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Pick a pattern...

Paul MacCormack

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As superintendents we are very familiar with patterns. They affect our jobs in a great many ways. We fine tune mowing patterns on a daily basis. We keep schedules and time clocks to maintain the work patterns for our teams. And we keep meticulous records of all of our comings and goings in order to recognize flaws in the pattern in order to make any necessary corrections to keep our operations running smoothly.

One pattern we tend to follow more than any other, some would day even religiously, is the weather. Over the years many Greenkeepers develop what could be deemed a sixth sense in the ability to predict the weather. With the amount of weather watching that we do this shouldn’t be surprising. Weather affects just about everything we do in our profession. 

As the climate continues to shift and change right under our noses, the weather of our younger years now seems a distant memory. Weather patterns are becoming less and less predictable. Whole seasons have shifted by weeks or even months and there has been an increase in catastrophic weather events. 

In addition to weather shifts, this past year has also been one of great volatility and instability when it comes to our societal patterns. 

Things once held as sacrosanct have proven unstable and unreliable. Our systems of governance, economics and culture at large have struggled under the weight of the pandemic and new models of operation have seemingly sprung up overnight. This massive change has left a great many people feeling unsure of many things they once took for granted. 

This massive change has left a great many people feeling unsure of many things they once took for granted. 

With this disruption comes a unique opportunity for not only society as a whole, but also for us as individuals. It’s given us an unprecedented chance to step back and look at the patterns that govern our own lives and begin to get curious about them. Our habits, our defaults, our stories about how things are all come into question when we go through major events. 

When we look at our journey as a whole rather than just what we had for lunch yesterday, are there any observable patterns? If we pause and look at how our own life has unfolded, can we see patterns that have led both to success and difficulty?

These are fascinating questions to ask ourselves, and if approached with kindness and curiosity, we might be interested to see what arises in response. If we can observe the mosaic of our lives, see patterns of behaviour that have worked against us in some way, we can work to ensure that we don’t repeat them again. 

We might also see that some of this behaviour was completely beyond our control; a simple by-product of our upbringing and cultural influences or any traumas we might have endured. Once we can bring these patterns into our conscious awareness, we can see them for what they are and make peace with them.  

...when we realize that nothing is permanent, we have the power to recognize and change long held patterns in our lives with greater ease. 

Patterns often times repeat themselves until something comes along to disrupt the chain of events. The disruption can be something huge like a global pandemic or more minor such as a curious question asked of oneself while sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunset. Either way, when we realize that nothing is permanent, we have the power to recognize and change long held patterns in our lives with greater ease. 

Wishing you the great gift of pausing with the questions and breathing with the answers.

Thanks for reading!

Be well,
Paul

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