I’m usually of the attitude that no matter how stressed I am, I know someone has it worse. That feeling of relief sticks around for a little bit and then something else gets thrown on my plate and that stress level goes right back up.

It’s like a little stress angel on one shoulder and a stress devil on the other.

The angel is reminding me that I have a good job, and a family and Guns N’ Roses tickets in October (but man, they were a bit pricey). It’s all sunshine and flowers for the angel.

But then that devil chimes in and tells me how I have too much work to do or points out how someone’s mistake has made my life more difficult. Wah, wah, wah, right?

The angel and devil are most vocal right around this time of the year. For the Lawn & Landscape team, late August until late October, right after GIE+EXPO, are the busiest months we have all year.

Since being named editor in late June, I’m still learning a new position, as is our managing editor Kate Spirgen and our new assistant editor Lauren Rathmell.

We’ve also recently hired a new associate editor, Megan Smalley, who is learning a new position and getting up to speed on the industry.

And we’re in the middle of planning for LANDSCAPES and GIE+EXPO, along with producing our October issue, which is always our biggest. We produce the Show Daily for the GIE+EXPO, and have a quick turnaround to get our November issue out the door.

So, you throw all of those together and you get a stressed out green industry editor.

But as I look at that list of tasks, it’s not really comparable to the level of stressors you have as a business owner. Our cover story this month focuses on the stress you deal with every day.

When I can cross something off that list, that stress level goes down, even if it’s only a little.

The exhaustion in our sources’ quotes is evident, but what shines some light in the story is the passion and enjoyment the contractors have for what they do.

It’s a reminder that not all stress is bad. It’s good to be busy, have deadlines and the ability to make money – see, there’s that angel again.

What helps me out with stress is making a to-do list. It only takes a few minutes, but it took me awhile to actually make the time to create the list. As more items get added and others crossed off, I start with a fresh one.

When I can cross something off that list, that stress level goes down, even if it’s only a little.

It may work for you; it may not. But the key lesson I take away is that stress is always going to be there. The best way to limit it is to resolve the issue that is making you stressed out. And the sooner you do it, the better. – Brian Horn