Life (and work) can be a grind. . . . but I think that is a “Good Thing”
By the time you read this the 20th season and 22nd chosen Bachelor (two seasons had two episodes) will have been chosen on the television reality show “The Bachelorette“. What drew me to this past Sunday’s article of The Hustle is that the daily article highlighted, by occupation, the 523 men who have been contestants over the years and I noticed that not one was listed as a Mortician/Funeral Director.
That’s what drew me in to the article because many funeral directors/morticians that I know would be described by me as some of the nicest, most compassionate, most considerate people I know. . . . . yet, the people that select the “Bachelors” must not know that or they do know that most funeral directors will not create the “drama” that they are looking for. They are simply too humble to cause issues.
By the way, you can see the article here and it will tell you that of the 523 men, Sales, Banking, and Athletes top the list of occupations for the men involved in the show.
So, it was the occupation issue that drew me into the article, but after reading the article I came out with the thought process that “Life is a grind, but we should be glad it is”. The article, and what I learned from it, made me think of this simple quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.”
What was it that made me think of that quote? It was the fact that the article pointed out that of the 21 Bachelors and their Bachelorette that left the show as a couple, only 4 stayed together. That’s an 81% “split-up” rate which is double of America’s divorce rate.
My wife and I discussed this topic and came to the conclusion that the dates and life-style of the Bachelorette show is a “mirage” to true life. The couples were always “wined and dined” and living in a fantasy world during their courtship. They never had to “grind out” their differences. . . it was all a fantasy world. And we concluded, that led them to not truly knowing each other and led to their break-ups.
Grinding it out may not be such a bad thing — From my point of view this kind of lays out the process of not doing a complete job on whatever it may be. Funeral home owners especially face many times when the have to “grind it out” and realize that the compensation they thought they would get for a certain funeral or time period was much less than they were led to believe.
And some funeral directors finish a 10-hour shift only to have the phone ring two or three times before their next 10-hour shift begins. They have to “grind-it-out” with removals, preparation work, and arrangements, and then get right back to their regular scheduled work day.
However, “grinding it out” can give incredible self-fulfilment to those who accomplish the task. And, over the years, it can also give financial rewards, through the building of business, to make up for times in the past when you were not fully financially rewarded.
My Grind-it-Out story — My parents always made sure that we had the “basics” for what was needed. We always had a bicycle but it was not the fancy ones some of our friends had. And, I loved playing baseball and my dad always made sure that I had a glove to play with.
When I was about ten years old my dad told me that on Friday we would go to the hardware store and I could get a new glove. Well, every day that whole week after school I went to the hardware store to look at the gloves and I fell in love with a Rawlings Brooks Robinson model that cost $24. When we went to the store on Friday my dad found an adequate glove for someone my age for $8. When I told him I really wanted the Brooks Robinson model he said I could get it and he would contribute $8 but I had to come up with the other $16.
I agreed to do that and, with Dad’s help, found a weekend position “shagging” foul balls at a softball tournament in town. I remember it paid 60 cents per hour and I was required to be there from about 9 am to 9 pm Saturday and Sunday for a couple of weeks.
I still remember the feeling I got when Dad and I went back to the hardware store and I got my Brooks Robinson glove. . . . with my hard-earned money. It was the greatest feeling in the world to realize that “I earned it” by “grinding it out” for a couple of weekends.
The Epilog — I had that glove for 45 years until I misplaced it sometime while coaching Little League. That glove and how I got it came to, and still does, reflect to me the values of hard work and accomplishment. I coached Little League a long time and had one team that was Minnesota State Champions as 12-year olds.
Coaching and winning a state championship with those boys was fun. We had to “Grind out” a couple of comeback wins to win that championship. They are young men now, and I still care for all of them and the journey we “ground-out” together. . . That journey didn’t end on the championship field. The good times were great, but I would surmise that it was the “grinding out” of practices and comebacks that made us a better group — a group that continues to be there for the ups and downs of life.
One of those players became an All-Conference NCAA Quarterback, two of them pitched for Division One baseball teams. . . .those were good times and all on the team enjoyed their athletic successes. But this group was there for the tough times too — two of on my 12-year old players battled cancer as young adults and are now in remission and I still pray for them every day. . .and another player lost his mother in an automobile accident. And, during these tough times the “Grind-it-out” group was always there for each other.
I have my baseball cap from that team hanging in the office where I write Funeral Director Daily. . . and I also have a nostalgic magazine advertisement for a Brooks Robinson glove on the wall too.
President Roosevelt was right. . . .”Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort”.
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