Nov. 6 2018 04:20 PM

What we have as an industry is truly special. And the passion you have for what you do is both palpable and contagious.

I am writing this column just a few days after returning home from GIE+Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Between booth visits, press conferences, panel discussions, breakfasts, dinners, parties and concerts, I am still not caught up on my sleep. But it was totally worth the long days and the 26.97 miles of terrain my FitBit says I covered on foot.

If you have always worked in this industry, it may come as news to you that not all people in all industries share the same level of enjoyment in their line of work as those in ours do.

Everywhere I turned at GIE+Expo, people were just oozing with enthusiasm. It didn’t matter if you were a contractor who had just test driven a riding lawn mower or a product manager explaining the improved features of his company’s newest trimmer line. Folks from all industry segments were having a great time, and it was contagious. It was so fun to be part of it (all 500,000 square feet and 20 acres worth. Thanks for the reminder feet.).

It’s kind of cool really. After a season of hard work, you get to load up with a few team members and hop on a plane or make the drive down to Louisville. It’s almost like the New Year’s Eve Ball of the green industry. One year winds down while the shiny new equipment on display ushers in the new year.

If you were lucky enough to get to the Irrigation & Green Industry booth in time, you may have picked up a pin from the Irrigation Foundation. The simple white button with black lettering and red heart reads, “I love [heart] my job.” Judging by how quickly the supply of buttons always runs out at every show, it’s pretty clear you do.

I am sure many of you are ready to put this year behind you after all the labor shortage issues you’ve had to deal with. It’s nice for things to slow down a little so you can reflect on the season, regroup and take a much needed break. Before you know it, it will be spring, and you’ll be at it again, only this time you will be a little sharper and a little more prepared because of everything you’ve learned this year.

By the time you are reading this, it’s probably pretty close to Thanksgiving. In the spirit of that holiday, it’s a good time to remember that we all have a lot to be thankful for. I, for one, am grateful that I get to work in an industry with such amazing people. It sure makes those long hours and extra steps worth it.