Grateful for Small Moments

Hole #16, Augusta National Golf Club, April 2012

It’s Masters Week in November. For golf fans like me, this feels weird.

Usually this golf tournament is one of the things on my list to enjoy in April. Like a lot of other things in 2020, we are asked adapt to new schedules. It has been helpful for us to be able to enjoy sports while we are stuck at home. I am grateful for those in sport who have made such an effort – and put themselves at personal risk of contracting COVID-19 – to bring the rest of us some entertainment at home.

In 2012, I had the pleasure of walking the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club with my brothers and my father. My youngest brother Charley schemed up the trip a year earlier, and each of us entered the ticket lottery hoping to get selected, and we defied the odds with two of us getting selected, which meant we got to go for two days. This trip was intended as a bucket trip for Dad, who is a huge golf fan. It was a trip for the memory books, which turned out to be important because Dad’s dementia started to become more apparent in the months and years after that. He’s still with us, but we can’t really enjoy these moments together anymore, like we were able to do that glorious week.

We had tickets for two days of practice rounds, which others told us was far more fun than the tournament itself. One of the reasons for this is a tradition on hole #16. After the players hit their tee shots, and they begin walking toward the green, the assembled crowd starts shouting “Skip! Skip!” and the players oblige the crowd by gathering in front of the pond and attempt to play trick shots that skip across the water and on to the green. I remember spending several hours watching player after player come through.

Finally, my Dad and I were getting a little bit overheated, so we relocated behind the green. I pulled out my old digital camera and turned on the video. The last player skipped the ball across the pond, onto the green, and rolled right in the hole! On the video I can hear my Dad reacting – rooting for the ball to go in, and celebrating with the crowd when it went in. Pure joy. He was having the time of his life, and so was I.

Here is the crappy video from 2012 technology:

Earlier in the week, I got an email from my father-in-law. He was sharing with me a video clip from the tournament. This week a player repeated the feat I got to see myself in 2012. I was immediately transported back to 2012, and got to relive that moment. It was an awesome memory, a moment of joy for me — so helpful right now!

So, today, I am grateful for reminders like this of great moments in the past, which remind us that better days are ahead. I am also grateful for the technology that allows us to capture and share these moments, which can help us get through.

Even 2012 crappy digital camera technology.

Copyright © 2020 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Free, Easy, Immediate No Gimmick Stress Relief

This post has very little to do with my Boxer dog Jade. But Thor got all the attention in my last post, so it is only fair to Jade to get some screen space here. This picture seemed apropos because a) the pic makes me happy; and b) the post is about breathing.

Today I’m thankful for a beautiful phrase and intriguing way to dramatically impact my health.

Beautiful phrase: “The new science of a lost art”

Intriguing way to dramatically and positively impact my health: “Learn how to breathe.”

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor is compelling and fascinating. This guy does his homework. Great example of accessible, yet solid, science.

Principle 9
Continuous attention to scientific research enhances best self.

Before buying the book, check out this 48 minute podcast: https://www.npr.org/2020/05/27/863395357/deep-breaths-how-breathing-affects-sleep-anxiety-resilience

I’ve found myself being more intentional about having good breathing habits when I am reading, driving or just hanging out. I’ve already noticed the difference. And I can attest that title of this article is valid. Go ahead, try it for yourself!

Copyright © 2020 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

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