It’s Hard….

When I started writing these blogs, my purpose was to take all of you along with us on this life adventure we were on…well, Tom is on. So far I think I’ve done well to publish upbeat and (sometimes) funny stories about our travels, our challenges and the good times we’ve had. However, the underlying truth is (and maybe this is a PMS moment but don’t EVEN begin to suggest that if you know what’s good for you) it’s hard. I think this holiday weekend and some of the crap we’ve had to deal with over the last few days brought that into a little better focus as well. If you’ll indulge me for a short bit (remember PMS is nothing to mess with), I just want to explain that this isn’t all fun…and as I type that I think in my head, “Jeez Leslie, really? You’re going to try to convey YOUR petty challenges to a group of people whom you know includes cancer survivors, loved ones left behind by their spouses who’ve passed too soon, women who’ve lost their children and countless other stories of REAL challenges? Really?” And I almost stopped typing at this moment…but I want you to know that I realize that MY present-day challenges are seriously nothing compared to some crap some (if not all) of you have been through. I know REAL challenges…I lost both my parents before I was 35. I’m divorced. I’ve lost friends. I do have deeper darker skeletons…but for now, THIS is my challenge and this is a website devoted to golf, not solving the world’s problems, so please, just read my story with the understanding that my life really is a good life, I’m just in a dark place right now. PMS: God’s never-ending promise that we, as women, will NEVER be understood by men. I don’t even have all my plumbing, but I still get PMS. Dammit.


So far I think I’ve done well to publish upbeat and (sometimes) funny stories about our travels, our challenges and the good times we’ve had.


Memorial weekend is usually the “opening day” for Summer activities. One of those is the local fun golf events that Tom used to be able to play in. This year, however, all of that changed. He is no longer eligible (or even allowed) to play in events that, as an amateur (and reigning State champion), he was welcomed to play in. Now understand, I’m not talking about tournaments – obviously he’s not eligible to play in amateur tournaments as a professional – I’m talking about handicapped fun events with his buddies. It seems that there have been complaints of his playing in these events, handicapped events! Tom, as of this writing is a +4 maybe even a +5…so he essentially stands on the first tee 4 or 5 over par, without even hitting a ball! Who in their right mind has a problem with him playing to those numbers? In turn, because he can’t play in those events, he now has a hard time getting a game together…because all his buddies are playing in the events! Add to that the fact that *I* enjoyed those events because I would go watch (which if you know his friends is actually really fun because they’re hilarious on the golfcourse). So what used to be a truly “just for fun” golf filled weekend, and precursor to what has always been a hectic June golf schedule, is now reduced to realizing that golf (the game he likes that is) isn’t really an option and trying to find something else to fill our time. We don’t camp, we don’t have a cottage, we aren’t beach people. We’re golf people. We do golf. He plays, I watch. It’s who we are and what we do.


I know REAL challenges…I lost both my parents before I was 35. I’m divorced. I’ve lost friends. I do have deeper darker skeletons.


Moving past that is something a little more personal; the fact that he left today for a week+ on what is the start of a very hectic stint in his schedule. Today he drives to Glen Elyn, IL to play in the US Sr Open qualifier on Wednesday May 30. He’ll be joined tomorrow by his coach, Mike Boogaard, so they can get a practice round in before trying to qualify. Then on Wednesday afternoon, after the qualifier, he’ll drive to Polk City, IA for a Monday qualifier on June 4 followed by a Pro-Am on June 5. Then he’ll drive home (unless he qualifies obviously) & we’ll both leave for Traverse City on June 9 or 10 for the Michigan Open, which, if he makes the cut, ends June 14. Then he’ll take off a day or two later for Oregon, WI and another Monday qualifier on June 18. Yah. A lot of travel – and granted I get to be with him for about a week in between – but it’s a lot to think about and on the front end of his travel and realizing how much alone time I have ahead, very depressing. Back when the kids were young it probably wouldn’t have been so bad; I would’ve been busy with them & his being gone would only mean I was busier. Now that they’re grown I don’t have that “busy-ness” in my life, so I’ve tried to start doing some crafting to fill my time. We’ll see if it actually fills that void. Please understand, I’m well aware it’s far better than losing him & never seeing him again. I try to remember to keep that in perspective because my best friend Kris lost her husband 2 years ago this July…the pain she experienced (and still deals with) makes me want to quit writing right now. But she, better than anyone, understands that I’m not comparing our situations, I’m just being an emotional mess. She knows the ravages of PMS because she’s a woman and well, she just gets me.


PMS: God’s never-ending promise that we, as women, will NEVER be understood by men. I don’t even have all my plumbing, but I still get PMS. Dammit.


Because of Tom’s travel, when he’s home he doesn’t really WANT to do anything, which is totally understandable but causes different problems for us because *I* haven’t been traveling! I’ve been stuck at home holding down the fort; working a full-time job & making sure we pay the bills. So nonetheless to say, when I can go do something “distracting”, by God I wanna do it. He, on the other hand, would rather lay low & recharge. Perhaps I need to look at that as I’m doing well to keep him from having to worry about these mundane life things…that that’s my contribution to #teamwerk. Sure, I can spin that to be positive, but right now I’m indulging my PMS, remember? So it sucks & I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he’s taking off & waving goodbye with a “sucks to be you” attitude. He knows it bothers me, but he doesn’t know what to do about it – because quite frankly – I signed up for this. I encouraged him to chase his dream…now that he’s doing exactly that it isn’t fair, nor does it make any sense, for me to say, “umm…I’m not ready yet. Can you just not go?” He can’t process that, nor should he have to. This is my burden, this is my dilemma. It’s just hard to handle that I’ve worked this hard for the last 20 years, only to be apart from the one person who’s been the reason I’ve worked so hard for the last 20 years. It doesn’t seem fair. I raised 2 great kids who are self-sustaining, happy adults & I get to enjoy the fruits of that investment of my time (can you say “empty nester”?) But again…I realize this is short term and he WILL come home eventually…and for that I’m grateful.

So where does that leave me? Same place I’ve always been doing the same thing I’ve always done…supporting him, loving him & encouraging him…because (in the words of the great Bruce Springsteen), “some day we’ll look back on this & it will all seem funny”. For now, I’m not laughing & it’s all I can do to keep from crying.


I can spin that to be positive, but right now I’m indulging my PMS, remember? So it sucks & I don’t like it.


Thanks for following along, especially for reading this particularly depressing post to the end. I’ll try to keep things light going forward, but understand that it’s not fun all the time. Sometimes it’s hard, really hard.

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