I looked back at the 4 days of the US Sr Open and reflected on the great people who came out to watch. My blog is dedicated to those very special people…the ones who I feel I owe an apology to, but instead will only be able to offer an explanation, because you see…I’ve come to discover that I’m really not sorry. Hopefully you’ll understand why and hopefully you’ll forgive my “unapology”.
First…some background refresher. Tom and I have been married 21 years. I’ve watched almost every competitive round of golf he’s played – and I’ve watched a lot of non-competitive rounds as well. I also caddied for him on & off for probably 15 years (maybe a little less, I don’t recall exactly when I started) and officially retired sometime just before 2017. I know his game & more importantly, I know how he looks at his game – which quite frankly is why I retired from caddying – but that’s a different blog.
Since Tom has turned professional & played in some Tour events, I have to realize that there will be times when people we know will want to come and watch him play. And I want those people to come watch him play. Inevitably, they end up having to walk near me or may even want to walk with me, thinking I’m the same person they see off the golfcourse or who they think they know because of my social media posts. I’m good at portraying a positive golf wife persona in writing. The truth is I struggle with that at times…especially when I’m stressed. I’ve never been very good at watching him compete, although I assure you I’m much better than I was. In fact, just before he became a professional, I was actually quite good at controlling my stress level…mostly because he was winning so often. When he didn’t win, it really was okay – because whatever he didn’t win, he’d probably already won previously. I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth and part of the reason he became a professional. It was time for him to raise the bar, and consequently my stress level followed right along with that.
Watching Tom play, takes me back to my caddy days. I hear his thoughts. I feel his feelings. In my mind I’m going through the motions with him (living & dying on every shot as they say). I am connected to this man at the most primitive level. However, the one thing we differ in, quite dramatically, is our thought processes in the game of golf. I don’t approach this game the same way he does, and therein lies the rub. There is where we diverge from one-another. That too is a different blog.
So why write this now you ask. Why do I feel the need to offer an unapology? Because that US Sr Open week I let some people see a side of me I have done well to hide lately. The stress got the best of me & I shared some thoughts I fight hard to keep to myself. It was bound to happen. I’d decided before he played that week that I would avoid what I knew would be a potential issue if I just walked alone. Kept to myself with no-one to share my thoughts with. This would be safe for me…and I did well to do that for much of the tournament. It was fairly easy when he was playing well…people were enjoying the golf & talking amongst themselves. I kept ahead & no-one noticed I wasn’t there. But when the golf wasn’t good & people were concerned about what they were seeing…then it became more difficult. As is natural and expected, people want to check in on me; they want to assure me it will be okay and offer words of encouragement. And I appreciate that, I really do…but this isn’t just golf to me. This isn’t just a game. This is my husband’s dream…this is what we’ve worked toward over the years (although unknowingly). This “game” is no game at all..it’s a way of life that he (and I) desperately want to be immersed in. He wants to play golf full time. I want to watch him play golf…full time. WE want to do this while he can still compete…and we want to do it together. We don’t have an unlimited amount of time to accomplish this.
So my explanation is that sometimes I just need to be alone. Not just because I’m stressed – but more so because I need to keep my thoughts, my opinions and my criticisms to myself. I wear my emotions on my sleeve – unfortunately sometimes for everyone to see (and hear). This week I took a proactive approach to protecting those thoughts and emotions from other people by just avoiding interactions. But I also failed a few times when approached and somewhat cornered. I did exactly what I tried to avoid by staying away. I said what was on my mind – and usually it wasn’t good. Or nice. It was the stress of the moment manifesting itself in exactly the way I knew it would. Exactly what I tried to avoid.
So I’m not sorry I stayed away. I’m not sorry I asked to be left alone. I hope that makes sense…but if it doesn’t, please try to forgive me without understanding because I’m not sorry. I have to do what I can to hide the fact that I’m not okay sometimes…but eventually I will be.
So thank you friends, family…thank you for just giving me my space and for letting me be honest and maybe even a little rude when I ask not to be bothered. It’s not just for me…it’s really for all of us. I promise you’ll enjoy watching him a lot more if you just let me do my thing.