but none of us are here forever, we’re not even here for long; and if it’s true that our collective past exists inside all of us, unless we take time to bear witness to the best of those who strived before us, our chance to learn from their lives will be lost forever, and we will be the poorer for it.”

It’s no wonder that I have always loved the game of golf as it rewards a certain purity of heart, and the courses on which it is played predictable in their design’s intent; infinitely more understandable that the idiosyncratic behavior of humans. I guess I just wish my friends and relatives would feel more like I do about them as far as their importance in my life journey. For now I will move on to one of our favorite places in the world and leave further reflection for another time

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