Doing What You Love Can Reduce Stress

It’s High School Girls Golf season. Which means, if there is a tournament, I’m walking the course following my youngest daughter. I love doing it, no matter how she plays. The time I spend on the golf course, silently walking behind her, is such a gift I am truly grateful for. I never feel stress walking and watching.

When my oldest daughter was in High School and played golf, I was a stay-at-home Mom, and I was sick. I followed and walked and loved every minute (well not so much the ones in the sleety, snowy, cold wind of Spring golf in Colorado) I was grateful I had and made the time to watch.

My two daughters before a round of golf last spring

My two daughters before a round of golf last spring

There is an eight year age difference between my daughters. My sons don’t play golf. Within those eight years, when my oldest daughter was in High School, and now when my youngest is, my whole world changed. I am now healthy, and I now run three companies. In order for me to enjoy life in the moment, I find ways to do what I love. I still walk the golf course following my daughter watching her play.

How do I make that happen? How do I take the time?

I do it because it matters to me.  

It’s living a full spectrum life of health, relationships, our vocation, and time & money freedom. Doing what we love in all areas of our life.

Walking the course, watching my daughter is about so much more than golf. I watch her encourage her fellow competitors, always. I see her true happiness when someone else hits a good shot or has a personal best score. I watch her dig deep within herself when she is struggling with an aspect of her game. I witness her integrity as she honestly counts every stroke. I hear the praise of almost every coach on the course on the beauty and fluidity of her swing and her humility as she accepts the compliments. Seeing her smile, when she hits a great shot, is etched into my mind and I experience pure joy.

I would feel I was ignoring something important to me if I didn’t figure out how to watch my daughter play golf and walk behind her. Now I know, you have patients during regular office hours. I get that. I, too, work during regular business hours. Yes, I also occasionally work evenings and maybe a few hours on a Saturday. Here’s the point: I don’t get to choose when her golf tournaments are, and I’ll never get this time back with her.

So as a dentist, how do you make time for what matters to you? You schedule it first on your calendar. As soon as you are aware of something you enjoy doing, put it on your calendar, then arrange your schedule around it.

Let me give you real life examples.

  • In order to attend a wedding, you will need to travel on a Friday. Mark that off of your calendar, and either work a regularly scheduled day you don’t typically see patients (Wednesdays) or decide it’s just another day off.
  • You want to attend Opening Day for baseball (I know it’s already passed), you mark it off on your calendar so no patients can be scheduled, and maybe work an extra day or just take an additional day.
  • You would like to join a bicycle club, which rides weekly for four months, and they leave town at 4p. You can schedule your day to begin earlier on that day, during those four months, to make up for the early departure from the office.
  • You want to attend your son’s football games, yet sometimes they are three hours away on a Friday night. You can decide to see patients early a couple of mornings a week, during football season, so that you are available to travel to watch your son.
  • You decide that skiing mid-week is so enjoyable, and far fewer people are on the slopes, that you arrange your schedule so that for the months of powder, you have work a little less. You believe that you can work efficiently while at the office and that your production never suffers.
  • In order to attend a favorite concert, you will begin working an hour later the following day, and your production doesn’t suffer.

You get the picture. You can attend and be part of life that matters to you. You don’t put it off, until . . . Decide in advance that it will all work out.

Figuring out how to enjoy life NOW will be worth every effort you make. Don’t put off enjoying this life; don’t delay. We don’t get time back. You will experience less stress when you sprinkle some fun into your daily life.

I post some great pictures on the golf course and other aspects of my life on my Instagram account. You can check them out here @deannalrobinson.