The Go-To Guy
Posted on March 11, 2012
Hi, my name is Jessica, and I am a procrastinator. I have been plagued by the “I’ll do it later” disease for as long as I can remember. If this is a trait that is learned, I definitely did NOT learn the art of postponing from Grandpa Bob. One of the many reasons why I always looked up to him is because he GOT THINGS DONE. From the mundane to the most difficult of tasks, he did not waste any time to see it to completion. In addition to his own to-do lists, Grandpa willingly helped his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters with ANYTHING, from fixing broken furniture to teaching me how to drive. We were fortunate to live only a few doors down from Grandpa and Grandma, so seeking Grandpa’s expertise was pretty easy. He seemed to ALWAYS be busy with mostly tactile duties: he had the ability to fix things big and small, from watches to car engines. Maybe that’s why he wore his go-to work outfit almost on a daily basis…because he never knew when he was going to get his hands- or pants- or shirt- dirty.
Why was Grandpa NOT a procrastinator? It could have been due to his childhood while growing up as a member of a large family in a farm in Michigan. Like many other families that lived throughout the first half of the 20th century, daily necessities were much harder to obtain. Unlike individuals such as myself who grew up in an age of convenience, Grandpa had to WORK for his food, his clothes, the ability to go to school. He needed these assets to survive, so putting off the work to obtain them until another day was not even an option. This trait was engrained in him since he was born just two years before the start of the Great Depression, and it never left him.
While growing up with Grandpa, there were times when seeking Grandpa’s help led to interesting results. During high school, I asked Grandpa for help with my math homework quite often, as I was unfortunately not born with the ability to think critically with numbers. It was not uncommon to sit next to Grandpa at the kitchen table for hours at a time with my intimidating math homework in front of us. As a high schooler, my classes grew in difficulty, which meant that my time at Grandpa’s kitchen table grew longer in hours. When I reached Trigonometry, some of my homework even proved difficult for him. But did Grandpa ever say “Jessica, I’m afraid this is too tough for me”? NOPE! I often told him “Grandpa, I can just get help from my teacher early tomorrow morning”.
“Oh…no, no, no, no…” Grandpa responded. “We’ll get this done”. And we did. Every time.
Grandpa seemed to live life purposefully. There was a reason for every movement he made. Even when he sat down, it was for a reason…to do paper work, pay bills, eat dinner. On the other hand, I remember him often eating at the kitchen sink, as if he was getting a head-start towards the beginning of his next task. 🙂
To stop and reflect back on the way Grandpa lived his life is undoubtedly very beneficial to us Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, who have lived with various levels of convenience our entire lives. While I am thankful for my nearby grocery store, internet access, state-of-the-art cell phone and other things that simplify my life, are they actually stumping my personal growth? It’s tough to answer that question. I DO know that Grandpa’s past, as tough as it was, resulted in him becoming quite an amazing man.
Just something to think about… 🙂