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The Rocks of Overwhelm

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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Our home is next to the National Forest and we can simply walk through a gate in our perimeter fence to enjoy it, and enjoy it we do. Every day, twice a day, we take our dogs to this glorious place, which is full of tall pine trees, firs, and oaks.

They run around and get exercise, chasing the squirrels, each other, and an occasional coyote or raccoon.

Nearby is the site of an old sawmill. It has long since been removed, but the numerous old dirt logging roads that were built for that sawmill are still there, and we usually use them on our walks.

One day, my wife decided that the roads and trails would look nice if they had rocks along the edges, like a border. She started placing small rocks, each about the size of a fist, along the sides of the paths that we walked.

She then enlisted my help and, frankly, I didn’t want to do it. It seemed like so much work!

Do you have any idea how many rocks it takes to line both sides of a mile-long trail?? Besides, sometimes it was difficult to find rocks that looked compatible with the rocks already in place.

We discussed it and compromised. I would only place a single rock every time I walked out there. Naturally, I could do more if I felt like it, but my commitment was to only place one. Plus, we designated a specific area that I would work on, so I could see and enjoy my progress.

When I first started, I ended up placing 10 to 20 rocks at a time. It was fun, and it was hard to stop!

Searching for just the right rocks gave me an excuse to spend more time in the forest (I needed the break and I LOVE the forest). And putting them in place looked so nice that I could enjoy instant gratification.

It has been a year now and the work that we did looks terrific. The borders give the roads and trails a lovely, groomed appearance and it is very pleasing to the eye, not to mention very satisfying for us personally.

Why am I telling this story?

If you have a big project that seems impossible to complete, make a commitment to do a specific measurable amount every day. If a daily schedule doesn’t work for you, then plan on every other day or every Monday, for example.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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