Twelve years ago, who woulda thunk that I’d know what a professional caddie had to say about anything? The Big Guy and his Sunday afternoon TV-watching habits have a lot to answer for.
Dave Musgrove caddied for Seve Ballesteros and Sandy Lyle when they won The Open (for my American readers, that’s the British Open; for my non-golfing readers, that’s referring to two different years, The Open not being like a doubles match in tennis). So Dave’s opinion of what it takes to be a caddie, quoted in the title of this blog, should carry some weight.
Now they have to show up, keep up, wear the right clothes, say the right things, know more about the course than the original architect, and more about their player’s swing than the man hitting the ball.
But if Dave’s credo won’t necessarily be right for today’s caddies, maybe it can help me. I find that I’m more open to new ideas at this time of year than any other. Although there’s always the same amount of time in front of me, somehow the New Year always looms large and imposing, piled up in a great undigested lump. So I’m happy to have a little help, conventional or otherwise.
The first step, as always, is to see just where the ball lies: to assess how I’m doing now.
Showing up is all about being there as well as being there, if you see what I mean. As they say disparagingly of a professional athlete turning in a lacklustre performance, He just didn’t show up, tonight. Going through the motions isn’t good enough. I’m feeling OK about this one: I usually don’t know when to quit, so I think I’ve got this covered.
Whether it’s keeping up with technology or the work pace in my workplace, I’m in a bit of trouble here.
Our household ‘cell phone:people’ ratio of 1:2 puts us lower than Lebanon, in the company of North Korea, Cuba, and Ethiopia. And it’s not the Big Guy who’s the holdout. I’m what we might charitably call a late adopter of technology.
As a 60-something in the 30-something racket that is hard-deadline proposal work, I find that keeping up with long hours is beginning to strain. And, just as in Dave’s world, not keeping up is not an option.
Now, just a minute. Beaking off, whether in writing or in person, is one of my core competencies. This one could be more than a bit of trouble.
Show up, keep up, and shut up.
I’m guessing that Dave wouldn’t see my score of, say, one and a half outta three, as anything likely to win a major. How can I improve my score in the coming year?
I can start by keeping up where I can, I guess. I can’t turn back the clock to the vigour of my middle-age, but maybe I can work on projects with a pace more aligned with my new normal: the workplace equivalent of ‘goin’ where the weather suits my clothes.’ And in the year that cell phones are expected to outnumber people, I can at least buy one before every last Tanzanian does.
After that, maybe I can control my impulse to offer unsolicited advice or commentary in conversation. It’s ironic that even as I feel that I know more and more, other people seem less and less interested in hearing about it. Maybe this is just one of the curses of aging, or maybe folks never did care that much. In any event, just shutting up might be the smartest thing I do in a day. Or all year, for that matter.
Maybe there’s something to be said for the Big Guy’s Sunday afternoon TV-watching habits, after all.
PS Apropos of nothing, really, this is post #202. Neat, eh?