If you have ever held a hose in your hand in just about any climate, you know that July can be tough. It comes with all kinds of abnormal life habits. It surely signifies the end of Spring and the warm swampass revelation that Summer is actually here. You are now going to bed when it is light. Getting up when it is dark. Dressing quietly and slipping out of the house, apartment, tent or teepee trying not to wake anyone else up. A 3 or a 4 still on the clock. The neighbors hate you as you start your vehicle within earshot of the open windows of their bedroom, turn on the tunes and try to escape before they launch their eggs at you. July.
Into work you go. The eyes coming in the door behind you are bleary, like yours. You wonder how much, if any, sleep they got, particularly on a weekend morning. You become the human Breathalyzer for the usual suspects. And if the air doesn't seem flammable you hand them anywhere between $2,000 and $50,000 worth of gear and send them out into the early morning, usually with headlights.
There's a club event today. The Whatever Cup, or Medal Round or Invitational. It's meaningless. And yet it is everything. Mr. Willerford Ballpicker is on the phone to you before sunrise. "Did you remember to paint the zigzag line up the 15th fairway and the clown face on the 7th green?" You assure him it was done last night before you left. But did your assistant and intern actually handle it? Blood runs cold and you jump on a cart to make sure. It's all good. The clown is a masterpiece.
There's a club event today. The Whatever Cup, or Medal Round or Invitational. It's meaningless. And yet it is everything...
I've never been one of those people trying to tell the world that our business is tougher than any other. Doing our business well is just like anything else. It requires a great amount of dedication and technical know-how. My friend the police officer deals with all kinds of life and health threats in his 10 hour shift. I can't imagine how that must feel. And he probably laughs when I talk about dead grass, or failed irrigation. I get it. Making those kinds of comparisons is akin to stacking deck chairs on the Titanic. Pointless.
But if you have ever had July moments when it all goes wrong, it sure feels like the end. Or at least a version of it.
I asked the "How are you doing?" question on the TurfNet Forum the other day, and it has created some good discussion. More to come, I am sure. And one of the respondents was pretty clear about supers not usually being happy. Or at least he questioned the definition of happy. Good point. I don't remember being happy in July. Ever. As a grass grower, it was just hard work. As a consultant, it's about a lot of hard work. Key phrase: Hard Work. Even the supers who have figured out the work-life balance thing know that if you fall asleep at the wheel in July, it can be costly. July.
Even the supers who have figured out the work-life balance thing know that if you fall asleep at the wheel in July, it can be costly.
From our discussion on the TurfNet Forum, a couple gems have come. Sleep. No matter what. Sleep. And eat. Eat well. And exercise, somehow. A few of us use the simple kettlebell routine that Chris Tritabaugh talks about in one of the best blog posts I have read from him. Even my old broken body is benefiting from this kind of movement.
August will come. I know this. And then September. It is what it is in July. Fighting it, being miserable because of it and all that can lead you down a bad path. And so, I have to say this. If things seem to be going fairly well and you still feel like the world is caving in, it may be time to get some professional help about that. I've talked about this plenty before. There is no shame in seeking help before something bad happens. And for sure, if your perspective is wrong, all you are going to do is swing at high pitches. That's bad. The unforced error of that way can lead to some pretty bad stuff.
Eat well. Sleep as much as you can. Balance the integration of work and life. Exercise. Meditate or find meditation type activity. Be spiritual. Be realistic with yourself and those around you. The New July? Sure.
And before you know it. July is gone with the wind. Gone like the Clown Face on that green.