Monday, August 24, 2009

What a difference a year makes Part 2

I know it lacks a little creativity, but I like the title of "What a difference a year makes?" for this post as well.

It has been about a year since my last post and there have been some major changes that have taken place--AGAIN!!!

Last year Lesli and I were separated in different states with no plans to get back together. Last year we were going through a tough time together and we were doing things to protect ourselves from being hurt. Last year we were unhappy with the direction our lives were going.

We were keeping in touch and seeing each other when she came down to teach her classes. I started to realize how much I missed having her in my life, but I didn't know how to get her back in my life because she was in Utah and I was still in Arizona.

In stepped fate...

I got laid off from the home equity department at Chase in December, and I realized that there was nothing keeping me in Arizona except for the year round golfing weather. I love golf, but I don't need golf and golf doesn't love me. I love Lesli way more than golf and I need her love more than anything. It wasn't even a tough decision for me to move to Utah once we decided to give it another shot. The hardest part for me was leaving 75 degree weather in January and going to where it was 5 degrees. I was not prepared for that!!!

Seven months later we are INCREDIBLY HAPPY!!! We were able to buy a townhouse so we have a place to call home. We have been able to spend quality time with the grandchildren (and our children too.)

I realize how much I love her and at how lucky I am to be 'her best guy'! She is so good for me in so many ways! I appreciate her and her love. We are in this for the 'long haul' and I look forward to the ride. Thanks Lesli for loving me!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What a difference a year makes...

I had some down time today so I decided to go back and read my blogs. I am amazed at the things I wrote about Lesli and me and how I felt last year. Everything I wrote about her and how wonderful she is is true. In many ways she is the most amazing person I know.

Something happened in the last year to change the dynamic in our relationship. After being many people's version of the ideal couple for so long, something changed. We went from being truly happy with everything the other person did to not feeling appreciated, respected or loved. I don't know why it changed or how it changed. It just did. I swear if I could pinpoint what it was that changed, or how to fix it I would.

She was my everything, and I hers! How can you go from that situation to being separated in different states with no plan to get back together??? I wish I knew! We text regularly, and talk from time to time. She says that she is happy and is happy not to feel the pain she has been going through. I tell her I miss her.

She is in Utah being grandma and being with her kids and loving it. I am here going through the motions and missing her. I know it was my decision that put us in this position, so I have no one to blame but myself for that. That doesn't mean I have to like it, and I don't.

I just want to say that I am sorry to all of the ladies who know and love Lesli and who miss her, or will miss her. I know she is coming back to teach her classes each month, but it is not the same. I know my decision is what caused her to look at moving back to Utah to be closer to her grandkids and kids. The only reason she stayed in Arizona for so long is because I like it here and don't want to move to Utah for various reasons. Otherwise, she would have moved sooner so you can thank me for that.

Be sure to get your Lesli fix when she comes each month to keep you going until the next month because we all miss her.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Almost ready for the Senior PGA Tour...

As I was getting ready to retire from the Navy 5 years ago, I had this plan to practice and get ready to go on the Senior PGA Tour when I turned 50. I had been playing a lot and had done well in some local tournaments. I hit the ball as well as anyone, but I didn't have the consistency and tournament experience. I thought if I practiced more and played more tournaments that I could give it a shot although I knew it was a long shot.

In reality, I probably don't have the talent to begin with, and I never practiced like I should have if that was really my dream. You can't just go from not playing any tournaments to playing against guys who have been competing their whole lives. These guys have had people giving them everything from custom fit clubs and equipment to lessons, and have done nothing but play golf their whole lives.

If you look at my profile, you will notice my favorite book is called, "Miracle on the 17th Green." It is a story about a 50 year old man who really doesn't like his job, is having marital problems due to 2 people going their own directions. On Christmas day, in Chicago, he is playing golf alone and all of a sudden he can see the line that he needs to aim to make every putt. He has been a pretty good golfer, but with this new ability to see where he has to hit the putt to make it his confidence grows. He had been toying with the idea to try out for the senior tour before this happened. Now he knows he has to try. Coincidentally, after Christmas he gets laid off from his job, and he sends his money in to go to Q school to try and qualify for the Senior PGA tour.

I would guess that most golfers who have competed and have had some success have had the dream to play golf professionally. I know that I have. I made poor choices in my youth that derailed my chances to get a golf scholarship which was the next step for me. I played with many guys who went on to play golf professionally, and with better choices on my part and a break or two, I might have played professionally as well.

That is why the lure of the senior tour was always in the back of my mind. The problem is that I didn't do the things I needed to do to be ready for it. Life got in the way. It is like that for a lot of us when it comes to the goals we have. We don't do what we need to do to accomplish them, or maybe life just gets in the way. Either way we don't accomplish our goals, or something that we want stays beyond our reach and we miss out. Instead of looking back with regret or sadness, we should look at what we want for the future and focus on it. Make a plan on how you are going to achieve it and make achieving it a priority. Don't let life get in the way if it is something that will make you a better person or make you happy.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lesli leaving Scrapbooks Etc...

It has been a while since I have posted anything, and it is because life has sped up a bit. At least it seems that way to me. Lesli has quit working at Scrapbooks Etc as an employee, but is still teaching her classes. Quitting her job there was the hardest decision she has had to make in a long time because she has worked there for 8 years, starting as an employee, then was the manager and went back to an employee when her class took off.

