Halfway through

Today I’m turning 35. As the major italian poet, Dante, says in the Inferno beginning, this means being halfway through life, so this is a particular spot to rest, see what you’ve done so far and decide what to do for the remaining half. A nice time for propositions, considerations and afterthoughts. Most of them, of course, are private and won’t be shown and told here, but the first firm public proposition  is having, from now on, a smokeless life. Yes, I’m quitting: it won’t be easy but it’s long overdue, and I understand I really should care more about myself. In my ongoing quest for motivation, I managed to leverage my traditional homeland attitude of being money-savy: instead than spending money in something that I enjoy but hurts me, I’m going to spend the same amount (well, roughly) in something enjoyable but healthy, so today I’m going to start arranging for my future as a golfer.

See, I always wanted to play golf: I started as a young boy during a sport-oriented summer study vacation in a British college near Bournemouth. We were allowed to choose whatever sport we wanted to try, and I decided to give golf a try: when I came back to italy, though, I understood that it was way too costly for me to afford lessons, fees and equipment. A few years later, during another vacation (this time in Malaysia), I had a chance to get another few lessons and try my first course. I enjoyed it so much that I also managed to buy a set of clubs but, once back to Italy, I understood that my local  golf club was way too snobbish for me to enjoy the game fully: I really like the game the way Scottish shepherds did, while all the 19th hole fuss is really bugging me.

A few weeks ago, though, things changed again: at a customer site I found a very nice guy who, apart from being a competent programmer, is also a very good golfer. We started talking about golf and a few days later I was again with a club in my hand digging holes and sometimes hitting the ball as well in the nearby park during lunchtime. Meanwhile, I understood that the situation has changed in Italy, and there are now affordable (golfing is not more expensive than, say, skiing) and easy-going clubs and practice fields, one of which is really nearby to where I live and work. So, it’s time for a fresh start: I really want to see if I can trade tobacco for (putting green) grass. And I’m making it public so that, if you see me smoking again, you are allowed to insult me (unless, of course, I’ve quit golfing). Please note, though: Montecristo, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta are not part of this deal.