Buckle Down and Up

There is a wonderful tradition in golf that is meant to give some relief to those who practice that sporting religion. It is especially helpful to the most par-challenged players, who find their ball in a sand trap, pond, or do not find their ball at all. There are several variations on this tradition, but…

mcdthumb
Published January 12, 2012 6:21 PM
4 min read

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mcdthumbThere is a wonderful tradition in golf that is meant to give some relief to those who practice that sporting religion. It is especially helpful to the most par-challenged players, who find their ball in a sand trap, pond, or do not find their ball at all. There are several variations on this tradition, but the most common ones involve the ability to take a shot over once in a round, or sometimes, once on each of the front and back nines. We call it “taking a Mulligan”.

 

By TW McDermott

 

There is a wonderful tradition in golf that is meant to give some relief to those who practice that sporting religion. It is especially helpful to the most par-challenged players, who find their ball in a sand trap, pond, or do not find their ball at all. There are several variations on this tradition, but the most common ones involve the ability to take a shot over once in a round, or sometimes, once on each of the front and back nines. We call it “taking a Mulligan”.

 

In the rest of life we call a Mulligan by another name: January.   

 

mcdjanMany, perhaps most of us, enter January with a list of things that we resolve to begin, improve, resume, or just plain try. Individually and collectively we whisper or shout, “Do-over!”

 

Early in the new year, many of these aspirations are still alive, and we are brimming with warm promise, even as the thermometer (finally) consistently dips below freezing. Those of us who have more than a passing familiarity with these resolutions know that in a couple of more weeks, we are going to be sorely tempted to skip the new yoga class, stuff that old manuscript back in the drawer, or grab a bunch of carbs down from the shelf.

 

In case you haven’t noticed, or have been visiting a distant planet on a Rod Serling Cruise, our age grows more complicated with each new front-page story about financial insanity, each celebrity’s or politician’s YouTube video or Tweet, or merely mentioning the words “Athletic Department”. Given the hazards of our rollercoaster, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not world, when we begin to lose our resolve, we need some relief.
Behold an idea whose time has come: The Mulligan of the Month Club. Twelve Annual Mulligans at your disposal.

 

This does not mean that our macro (the Euro) or micro (your piggy-bank) economic woes will disappear overnight. It also does not mean that this incessant political campaign and its participants will be quiet or retire to an asylum anytime soon. And, it is probable that, as we speak, another guardian of your money will be found to have “borrowed” a billion or so of client money and, so sorry, misplaced it.

 

mcd1Face it; once in a while, we are going to find ourselves in life’s rough, stuck in sand, or, my perennial least-favorite, making a total whiff! What’s done is done, what you forgot to do is forgotten. All we’re saying here is that you get to begin anew, whenever you choose, and you do not need to wait until next January to do so. In fact, you don’t even need to make a resolution that you know you will break. Simply sit or stand still, turn off your phone (this will not be fatal), take the proverbial deep breath and hit back into life’s fairway with renewed vigor and move right along to avoid getting struck in the limbs by someone else’s wayward shot.

A Mulligan a month. I’m guessing some of us could already use one.

 

If that doesn’t help, maybe this will.

 

A little over a year ago, I was driving back to Rye from Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Route 15 South. Coming around a bend, I glanced up to the right and saw a large billboard looming over the road, which read: 

 

mcdbuck

 

Not a bad idea, I thought, reading the message as if it were a roadside haiku, or even a brief prayer, and not just a warning.

 

Buckle Up Next Million Miles. We need to keep moving forward, but we need to pay attention to oncoming traffic, slippery surfaces, and the ones we love sitting next to us and in back.Make that two million.

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