The things you loved doing as a kid will replenish you now, too.

Replenish Yourself Now with the Activities You Loved as a Kid

Sometimes the best—and easiest—way to replenish yourself as an introvert is to go back to when you were 10 and do what you did back then.

When I was in fifth grade I 
got started playing golf by taking a free summer class at my school.

Our instructor, Mr. Hatlen, bravely introduced us to the basics of grip and stance and swing, then stood at a sensible distance as we hacked away a fair chunk of the turf—and occasionally of each other—at Rossman Elementary.

I was hooked on the game instantly.

And soon, seeing where I was headed and wanting to stay acquainted with me, my parents started playing golf too. So did my siblings.

Before long, we were all regulars at Maple Hills Golf Club near my hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It was the only place where we could play relatively inexpensively, which was important in our household since money was tight.

We bought the golf clubs and bags we needed for next to nothing from the plentiful summer rummage sales in our area.

But we never bought golf balls.

We didn’t need to.

Because as we quickly discovered, hitting your ball into the woods at Maple Hills was at least as much fun as trying to keep your ball out of them.

On Safari

In those woods lay the mother lode: dozens of golf balls, sitting there like colorful eggs—minus the protective hens—just waiting to be found and picked.

Once we were aware of this bounty, we didn’t even need to hit our balls into the woods. We’d just routinely stop about 225 yards off the tee of hole No. 6, abandon our stuff on the left-hand side of the fairway, and dive into the thicket, ticks and poison ivy and barbed-wire fencing be damned.

Our safaris were not brief.

We’d spend 10 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour or more harvesting golf balls, shouting gleefully about our finds as we went.

If other golfers came up behind us, we let them play through. We were busy.

Some people are Dumpster divers.

We were Titleist stalkers.

The Harvest Resumes

That was 45 years ago.

But the other day, on Thanksgiving afternoon, I was back at it again, seeking to replenish myself.

My family and I live just down the street from The Meadows, a low-key public golf course here in Moorhead, Minnesota. It’s a two-minute walk for me to get to one of its greens, where in the summer I will often decompress from the day’s activities by sneaking on to the 14th green to practice putting at dusk.

Come Thanksgiving Day in Moorhead, though, we no longer have that luxury.

What we do have, usually, is at least a thin layer of snow on the ground. And even when we don’t, as was the case this year, the greens at The Meadows are by then covered with tarps, since the course is closed for the season.

Closed, however, doesn’t mean 

Childhood passions aren’t inaccessible either.

Let an Old Friend Replenish You

And so, wanting to digest both my morning brunch and my ever-swirling thoughts, I walked to The Meadows Thanksgiving afternoon and went Titleist hunting.

I soaked in the sights, the sounds, 
and the smells as I meandered around the course, eyes down, combing through the tall grasses, scouring the edges of the half-frozen marshes, trudging through the adjacent farm field.

When it was over, I’d found 42 golf balls.

Even better, I’d reconnected with an old friend—a restorative activity that has been feeding my introverted soul since 1978.

Can there be a more fitting—and filling—Thanksgiving Day dessert?

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