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The Back Nine

Connie Michaelis, Lifestyle Consultant, The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

I love it when readers send me emails that pertain to issues on aging. There is so much written, and occasionally, there is a gem. Someone sent along an article that used the phrase “being on the back nine” as a metaphor for growing older. At first, I was put off; it sounded a little negative. But the more I thought about it, the better I liked it! Since the article didn’t elaborate on the meaning, I asked my husband, the golfer, to help me interpret the possible allegory. He came up with some good ones! Getting to the halfway point in a round of golf has lots of rewards. Often you stop for a snack and beverage to start the final nine holes; take a break and get your strength back. You have the opportunity to assess your front nine and figure out what you were doing well and what needs improvement. Most golfers report scores for the front and back separately as if they’re two different games. Perhaps the front nine was just a good warm-up for the best play!

The back nine is full of anticipation. Perhaps it’s more relaxed, yet more focused. I understand that’s the key to good golf – relaxed and focused at the same time. There isn’t a golf course of any stature that does not have a beautiful hole that approaches the clubhouse. The 18th hole celebration awaits the grand arrival at the finish. Of course, the winner is the one with the lowest number of strokes. Everyone wants to avoid strokes! As the foursome heads to the proverbial 19th hole, the winner might offer to buy a round of drinks for his companions. The back nine is a grand metaphor, and there are many parallels. Just as in life, the second half may be the best. The opportunity is there to make course corrections, focus on what is important, be more relaxed, celebrate with friends and have fun! Give us a call at The Piper, 913.400.7006, and we’ll talk a little golf!