Our office doesn’t provide sunrise and sunset views. Or swaths of vibrant turf. Or opportunities to indulge in crisp air while observing wildlife. ?
We do have a bookshelf near our cubicle cluster. Our leaders graciously stock it with self-help books. We don’t have group discussions about the books. Nobody tracks who reads them. ?
We’re free to take the books where we like and use them how we deem fit. Copies are abundant; lessons are relatable. For an editor/writer/tweeter/producer, the corner bookshelf represents ryegrass stripes or an edged bunker. It’s glorious. ?
The corporate book fairy recently placed 10th anniversary copies of Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” on the shelf. The project documents Rubin’s yearlong quest to quantifiably boost her happiness. Rubin clears clutter, learns to “fight right” with her husband and writes a novel in 30 days. ?
Released in 2009, the book reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 2 million copies. The anniversary edition boasts multiple goodies, including a conversation with Rubin about the book’s success and her life since its release. She fields a question about work-life balance in the conversation. Rubin is a mother, wife, writer, podcaster, tweeter and blogger, yet finds “plenty of time” for things that are important to her and “crams” her life with things she loves. ?
Rubin doesn’t mention golf in the book, but her story relates to what many in the industry experienced in 2018. Motivated people who work on golf courses struggled balancing life and work responsibilities. The stories in this issue, the third edition of “Turfheads Take Over,” reflect this struggle. ?
Six submissions, including Parker Ferren’s wonderful tribute of Steve Wright, a popular Florida superintendent who suddenly died in November, are highly personal stories about achieving balance. Superintendents tell us they learn best from each other, and we’re confident you’ll be pleased with the heaping doses of self-help on these pages.?
Stories produced by your peers also should eliminate isolation created by a challenging year. West Virginia superintendent Jason Hollen writes Twitter helped him “take a step back” from his daily world. “As I did, I started to see others going through similar triumphs and struggles,” he adds. “I did not feel so alone.” The segment of the industry not on Twitter will feel that sense of camaraderie by reading Hollen’s contribution (page 14). ?
The learning shouldn’t be confined to an industry publication. The brilliant Henry DeLozier suggests 10 ways to become a more effective leader in his column (page 8). No. 7 on the list: Read and read some more. Opening non-turf books introduces you to motivated people in other fields encountering similar challenges balancing their personal and professional lives. People such as Rubin. ?
An author living in New York City might not appear to have much in common with a superintendent in Kentucky trying to keep bentgrass alive during a summer – and early fall – filled with 90-degree days. But creativity clogs creep into writers’ personal lives, making them less effective at home and work. Deadlines make writers delirious, sometimes forcing them to miss family events. Intense competition for book deals and lucrative freelance assignments can yield financial stress. ?
Rubin made boosting happiness part of her routine. She went to the extreme of writing a book about her quest, ending the project as a happier person with the balance required to juggle numerous demands.?
She found time for what’s important to her and shared her story with others. She’s the literary version of the people whose thoughts you are reading in this issue.