Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to let go. I took up golf more than 25 years ago – mostly so my husband wouldn’t have an excuse to go out for hours at a time without me! Since we both worked full time and had two kids to raise, we only played on the weekends. So it took a long, long time for me to get any good at the game. When we retired and moved to a golf course community in the country, golf became an important focus in our lives. We both played at least 3-4 times a week, I served as captain of our ladies club for four years and my handicap dropped to a 15 – meaning I was a better than average golfer. That all changed when I slipped (on the golf course) while taking pictures during a (very rare for here) snowfall. I broke my left ankle in the worst possible place, requiring surgery to insert a plate and screws. If you’re interested, you can read about that day on my 2009 photo blog. Due to the location of the break, recovery was quite long and I still have trouble trouble walking down stairs or on uneven ground. Which is not at all conducive to playing golf – especially when the course you live on is in the rolling hills of the Sierra Nevada. I’m not at all a natural athlete and I had to work very hard to become a “good” golfer. One day you sink every putt; the next you couldn’t find the hole with your car’s satellite navigation. You have a good round, think you’ve moved forward, then the next round comes along and its as if you’ve completely forgotten how to play. As with many other things in life, it takes constant practice to hone and then retain your skill level -something it is now hard for me to do. But, if I hadn’t broken my ankle – and therefore had lots of time to learn digital design, which led me to art journaling and mixed media art – I probably wouldn’t have started this unexpected journey. Although it has been frustrating trying to recapture what I once had, art journaling has taught me to be less critical of myself and that is spilling over to other areas of my life. Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to let go. I followed a really bad round of golf last week with a really good round later in the week and then had the urge to do a journal page about it. My idea was to represent our green, green course, the “pin” or “flag” on one of the holes and the glorious (not too hot) weather we had that day. The finished product is a very literal translation of my vision and I was hyperventilating a little bit while trying to draw a flag (ok, old “perfectionist” tendencies die hard) but when I look at it, I feel satisfied I accomplished my goal. As I was describing the page to a friend I noticed – for the first time – that the “pin” looks like a white flag of surrender. Hmmm …. Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to let go. Golf is not a game of perfect and neither is art. And I’m finding that I’m ok with that. See what happens, when you journal it out? Tell me, have you ever completed an art piece and discovered something there you didn’t expect to see?