I am not much of a golfer, but I will admit that whenever I have gone to the driving range or played a round of golf, it is that one perfect “ping” sound that leads to a perfect shot that keeps me hooked. Talking to one of my married friends recently, he was lamenting about all of life’s complications, especially with all the economic pressures these days added on to the already difficult balancing act between work, family and friends. Jokingly he said, “it’s probably only really all good about 20% of the time, but boy do I live for that 20%.” That is exactly the right attitude to carry you through married life!
Married life is so complicated– you have two separate individuals, with different wants and needs, now trying to work together to build a home and family. We all have different triggers and cope with stress differently, but when you are under one roof, it is not so easy to walk away, find your own space, and get some alone time to decompress– especially when you have kids that demand your attention once you get home from work. But we are all so good at putting on appearances, that whenever you run into other couples you think their life is so perfect, and you wonder what they are doing right versus what you are doing wrong. Here’s an insiders tip: everything is NOT always as it appears.
Every couple has problems to deal with, some are just better at hiding them than others. It is one of life’s greatest ironies that the things that bringest the greatest joys: our work, family and friends, can also bring us the greatest pain. Why? Because when you care about someone or something, you actually open yourself up to being vulnerable. Things will not always work out 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time, but that doesn’t mean we give up on these three parts of our life– they are entirely what life is all about.
By no means am I suggesting that people should stay in bad relationships or put up with an unhealthy work environment. I think my track record shows that I have very little tolerance for that, but what I am proferring is that perhaps we all need to adjust our expectations– we do not live in an ideal world, and it is unrealistic to expect everything and everyone to be perfect 100% of the time. Maybe we would all be far more able to roll with life’s setbacks if we could embrace more of a golfer’s attitude and live for that 20% of the time when the stars actually align and all the competing elements in our life happen to be copasetic.