There are people who work to make enough money so they can retire in style and pay for college tuitions when their kids don’t earn football scholarships to the University of Alabama.
Then there are others who feel the whole purpose of working is defeated when 12-hour days and weekend shifts get in the way of actually enjoying life.
At the risk of appearing like a lazy employee, I’ll out myself as one with the latter philosophy — though I prefer to describe myself as efficient in the workplace.
With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that I would pursue a career in which I can watch sports and have the flexibility to watch movies with my wife when I get home. It makes even more sense that I would work part time at a local golf course for play money and the benefit of free golf — yes, I’m bragging here.
I earn every fare-less round by sitting on a noisy riding mower for several hours every other morning, and all that time to myself gives me a lot of time to think.
The more important thoughts that fill my synapses include environmental topics like water conservation (isn’t it ironic that a golf course is so green in a desert-like place?), gun safety (where will the next mass shooting take place?), religion (did a higher power really create this?), recreation (if I built a rock climbing gym in Tooele County, would it make money?) and music (you know I’m all ‘bout that bass, no treble).
But as my mind’s autopilot navigates me around the bumps and bunkers in the grass, those important issues are pushed off center stage and more entertaining thoughts take over.
I sometimes like to think about another prominent grass cutter, Forrest Gump, with whom I like to think I have a lot in common, sans the not-so-savant intellect portrayed in the book and movie versions of the tale. I was never a shrimp boat captain, war veteran or experimented with music-enhancing drugs, but the fictional character and I both enjoyed running until we became “pretty tired,” college football and a fascination with outer space.
I sometimes imagine myself as Mr. Gump during the portion of the 1994 movie when he narrates his influx of wealth from Lieutenant Dan’s investment decisions.
“He got me invested in some kind of fruit comp-nay,” actor Tom Hanks voices during the role, “so then I got a call from him sayin’ we don’t need to worry ‘bout money no more and I said, ‘That’s good. One less thang.’ … Cause I was a go-zillionaire and I liked doin’ it so much, I cut that grass for free.”
Of course, I’m not mowing the football field at my local high school, and I’m not mowing at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course just for the benefit of free golf, either.
I guess life really is a box of chocolates, because when I first went to work part-time for Tooele City, I didn’t actually realize at the time that my wife would also be able to hit the links for free.
While it isn’t my favorite thing to drag myself out of bed before first light each morning after a prep sports contest that ran late the night before — just ask my wife — being outside and watching the sunrise over the Oquirrh range has done wonders for my mental, spiritual and physical well-being.
There’s just something about the fresh mountain air and plant life all around that does a body good. And when I finally do wake from my groggy state and stop driving in a manner that makes the dew paths look like drunken snakes have wandered the fairways, it’s nice to take a look around and realize just how good I have it.
And that’s all I have to say about that.