Oh kay, so the post-a-day thing hasn’t materialized so much yet. I am resisting the urge to apologize to my blog for not posting to it in so long. A regular schedule would make it easier, but regular schedules can be so overrated. If I had to be at work every day at 8AM, that wouldn’t allow time for things like breakfast out, sleeping in, or tackling remodeling-in-an-instant projects that change the course of a week.

I mentioned a little outing a while back, and there was miniature golf involved. I think I characterized the weekend as ‘boring’ – and I was chided both internally and externally for it. This was not the ‘I wish someone would entertain me since I’ve got not a stitch of creativity to keep my mind occupied’ boring – it was the kind of relaxed, emergency-free day off with total freedom to do nothing if we wanted to sort of boring. It was lovely, and I’d like to have another weekend like that.

minimill.jpg I’ve played mini-golf dozens, if not a score of times. It’s usually an enjoyable way to hang out with friends and spend most of an hour in the fresh air (although the fresh air is usually very close to a busy thoroughfare). Traditionally, the point of the game has been to win. And, traditionally, by the 6th hole I’ve had enough of mini golf with its mini pencils and mini scoresheets and mini astroturf-coated concrete greens and infuriatingly easy-to-miss shots.

This time, however, there was no score being kept. It seemed wrong at first; four of us taking turns knocking the ball down the course, seeing the same group passing us each way like we’re cruising the aisles in a grocery store in opposite directions, and nothing to show for it at the end. Who would get bragging rights? Who would be frustrated and know in smudgy writing and hasty math that they truly suck at something? By the end of the 2nd hole, I realized I was having way more fun than ever before at this game. We all knew who won the hole, cheered a little, and moved on. The game was fast and easy and there was no pressure whatsoever, and we were all still friends by the end of the game.

I couldn’t imagine playing ‘real’ golf, baseball, soccer, and so on without keeping score. There’s something valuable about pushing yourself to do your best in a measurable way. I’m not a fan of the ‘everybody’s a winner’ philosophy in kid-sports, since in real life results are rewarded. The effort it takes to improve, sharpen, and even master a skill can be costly, but can pay off richly. And, victories are a lot more fun if you’ve tasted some defeat. However, I discovered something about myself on that outing: If we’re playing for fun, there’s no need to keep score.