Tag Archive | Golf

If the cap fits (2)

My previous post outlined my responses to some of the traits which are common to Empaths. Here is the second part of that response as promised.

Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for Empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.

My garden is my pride and joy.

I love being outdoors in open space and fresh air. I hate being cooped up all day and this particularly cold and drab winter has been very difficult to cope with on occasions. Golf is great for me as long as I keep it non-competitive. It combines the outdoors, mastery of new skills and gentle exercise. I only wish I had more time for golf.

I have always had pets and can’t imagine a house without them, even if it’s a hamster sleeping away in the corner all day and only coming to life when I’m off to bed! Our pets give us an immense amount of pleasure and they are totally spoiled. If I won the lottery, my first purchase would be a nice house, with a huge garden and paddocks for lots of animals.

 Need for solitude

An absolute necessity and this is the main reason I am unable to work long hours. I need time to myself every day and if I don’t get this time, my mental health deteriorates very quickly. The consequences can be devastating. Getting home late from work, eating, then going straight to bed, having to get up again at 5am the following morning is not sustainable as there is no “me” time built-in for recovery. Some people can do this day in day out and take their mental health for granted. Sadly I can’t and without doubt, my career progress has suffered greatly over the years as I am limited to the amount of working hours I can do. This is something that has caused me much upset in the past but I am now reconciled to under-performing and not reaching my potential despite my best efforts. As someone once told me, sometimes doing just enough has to be enough.

Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated

Oh yes! I have a very low boredom threshold and love learning new skills. I have many and varied interests and those who read my blog regularly will know that this year I decided I wanted to learn to ice-skate at the tender age of 50!

Caroline finally masters backwards lemons

Intolerance to narcissism

I have no time for these people.

Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own

The killer blow and something I was not aware of until 3 years ago.

It was in May 2010 that I admitted publicly that I suffer with depression and have done for many many years.

Why did I start my Blog-Part 1

Why did I start my Blog-Part 2

Following my admission and for the next 6 months I was inundated with people wanting to talk to me about their experiences of depression and I was only too pleased to be able to help. The only problem was that it wasn’t helping me and I didn’t realise that I was unconsciously absorbing much of their distress and taking it on board. This affected my mood badly and in November 2010 I was advised to take time off work to redress the balance. I quickly learned that if I wanted to keep helping others with depression, I needed to become more remote and detached from their feelings and whilst I could offer practical suggestions and advice how to cope, I couldn’t fight their battles for them.

Good advice but difficult to do if your natural instinct is telling you otherwise.

There are a good many other indicators to Empath “status” but they will have to wait until another day.

In the meantime I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and comments. This is new but fascinating territory for me and any and all views are welcome 🙂

Ice Queen

Badges003For just a few minutes yesterday I was Queen of the Ice. No one else noticed or cared but that’s ok. What is important to me  is that after a further 6 weeks ice-skating lessons I passed my Level 3 skating test.

Taking up ice-skating at the grand old age of 50 was a challenge but was something I wanted to do and with my 17-year-old son joining me I have enjoyed it every bit as much as I thought I would.

It is not easy however. Skating alongside children and young adults can be uncompromisingly disheartening. They take to the ice like they were born on skates. Fearless and confident, determined and resilient, they can make you feel very self-conscious and slow to learn in comparison. They skate fast and furious, twisting and turning with ease and when they do fall over, they cry, brush themselves off and start again. Admittedly they don’t have as far to fall as I do, but even so, watching them do this time after time makes me realise just how tough kids are. They bounce.

What I have also learned however is that I can ice-skate too. I am much slower to learn new skills, and I skate a lot slower over the ice but I can still perform the basic skills necessary to make steady progress. Slow is good especially when learning to skate backwards. Undoubtedly, like riding a bike, balancing is easier for most people when travelling at speed. Not many people can sit on a bike when it is stationary but they can cycle for hours on the move without falling off. The same applies to skating so that the slower you skate, the more difficult it is to execute some of the moves but for me it is a compromise between speed and control. I am most comfortable on the ice when I am pootling along at my pace, the last person to reach the other side, and the one who holds everyone up when skating around in circles with the younger skaters eagerly queuing up behind me ready to overtake when I move out of their way.

My biggest challenge over the last few weeks has been to master the art of skating backwards and to perform a series of backwards “lemons”. Skating backwards (slowly of course) came after a couple of weeks but the “lemons” have proved a lot more challenging. I don’t feel safe going backwards mainly because you can’t see where you are going, but also, the balance and body position is completely different to skating forwards and I definitely feel out of my comfort zone. However with the patient help of Will and the coach, I finally mastered the “lemons” yesterday just in time for my test.

Skate UK Level 3

Forward One-Foot Glide (straight line)
Two-Foot Jump Skating Forward
Forward & backward Sculling (lemons)
One-Foot Glide on a Curve – Inside Edge (L & R

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Now that the better weather is here, Will and I have decided to take a break from the skating and get outside in the fresh air to play more golf. We will return to the ice later in the year when I will resume my quest to progress as far as I can. We will miss our weekly trip to the ice rink and I wish that we lived closer to an ice arena so that we can practice in our own time whilst away from lessons but it is something to look forward to when the summer is over.

