I’m tired of the word, “Grinding.” I’m actually sick and tired of it.
- Up at 5am to “grind” – a.k.a. workout.
- Getting on the train at 6:30am to “grind” – a.k.a. go to work.
- Monday. Rise and grind – a.k.a. go to work.
- Sales guys making calls to “grind” – a.k.a. how you’re compensated when you create opportunity.
- Athletes are the worst. “Grinding” – a.k.a. I’m practicing to play a game kids play and get paid STUPID money, so I gotta “grind” to earn my $5 MILLION.
Shut up with the grind.
It’s not a grind. It may be sensationalized in today’s social world so someone can meaninglessly pat you on the back, but our parents didn’t call it that. Remember when your mom and dad weren’t cool, but then you realized just how much they did for you?
It was called work. WORK. To give your family a better life than the one laid out in front of them. That’s WORK!
Our parents weren’t looking for truly “empty social support” or comments on their multiple social media channels about the “struggle” (I hate that too by the way). They were busy supporting their kids or husband/wife. My mom didn’t call cleaning the house “grinding” for the weekend. Mom cleaned the damn house.
I truly hope I’m not turning into the old man yelling “get off my damn yard,” but I’m really tired of it and I’m worried for what it means for all of us growing up in a time where we’ve never seen so much abundance. I believe it is this abundance that leads many to label their work as a “grind” the moment adversity strikes because they’re never truly seen what a grind looks or feels like.
Let me tell you about a grind.
My dad. I admire the hell out of him for what I’m about to tell you.
My dad didn’t grow up with a lot (which is an overstatement). He started working real jobs when he was probably 10 or 11…because he had to. He went to college to become something better and someone to support a family. He become a teacher. He was one of the best teachers before he retired (past students will back me up on this or comment my post). But mind you, being a great teacher doesn’t earn you any extra money, and they aren’t handsomely compensated to begin with. Instead what do you do?
If you’re my dad, you teach school from 7:30am-3pm and then operate a drywall business until 9, 10, sometimes 11 o’clock at night. Every night. And by operate I mean work a real job for 40 hours a week, and then work another 5-6 days a week on top of that. Have you ever hung drywall? It’s not exactly easy or clean manual labor.
He gave my mom, my sister and I all that we could ever ask for and more. I’ve never gone without. Opportunities piled on opportunities. He put in place a new trajectory for our lives based on where he’d been, the work he’d put in, and the future in front of us. I believe that trajectory leaves me where I am today and where I plan on going with my family. Changing the trajectory.
If you think I want one ounce of your sympathy, I don’t. Most importantly my dad won’t have it. I don’t think our story is unique. In fact, there are far greater stories involving hardship and triumph than the Keeney family. Look them up.
I’ll leave you with this. My dad is super-handy. It’s insanity to me to think about what he can fix or build. Conversely, I can’t fix a damn thing if my life depended on it. But, he did pass one thing along. He taught me how to work and showed me first hand the value of providing…not selfishly (which is my default emotion), but for the immediate benefit of others.
Grinding? I don’t think so. I’ll never call it grinding because that word didn’t exist in his vocabulary. It was just WORK.