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The Dog Days of Summer

After a string of pleasant summer temperatures in the mid 80’s I realized that this is not our usual August weather here in central North Carolina. We usually have mid to high 90’s, high humidity, and thunderstorms with regularity – our dog days of summer. This got me thinking about that expression, so I looked it up. 

Turns out the phrase is based on the star Sirius (the very bright “dog star”) that rises in the night sky at this time of year. Historically, dating back to ancient Greek astrology, the rise of Sirius was, according to Wikipedia, “connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.” Not a good omen at all!! And, after 18 covid months, I’m particularly feeling the lethargy of our dog days!

Yet here we are in our “dog days” and for those connected to university life (I’m the NC State Faculty & Staff Ombuds), the start of the Fall semester is just around the corner. For many it’s already here!

So how can we shake off the dog days? For each person it will be their own effort and it’s by no means an easy ask. We’ve used up our reserves, our resiliency, and our ability to work through uncertainty. However one recharges, it’s time to get that in place! 

Another approach to facing our many challenges comes from an unlikely source – Antonio Brown, wide receiver with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brown was and is an amazing receiver yet has had many off the field challenges and was out of football for a period of time. I saw a story about him this morning and it referenced his A.P.G. approach to the season. Appreciation – Perspective – Grateful. Brown referenced his daily APG approach as something shared with him from 7 time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady. As Brown explained, it’s about appreciating where he is, keeping all in perspective, and being grateful every day. 

Let me invite and hope for us all to bring our own APG to our lives and work.

Want an independent and impartial perspective on your situation – Go Ombuds !