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An open letter to Dave Wilber...


Peter McCormick

6,771 views

Good blog post last week, Dave. Resonated with a lot of people (over 18,000 as I write this), and I'm sure it was therapeutic for you.

Dave, we need to talk.

As we get older we look back on our lives and tend to remember the defining moments: the first girlfriend, first car, first garage band, sports triumphs (and losses), graduations, jobs, marriage and divorce, kids, dogs, grandkids, granddogs, and yes -- the death of friends and loved ones. You get the picture.

In many ways our lives are like sine waves, the ups and downs of the defining moments hovering around and ultimately returning to neutral. Great things cause highs; shit happens and lows ensue.  Those of above-average intelligence (of which you are no doubt one) often have higher-amplitude highs and yes, lower lows.  More often than not, unfortunately, the highs are fleeting and the lows stick around.

In many ways our lives are like sine waves, the ups and downs of the defining moments hovering around and ultimately returning to neutral...

Really brilliant people -- the geniuses of history -- people like Lincoln, Churchill, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Dickens, Darwin, Newton, Tolstoy -- had lows so low that they qualified as mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder), madness or insanity.  Google it and you'll see.

You are one of the smartest turf guys I know.  Brilliant, for sure.  Genius?  I dunno, maybe.

So, the deep lows are to be almost expected; certainly no surprise. Not fun, but not unexpected.

I speak from experience, having been every place you have been recently.  Yep, every one. And I struggle to manage it every day.

One of the three triggers that pushed me off the emotional ledge almost 15 years ago was the death of my father. Ripped a hole in me that you could drive a truck through.  I got past it... but still think about him almost every day.  For better or worse, I see a lot of myself in my memories of him.

One way or another you've got to get yourself back to neutral.  Gotta let it go.  I remember a quote I heard in a movie years ago, when I was a teenager.  "Live for today and what comes next. Bury the dead and move on." That's harsh, but it's also sound, simple advice.

"Live for today and what comes next. Bury the dead and move on." That's harsh, but it's also sound, simple advice...

Dave, it's time. Time to climb out of the hole. If she could, your mother would be under you, giving your big arse a push up the ladder.

In one way, you have a clean slate in front of you -- a book of blank pages waiting to be written. Not everyone is that lucky. Drill down deep within yourself and decide what you REALLY want to do with the rest of your life.  I hope it's something to do with turf. It would be a shame to waste (and lose) all you have up there in that oft-troubled brilliant brain of yours.

You have the choice of where to live.  Stay in Colorado, go back to California or somewhere else. Technology continues to create opportunities to earn a living wherever you are.

You have a legion of loyal friends and followers, both former consulting customers of yours and TurfNet friends across the country. Ring them up and talk to them. I'm sure every one of them would enjoy a phone chat with you.

Visit with them. Go on tour for a bit and pick their brains.  Find out what they need, and then see how that aligns or crosses paths with what you have to offer.

Force yourself out of the house or home, wherever it is. Just as writing is therapeutic, so is face time with friends.  Get yourself to GIS next month. Hold court at Beer & Pretzels. Visit with people on the show floor. I can almost guarantee that you'll come home with direction, and motivation to move on.

Force yourself out of the house or home, wherever it is. Just as writing is therapeutic, so is face time with friends...

I know you like the holistic and spiritual stuff, but don't pooh-pooh the value of good old medication.  It's what keeps me steady on the balance beam of life, every day.  It's not easy to find the right meds, dosages and/or combinations, but the end game is worth the effort. At the very least it will give you a safety net well above where you are now.

Pick up the bass guitar again. Go to yoga. Get yourself a dog. Blow glass, whatever makes you happy and helps you find neutral again.

This is a wonderful industry full of great people. You have hundreds of friends among them. We hurt with you right now, but are also cheering you on to rally.

Let's get going. Time to rally.

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Guest Kim Dushinski

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Great post! Thanks for saying this to and for Dave. Great advice. I've been his friend since 5th grade, knew his Mom well and you're right about her pushing him out of the lows.

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