President's Message Jun/Jul 2019

By Travis Olson

Have you ever tried to just enjoy something simple, even as simple as cutting the carrots? As we head into the dog days of summer, we should try to take some time to enjoy the ride.

It’s too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting things done. Stressing about playing conditions, weather, staff, bosses; the list goes on and on. Summer is a busy time for anyone growing grass, and sometimes we let it take us away from the things that really matter.

It’s important to take a moment every now and then to pause and take it all in, and to pay attention to the little things; the colours of a morning sunrise, the sound of the birds chirping and wind rushing through the trees.  We should stop to appreciate the things we miss when we have the pedal to the metal, working to stay ahead of golfers, or finish before the next user group takes the field. These moments should be pretty easy for us to find, as working outdoors affords us this great luxury that many other professions do not have. It only takes a few seconds to stop and just enjoy the simple things.

With the constant pressure and stress, the dog days of summer can really take their toll on our mental health. Working in the natural environment provides the added stress of being at the mercy of mother nature. Thunderstorms, summer heat, and drought all affect our daily life. And of course, expectations that great playing conditions are maintained through all of these challenges just adds to our dilemma. By the time we reach the end of the season, we are usually burned out, exhausted, irritable, and maybe feeling a little bit nutty. 

Having a strong work ethic is a great quality. Working hard, working late, getting the job done; it feels good... at least until the next problem pops up and we start all over again. For some people it can become an addiction. Workaholics are easy to come by in our profession.

It’s important to remember that as we spend more time at work, we spend less time with our family and friends both physically and mentally. Sometimes, even though we are present physically, our brain is still at work.  We go through the motions, and sometimes we are not totally present for those people who matter to us. 

This summer, let’s try to focus on taking those moments to just enjoy the little things and appreciate this great lifestyle we have and the benefits of having a career in turf. Instead of staying late at work, go home and re-visit the task the next day.  Spend more time with loved ones, and try to live a little more in the moment. Life is a ride we only get to take once, so why don't we try to just enjoy cutting the carrots… or in our case, cutting the grass!