It’s so easy to worry about things — so much easier than not worrying about things.
We all carry around worries and stresses in our lives, professional and/ or personal. That’s reality; it’s called being a human being. From your perspective as field managers, this time of year can be very stressful. Many of you are dealing with tournaments, little leagues, summer leagues, weeds, pests, high expectations, high temperatures, shrinking budgets, shrinking staffs, equipment issues and long, long, long hours — just to name a few.
Welcome to athletic field management, right?
Add to the normal stress factors most of us experience like financial issues, family problems and personal health, and you’ve got the recipe for constant worrying, anxiety and pretty much a miserable existence — if you let all of these things get to you. Keep in mind, you do have a choice. Yes, you can succumb to all of these different stressors and live in a perpetual state of misery. Or, you can take the other road.
The other road is the one that leads to a happier existence. All you have to do is let some of it go. Put some of it down, especially the things you can’t control.
In last month’s issue of SportsField Management, we published an article titled “Balancing Act: SFM’s new Editorial Advisory Board shares how they attempt to balance career and family.” One of the board members who participated was Brian Winka, CSFM. Brian’s response included this sentence: “Being organized and having multiple plans in place make it easy to not sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.” That really stuck with me when I read it, and it still sticks with me. Think about that for a moment— “it’s all small stuff.” What Brian means is that things that bother you at work, whether you’re an athletic field manager or magazine editor, should not become the “end-all, be-all” in your life when compared to your personal happiness, health and being there with and for your friends and family along life’s journey.
Let me explain further. Take this anecdote as an example:
A psychologist walks around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raises a glass of water, everyone expects to be asked the “half empty or half full?” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquires: “How heavy is this glass of water?” The audience begins calling out answers ranging from 8 ounces to 20 ounces. She replies, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. “In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continues, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed — incapable of doing anything. “It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.”
So, do yourself a favor and remember to put the glass down.