I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment. -- Henry David Thoreau
Last week I was fortunate enough to turn the big 4-0. Leading up to the day people asked how I felt about this milestone. My tongue and cheek response was usually the same, its better than the alternative. The line was said partly in jest, but in reality I secretly meant every word.
My lovely wife threw me a shindig with lots of our family and friends in attendance. It was a great party, with loads of food, drink, music and fun. I enjoyed every minute of it (until I woke up the next morning... ugh), but the truly special parts for me personally occurred when I snuck off to a corner to quietly observe the revelry and reflect on how lucky I was. Looking at all of those faces having fun sharing life together filled me with a deep sense of gratitude that has long outlasted the hangover.
In Western society we spend a lot of time worrying about what we don't have. Even as Greenkeepers, the comparison creep can leave us pining for the latest gadget or designer fertilizer. We sometimes look at other superintendents and think about how lucky they are to have all that they do, all the while focusing on the shortcomings of our own situation.
When we replace the habit of seeing what is missing with a sense of what we actually have in our lives, our happiness levels increase accordingly. It does not mean that we have to ignore things that are real problems and never work to make things better. Rather, by focusing on all of the blessings that we have, we can move through our lives with a deeper sense of satisfaction.
This week I am issuing a challenge to all of the TurfNetters out there. I want you to take a minute of each day for the upcoming week and write down just one thing that you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be about the course (although it can); it can really be about anything at all. You can focus on your family life, finances, health, your brand new fairway mowers, or even the fact that you have the best mechanic in the world. What you reflect on is not really important, but rather, its the act of being grateful that is the key.
So this weeks homework is to look at the glass as being half full. Just pause and look around you; there are plenty of things to see when you take the time to look. I am betting that you will even chuckle to yourself at some point once you've actually stopped and considered all of the amazing things this world has to offer.