In the meantime, I suppose I’d better go and sort the golf clubs out ready for action.

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Happy Days!

Things that have made me happy today……..

My two beautiful boys, Tom and Will (which is which?)

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Ice-skating- I take my Level 3 test next week and need to perform “backwards “lemons” (AKA sculling, swizzles, or fishes). This is a skill I am finding it difficult to master but am definitely improving albeit slowly. There is hope!

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Sunshine-we haven’t had enough sun this year and doesn’t it make a difference when we get some blue sky and warmth instead of biting winds. When sunshine and picturesque countryside is combined with a bit of golf, who can complain?

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Red roses- even the cat loves them!

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…and to cap it all, the Grand National has finished and all the horses are safe and sound.

Thank goodness.

Facebook Friends

There has been a lot of criticism about Facebook and its use. Are “friends” really friends? How can you be friends with someone you’ve never met? Facebook friendships are shallow and meaningless and people should get a life instead of spending all their time on the computer.

Ha! Ha!

I have just spent a couple of days with a Facebook Friend and his family in the depths of sunny Wiltshire and my son and I had a great time! Now we are all Facebook Friends and shall be for a long time I suspect.

I have “known” Andrew for almost a year, and in that time we have become good friends helping each other through the dark and often lonely times of depression and anxiety. However much one’s friends and family are there to support, it helps to have a friend who knows what it feels like to have the world pressing down on your chest and shoulders squeezing out every morsel of sensible reason and hope instead giving you a feeling of panic and fear. Someone who can rationalise the thought-patterns and turn negatives into positives; someone who won’t and can’t judge you, recognising the causes and symptoms of the extreme emotions as one’s own.

I have met Andrew during the year, and heard about his lovely family. His two sons are clearly his pride and joy and he is very proud of them both. I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew’s wife and youngest son at the weekend and they couldn’t have made us more welcome. It is fortunate that my son and Andrew’s son are the same age (only 17 days difference) and they share a love of sports and just being 16. The 9 holes of golf played yesterday afternoon was a source of much hilarity and we certainly got to know each other much better on the rather chilly fairways and fast-running greens. Dad even turned up at the 6th tee with a flask and chocolate! Could it get any better than that?

Actually yes it did as we also met the two Springer Spaniel puppies, at 12 weeks a recent addition to the Cooper-fold and simply adorable. Andrew did tell me pointedly this morning just before we left that he had padlocked them in their enclosure…….I wonder why! It was very tempting to stage a kidnap attempt of Rosy and Lily but I dug deep and resisted the temptation. In addition we were treated to some lovely meals and expert baking (Domestic Goddess in residence) so I was perfectly content!

Thank goodness for Facebook Friends! I am lucky that my Facebook Friends really are friends and I appreciate that.

Anyone who tells me otherwise clearly don’t know what they are on about!

The golf balls of life

I have just started to play golf again and when I found this story on the internet I connected with it’s message straight away. Even if you don’t play golf, the philosophy is sound. I hope you enjoy it.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full they agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things- God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions–things that if everything else was lost and only they remained your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else — the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.”

Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

You may also like;

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The five stages of coping with mediocre golf

The mind-body focus in golf- Depression & You 

Depression Awareness Week- heeding my own advice

At the beginning of Depression Awareness Week I wrote a post about finding your inner child. The overriding message was to “play” more and find those hobbies that you enjoy or make sure that you rediscover all those things that you used to love doing and spend more time chilling out. Like all advice and suggestions to help you cope with low mood and depression it’s easy to say. It’s not so easy to  put it into practice but this weekend I was determined to do just that.

I have to admit that I have been helped by my son Will, “The Willster”,  who decided that he’d like to take up golf again. This is great as it is something which we can do together at weekends when he stays with me. We have been unable to play much golf during the last couple of summers due to a combination of William having two knee cartilage operations and growing out of his golf clubs. I also used to suffer from awful hay fever which made playing any sport in the summer unbearable but after two years of de-sensitisation injections I can now enjoy the sunshine without symptoms. Fresh air, entertainment (a bundle of laughs when we play), and great company makes 9 or 18 holes of golf the perfect way to unwind and forget all the rubbish floating around my head for a  few hours. When I am standing on the first tee focusing on hitting a ball which looks the size of a pea praying that I at least hit it cleanly and not slice it onto the adjoining fairway all else fades into the background. So consumed am I with not making a fool of myself that worries, anxieties and feelings of personal inadequacy fly out of the window. My only wish is to get that ball onto the green!

So this weekend, Will bought himself a new set of clubs. I dusted off mine and off we went.

Today has been bright, sunny and a perfect day for golf. We had a great time making our way round the full 18 holes (I wanted to pack it in after 9 as I was winning!) and laughing so much at times that we couldn’t play until we controlled ourselves. I learn a lot from my 15-year old son. I always have. Today was no different. His view on performing a bad shot?

“If it makes someone laugh, then they are happy. If I have made them happy then I’m happy”.

What a philosophy at 15. I don’t know where he got it from but I’m glad he has. He didn’t mind that he lost 6 balls in the hedges during our afternoon’s play-it’s all part of the learning process. God help me when he gets used to his clubs….I’m in for a pasting!

Thank you Will for helping to put things into perspective. I’m very proud of you.