Updated: Jan 14
Recently our 10-year-old son asked what I meant when I would say "You come from a long line of hard workers and goal achievers". His nose all scrunched up to let me know the part of long line of hard work, didn't sound very appealing to him. Although, he enjoys the extra money he makes by helping out on projects, the work itself never sounds very fun to him. Below is a picture taken of him helping me at a home in Bella Vista, Arkansas.
I couldn't help but smile as I am pretty sure I had the same look on my face when I asked my dad the same question years ago. I decided the best way to explain to him how work effort and goal achieving are directly related to income, by getting out some old family photos...
First, I started with the photos of him helping me in Bella Vista. The before, during, and the after pictures seemed to only reminded him how much he dislikes sanding cabinets.
So, I started explaining how our family came across the water to settle as poor immigrants, to achieve great things, by applying great work effort. As I was talking with my son, I went through and continued to show photos of great, great grandparents, great, great aunts and uncles,my own grandparents and aunts and uncles.They used educational goals, and steadfastness to obtain and reach each goal. My father's father was a farmer, most likely a genius in business. They saved every penny and invested wisely. My favorite person on dad's side was definitely my aunt Cleta and her husband uncle Roy. I loved visiting them as a child, because Aunt Cleta always made sure to listen to any of my nonsense and seemed to enjoy my ornery sense of humor (at least she tolerated it well). As our conversation continued, I came across a photo of my mom and her younger siblings. There, I stopped to reminisce a little in my own head. I have some wonderful memories of everyone in that photo. All were entrepreneurs.
Several years I was away from my family, during this time I often would share some of their stories with my daughters (grown) and now our late in life, young son. So, he was pretty familiar with everyone in each of the old pictures.
I began to go off on a rabbit trail with him when I started talking about my aunt Pat and her husband uncle Jim. As a young girl (around the age of 9) she would help her dad and granddad on different construction projects they were working. My aunt Pat as a young woman, was a designer, although she didn't have a degree in the field, her natural raw talent was off the charts! Their first home, she redesigned and they both implemented the makeover. They made a good profit from the sale, so they continued to do this with many other homes. Her husband, my uncle Jim, was an electrical engineer and worked for NASA.
I shared with him the only time I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to work with them was on a home renovation in Texas, a few weeks ago. We sent him to visit family in Kansas City and we headed to Texas to meet up with family there for a new project.
My aunt Pat now 79 worked harder and longer than anyone else. I was so impressed by her work ethic that I wanted a video of the project made from the few pictures I had taken.