Do-Over, by Rich Paschall
In golf, it is called a Mulligan. That is when you get to take a bad shot over. Perhaps you shot the ball deep into the woods or it landed in water. You made a mistake. You call it a “Mulligan.” You can only do this in a friendly game. Not one will let you get away with that if you are playing for anything, like a prize — or money.
Friendly games may be a reason to bend the rules a little. After all, you and your friends may not want to search the woods for your lost golf ball. You may also resist the temptation to fish a ball out of the water. “Mulligan” will be your friend in time of need, but only if you are playing for fun. Usually, you will ask if it is okay. There once was an orange golfer who took many Mulligans without even asking, but I digress.
Sometimes we get the opportunity in life to do something over. Your teacher may have called you out when you were little for doing a bad job on an assignment. “If you don’t want a bad grade, I will give you the chance to do this over.” How many students were saved by understanding teachers?
Life is not always that way, of course. You do not always get the chance to do things over. Your boss at work may not be so forgiving. If you screw up a project on the job, you may get the opportunity to do it again. On the other hand, you may get invited to take your talents elsewhere.
Artistic endeavors may often give you the chance to do something over. If I write a truly awful short story, let’s say, I can usually just start again or employ major rewrites. If something slips through, Marilyn can send it back to “do-over land.” The days of her fixing my errors have ended, methinks, and I must do over my mistakes.
If you sit down to draw your local landscape and it does not come out the way you want, you can sit down tomorrow and start over. Some things are perfect for do-overs. Other stuff isn’t.
Relationships don’t always fall into the category of a do-over. In fact, you may not want to start again with a previous mate. It works for a few people, but most folks shy away from starting again with the same mate.
When you look back on your life, you will see many things you wish you could have done again. Since there are no mulligans in life, many find their past full of regrets. If you had it to do over, would you spend less time at work? Would you make more time for family? For travel? For adventure?
Many do not take the opportunity to call for a “Mulligan” even when Mr. Mulligan is standing right next to them.
Seize the chance. Start again.
Recently I mentioned that I wanted to take the opportunity at least one more time to visit my friends in France. The question was “To Travel Or Not To Travel.” It’s a serious issue in this era of global pandemic. I found I needed far more planning than I normally required. I detailed the new obstacles I faced when I asked “So You Want To Travel?“
I was unsuccessful planning the trip in what would have been enough time in earlier year, so I decided to call for a Mulligan. I looked at all the problems that made my first effort a failure and decided on a do-over.
“A new attempt or opportunity to do something after a previous attempt has been unnsuccessful or unsatisfactory. – Merriam-Webster”
My French health Pass arrived. My German entry papers are filed. My ticket is ready. Since I am not an “immunized” football player, I even found the time for the all-important COVID-19 booster shot.
My friends have planned all the things we have not done on any of my previous visits. This isn’t s a “do-over.” It’s a new adventure. The trip planning needed a do-over. but the vacation will be fine.
Frank Sinatra had a number of “do-overs” in his long career. This song was adapted by Paul Anka and Sammy Cahn. Perhaps if I am going to France, I need this version: