Casey Grisez

November 9, 2022

Sticky Notes Lesson #7 - Metaphorically Speaking

I signed up for a month-long, email-based writing course from Cole Schafer of Sticky Notes, Honey Copy, and Chasing Hemingway fame.

He sends a lesson and prompt every day. I have 10 minutes to read and consider the prompt, 40 minutes to write, and 10 minutes to edit before posting publicly.

I’m posting here to not drown my Casey's Notes content. On to day 7...


I've played golf for 27 years. That's one hell of a realization given the state of my game...

Anyway, in every range session or round in those 27 years, there is at least one perfect swing, one atrocious swing, and a bunch of swings somewhere in between.

As a golfer, it's what keeps you coming back. You never know what a round will bring. Like Michael Jordan's infamous "flu game" in the 1997 Finals, you may feel terrible and play great. Or feel great and play terribly.

Even within a round, you can put a flawless swing on a ball and have it end up in the water. You may make an awful swing, get lucky, and end up with a birdie putt.

There are so many variables to golf. Variables specific to the golfer like grip, stance, and swing path, and physical variables like wind, slopes on the ground, and wildlife (I've seen a ball hit a goose and go in the water).

Today's writing prompt is to use a hobby, activity, craft, or vocation to create a metaphor for something ordinary. I can't think of a better metaphor for life than golf.

In life, we can do everything right and still not be where we want. One of my best friends has multiple masters degrees and has made all the right career moves, but he's still searching for right job and the right city to live in to be happy.

It's a lot like making a perfect swing, getting a gust of wind, and ending up in the water.

There are also people who seem to make all the wrong decisions -- get in trouble, lie, cheat, and steal -- and somehow make it. I know a guy who spent a lot of time stumbling through life (often literally). He was at a bar with a buddy one weekday afternoon and got a warm beer. The bartender told him she had no way to know whether a keg was warm or cold. The outside temperature of the keg tells you nothing about the temperature of the beer.

He went on to source a sticker that goes on the outside of kegs and can tell whether the beer inside is warm or cold. The stickers sell for about a nickel each and he sells them by the thousands.

It's a lot like hitting a terrible shot but getting the right bounce in the fairway to end up on the green.

The most successful golfers understand how little they control on the course. They've learned to appreciate the good breaks and laugh at the bad ones.

Wouldn't it help all of us to do the same in life?