Monday, January 9, 2017

Elbow Grease

The Headlines:


Heard of elbow grease?

Neither had I...

Turns out, it's something we should all be using.




Last year was busy.  Aren't they all?  I feel like I run to catch up to each day and the years still fly by.  Especially since I had kids.  I wonder if that's how my Grandma felt?

Lessons From Grandma
She had 4 kids versus my two. She was a strong, German woman.  It's funny how you remember grandparents.  I remember her washing dishes.  Standing in that kitchen scrubbing away.  She was good at cleaning tough stuff.  I would see her work magic with a pot, pan or a chair cushion.  Sometimes even a good stain on a beloved shirt of mine.  There weren't many shirts so I needed the ones I had... she'd use this stuff called Elbow Grease.  I couldn't believe how great it worked.  My Grandma could do anything with that stuff.

It wasn't until one young, dumb day that I finally asked... what is this Elbow Grease stuff Gram?  She laughed and somehow explained to in her choppy, short way.  I couldn't believe that it didn't come from an actual bottle.  That, instead, it was something we all possessed.  Even me.


Sometimes I think that's what may be missing in our world right now.  Some simple Elbow Grease.


Putting Elbow Grease Into Action
It's something we've been trying to teach our kids for a while.  I think we may be getting some where.      My son started playing football last Fall.  He's 5.   The kid's not particularly huge, he's not even that fast.  But turns out, he loves that dang sport.  It's kinda crushing me, I saw that movie "Concussion" over the holidays.  Anyways, he wasn't that good.  I mean, really, not... that... good.  But he wouldn't stop playing football at home.  Everyday, passing to himself.  Calling plays.  Watching the real guys do it on TV.  It annoys his sister and tickles me.  But he is working hard.  Always.  The video below was this past Christmas Day.


Last weekend was his first game of the Winter season.  The kid ran like 40 yards for a TD up the middle and did something called a Pick 6... which I guess is when you intercept and run for a touchdown.  My word, I thought, he sure did use some Elbow Grease to get that job done.  I'm not saying he's going pro and I'm not even sure he'll ever have another game like that in his life.  But it doesn't matter - what does is he's working hard and going after what he wants.  Grandma would be proud.


I plan to use some Elbow Grease this year.  Like always, the husband (BP) and I will tackle some household projects.  We always come up with our list in January.  I was really proud of a couple past ones this last year like this Mega simple DIY Cardboard Letter, these Pendant Lights or my absolute FAV which is this huge Mirror I Antiqued.  But I'll even do one better and start to tackle Real Estate more.  I've had my license for over 10 years, we've bought and managed some rental properties and  homes are my passion.  I love showing them to people and finding the right one for their needs.  It's a privilege really.  Wouldn't you want a Picky Chick helping you find the right place to buy?  Click HERE for information - I'll be writing more about that soon so stay tuned.



Yet... as we do all those things, we'll also keep working hard to help these crazy kids, well, working hard.  These days our world seems incredibly lazy to me.  Like our mind-set needs a reset.  Kids these days think we should all be able to create some APP that makes a million dollars overnight.  But that's not what gets you to be great.  It's the hard work, the journey, the trouble along the way that makes a person unique - who they're supposed to be.

My daughter is a dancer.  She's been doing it since she was 3 years old.  She too has never been the best on her dance team.  I mean she is a shining light to us... but you know how that goes.  Anyways, last Summer we went to Las Vegas for her teams National Dance Convention.  At these things, young dancers from all over take classes, they compete their routines (solo and team) and they earn what they call "scholarships" for future dance conventions.  These things can get pricey.  It's always hard because some on your team may get picked and most of the others, don't.  It can be heartbreaking for these little boys and girls.  And, honestly, for the parents too.  So when we went - there wasn't much talk about any scholarships - we were just going to put our time in and get out.   The night before the scholarship announcement was a rough one.  We went out to a special dinner with some friends and the girls just melted.  It was a long week with a lot of hard work for 8 and 9 year olds.  But because she had an early wake up call, before bed we went over what she'd wear for the big day.  There was only one leotard left.  It was her black one.  The one she'd worn countless times for 2 years.  So along with some hand me down bootie shorts that was it.

The next morning she saw all of her friends with brand new leos and sparkly bows in their hair and she, as darling as she was... looked, well, not sparkly.  She was devastated.  Broken down.  Out of steam.  So I took her to the side and promised her 2 things:  they are not picking scholarships because of what you are wearing and you need to go out there and dance your heinie off if you want to win anything.

That by the way, didn't really work.

It was what I said next that kicked her into shape.  I told her we were leaving.  "If you're not having any fun then I don't want to be here.  We don't need to do this... let's go."

She didn't want to leave.  Instead, cautiously, she went in.  I stayed out and shed a few tears.  Apparently, she stayed tough, struck some poses and danced her heinie off like I told her.  Because hours later when the scholarships were announced it was the little girl in the black leotard with a middle part and a pony tail down her back who won one of them.  I couldn't have written it any better.  She may have been surprised but I was in shock.


See?  Elbow Grease.

Finally Tonight 
I like that my son isn't the best player on the Football team and that my daughter isn't the point in every dance.  It makes them want it even more, every week, all the time.  Some talents are given... others are earned.  I'm not sure what's best but I would say it's the talents that you refine on your own through hard work that may matter more.  At least in the long run.

Turns out Grandma really was on to something when she introduced me to Elbow Grease.  Guess it just goes to show some of the most valuable lessons may be the ones you've already learned.

Here's to 2017,

Nicole

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