abk Lifestyle: Embracing Play

“…I have many friends who are successful … but who have no life in them…”-Sadhguru

It’s Monday morning. It’s the 4am hour. My body is still asleep, but my spirit is alive. It’s time to get going.

It’s well before daybreak. Dark, dark. When I step outside, I smell fish. It’s okay. It reminds me where I am.

This past Monday, specifically, I have to take a deep breath. On Sunday, my Browns got smoked. Cam got beat. The Panthers got beat. And in the big one, my Braves lost Game 7. That one hurt. I was planning to go to Game 2 of the World Series in Arlington, Texas this week. (I went fishing instead.)

I get that out of my system and listen to a refreshing word on the way to the golf course. Usually, it’s JJ Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man and the Three”. This week, it is wisdom from Sadhguru, sent to me by my good friend Junior.

In the 6am hour, I’ve got the golf shop ready to rock for the day. Soon after, the sun finally rises. I’ve been awake forever.

In my mind, I have one job for the day: make sure that each golfer has an enjoyable experience. I’ve been doing this for almost two decades, just in a different line of business and at a much higher pay grade. Most of the day, I talk golf, baseball, SEC football, or Saints. I’m learning the histories, the biases, the allegiances. This week, my Panthers come to New Orleans. If more than 3,000 Saints season ticket holders were allowed, wait…I’m at The Superdome right now 🤫 (another L).

I particularly enjoy the out of town guests, typically in town to visit the casinos. They come from all over the country, so we often trade travel war stories. There’s typically an easy connection to be made.

As early afternoon nears, my mind shifts to playing. I have to go get Banks first (still my favorite part of the day) and then do a brief walk through at the new house construction site. They don’t really need my input today, so I lay down on a pile of plywood and stare at the bright blue sky. Nearby, butterflies float by.

Some days, when the waves are calm, I have to make a decision: jet ski in the gulf or play golf. A few times I’ve done both, but my torso hates me afterwards. A couple of weeks ago, Christy and I rode with the dolphins, certainly a Wednesday for the ages.

On this day, I’m playing golf. On days that I work at the club, I do very little work on the course. It’s all play, and my preference is to play at sunset, so I arrive about 4:30pm. That gives me 1:45 to play 18, which I can do with relative ease. Later that evening, I remember Big Ten football, and thus my Penn State Nittany Lions, is back this weekend. 2:30pm at Indiana, I believe (lost that one too).

By 7pm, if not earlier, I have a limited capacity and desire to remain awake. The 4am hour was a lifetime ago. I used to ask myself, Did I get everything done today? Now I simply ensure that I left all of my energy for the day out in the universe.

I need my rejuvenation because life calls again tomorrow, maybe at 4am, maybe at 5am, maybe not until 6am. The time is irrelevant, because this is not the life that gets in the way of living. No, I don’t answer that call anymore. I’m focused on a conscious, thoughtful, intentional life that utilizes the gifts, talents, and energy that I’ve been given. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Have a great week.-Benj

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