Wherever we are… by Sue Haswell

Wherever we are – that’s where the happy is (or not)

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a glorious few days in St Andrews. I was there for our daughter’s graduation, but it would have been rude not to take in some of the sights too.

So, on one of our free mornings, we took a walk across to St Andrews’ Old Course – the hallowed home of golf.

Whilst enjoying a delicious coffee in the Golf Course museum café (yes, it was so posh it had its own museum – and guess what the museum shops sell?  Correct – a whole lot of golf balls).  Anyway I digress.  Whilst enjoying that hot and beautifully brewed cappuccino, I was overlooking the course and watching the golfers.

After a while a few golfers came into the café and started talking about how they would love to play that course, and how it would be such an amazing experience. A few of them were quite morose – they had never managed to play it. (Apparently, it’s not easy to get to play the course it not only costs you a lot of money, but they also draw lots for who gets on it – so a magic combination of luck and money is required here.)   But these non-playing golfers were enjoying amazing views of the course, a delicious coffee AND they were in the warm.  Lots to be pleased about you’d think!

It struck me that the golfers who were playing on the course, may well have been in their element, having looked forward to their round for months if not years.  And those who were not playing were feeling rather sad and forlorn.  And yet – IT WAS JUST GRASS!!!!    The hallowed St Andrews grass, was only grass.  Yes, of course there’s history and all sorts attached to the area, and yes the buildings and sea views were magnificent.  But there are other areas of coast.  There are other patches of grass.  And yet, this grass seemed to have some incredible ability to change people’s moods.

Obviously this is all an entirely emotional thing.  It’s not easy to break free of the emotions that drive us, and when they are good emotions, why should we?  But if we are suffering from the feeling of “no money, no luck” because we weren’t picked for a St Andrews birdie (or even if we just had plenty of money, but no luck) then perhaps we need to look inside ourselves.

Because playing the game you love on any piece of grass, is better than sulking about it in a café.

And it may be more fun to cultivate your own piece of grass where you can play golf any day, despite the weather – because  it can be cold and wet on that Scottish coastline.   But best of all –  your own personal piece of grass won’t have the ability to make you feel anything other than proud of it.  Because you grew it, and cared for it, and you can play on it any time you like.

I’m not a golfer (can’t you tell?) but this entire experience made me realise how important it is for people to take responsibility for our own emotions.  Many people think we cannot control our emotions, but experience shows me we certainly can.  Laughter Yoga is such a fabulous tool for supporting our positivity and had I been around in St Andrews any longer, I’d have suggested to the café owner that we could run a few sessions.

As it was, we started to chat to these golfers. They cheered up.  The café owner came across.  My daughter turned up – beaming with just-graduated-smiles, and the café-owner decided to surprise her with a bottle of prosecco to congratulate her.  Seems sometimes you don’t need money, nor luck… just a smile and a sense of joy about life.

© Sue Haswell.

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