As anyone who has ever shopped there knows, Lesli made that store what it is. People would come to the store sometimes just to see Lesli and to get that good feeling that she provides. When a customer thinks that you are the owner of the store because of the customer service, that is the highest compliment an employee can get. She was always front and center knowing customer's names and being involved in their lives. She has the ability to make new friends and make her friends feel like they are her best friend.

As the manager she hired many of the employees who provide similar customer service, and she also discovered and encouraged many of the teachers who have taught there and elsewhere. She was fiercely loyal to the owner when people would try and hire her away. She turned down lucrative offers to work for someone who was opening a scrapbook store.

Now she has the opportunity to use her many talents in a new position that she feels will provide new rewards and growth, so she put in her 2 weeks notice.

So, what does an employer do when "an institution" gives her 2 week notice??? It might surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What's up with this???

OK. I know we all love Lesli. She brings joy into the lives of people who know her because she cares about them. She has a beautiful smile and bright and bubbly personality that rubs off on you. I get that. (Actually, I've got that.) When I comment about her and how much I love her and how lucky I am to be her guy, I get more comments than when I blog about golf or crazy ideas that I have.

She definately leads an interesting life, and I am happy to be her sidekick in life and ride her coattails. The ride has been awesome so far and I know it is only going to get better. The comments that I make about partners and putting the time in to make things better all relate to what I try to do with my relationship with Lesli. I don't always succeed at being a good husband and I don't always succeed at being the best Steveo, but I know I always love her and will always keep trying.

Life is good. I didn't always feel that way, but since Lesli has come back into my life I can honestly say that life is, make that GREAT!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Golf is like life

I played in my monthly Chase golf tournament last weekend and did about as good as I usually do. I have been pretty busy this summer and really haven't been able to play or practice, so my game is pretty rusty when I play in these tournaments, so my score reflects it.

This is a lot like life. If we don't put the time or energy into the things that are important to us, we can't expect to have good results. Sometimes, we may get lucky or we may have a lot of talent which can get us by once in a while, but usually you get what you earn. You have to practice to be good at anything you want to do. This investment of time is proportionally rewarded with your score, but it has to be quality time and practice. You need to practice with a purpose and not just hit balls. Have a goal in mind that you want to accomplish each time you practice. There is an old phrase that goes, "The more I practice, the luckier I get."

In life, like golf, to have a good relationship you have to put quality time into it. You can't just show up and expect everything to happen just like you want. You will struggle to make things work, wishing you would have put the time in. Again, it has to be quality time and not just showing up and going through the motions.

We all go through the motions from time to time, but in order to improve we need to put quality time and effort into whatever is important to us. Otherwise, we won't get as lucky. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Searching for a golf partner

Finding a golfing partner is almost as hard as finding life partner-at least it has been for me. I have had a few guys that I would consider my golfing partners over the years. These are guys who are available at the drop of a hat to go play a round of golf, guys who think of asking you when they have a special golf event, or when they need a partner for a team event. The problem is that circumstances change and people move away, and it seems like I am always looking for a golf partner.

Here are my guidelines when looking for a golf partner: (They are similar to what you would look for in a life partner.)

1. A passion for the game. This means that they have to be thinking about playing golf even when they are not playing just like you need to be thinking of your partner when you are not with them. They set up a time to play again as soon as possible just like you would set up a date with someone important.

2. Similar schedules to facilitate getting together as much as possible. Need I say more.

3. Sense of humor. In golf, like life we have to be able to laugh at ourselves and at others.

4. Complimentary personality. I look at this 2 ways. First, you need to have similar personalities to get along, but I also feel that you need to look for things that you can complement your partner on-then do it! Sometimes it is hard to get the focus off of yourself, but when you do the partnership is better.

5. Tempered competiveness. It is ok to be competive with your partner, but when the game is done always shake hands and say nice game. Remember, it is just a game and just like with your partner, it is a small thing in the grand scheme of things. Although I once heard the quote, "Golf is not just a game, it is much more important than that."

6. Honesty. Golf is the only game where you call penalties on yourself because sometimes you are the only one who sees it. Nothing is worse than playing with someone who tries to cheat by moving his ball or saying he got a lower score than what he actually got. The same is obviously true about your relationship with your spouse. If you screw up, admit it and call a penalty on yourself and apologize.

7. Have fun. It may sound like a simple and easy request, but if you have seen some golfers you will know what I mean. They get angry at the littlest things and swear or throw clubs and it can ruin a perfectly good day. If you didn't hit bad shots, you would be playing with Tiger and Phil and the boys not in Mesa, AZ. In a relationship, sometimes you just have to get over yourself and be glad that you have someone who loves you and puts up with your faults.

8. Being humble about their accomplishments and not bragging about how good they are, and willing teach to try to make the other person better.

9. Work hard and don't give up no matter how bad you are playing. It is no fun for anybody if you are just going through the motions while your partner is trying hard. They can't enjoy the game when they see that you don't care.

10. Be willing to give and take. It doesn't always have to be the same person calling to make a tee time or choosing where and when you play. Both sides need to be involved in making the choices of the partnership.

Nowhere in my list of qualities that I want in a golfing partner is there a requirement that they have to be as good as you, or better than you or worse than you. The same is true about your life partner. It doesn't matter what they look like as long as they have the other qualities on the list. If they don't maybe you need to show them how to be a good partner. I know that if you try to be a good partner, it is easier to find a partner that is willing to be a good partner too.

Play golf!!!