How Back Pain Helped Me Order My Priorities

I’ve been tempted to get back to playing golf. But the last few times I played, back problems always followed. And not little aches and pains, but more like my hips jump out of alignment. It hurts to sit, stand and walk. Outside of golf, no pain at all.

My friends, Phil and Mark, asked me to play golf with them for the umpteenth time, so I agreed. I love this time together. I hadn’t played since October, and I’ve missed it.

Two days after playing, I woke up with crippling back pain. I am now recovering, but it has been two weeks with multiple visits to my chiropractor.

This week I had planned to go on a motorcycle ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was headed to Charlottesville. Kathy is in Europe with her mother and sister, and I was going to ride through the mountains without a thought in the world. It didn’t happen.

Instead, something much better happened.

Kathy told me to spend time with my children. I know. I know. You’re thinking, “How screwed up is this guy that he needs this advice?”

I slip into routines in which my life priorities get out of whack. This week has truly been revealing to me. I realized I spend more time with strangers talking about their lives and businesses than I do the lives and businesses of my own children. Now that is screwed up.

And I do the same thing with my friends.

So this week, I had dinner with my oldest son, David, and lunch with my daughter, Lisa. I visited with Lisa’s husband and got a tour of his internet sales business (pretty amazing). And my youngest son, Nick, came over to cook his dad dinner, and we watched an action movie.

I called my friend, Regi, to see if I could come over for a visit. He called back and told me he was going out of town. So instead, we had a thirty-minute relaxing, no agenda, catch up conversation.

I just put a call into my friend, Rusty, to see if he is available to get together. No business. Just hanging out.

After visiting with Rusty, I’ll drop by and see my daughter and grandchildren. She also has her in-laws in town. It will be good to visit.

I guess I need to play more golf to enjoy my friends. Endure the back pain which follows. Then I’ll be knocked off my routine and open to Kathy’s suggestions.

When that happens, I can do the right thing and enjoy the people who are near and dear to me.

Thanks, Kathy!

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