The Trouble Tree
by Author Unknown
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job.
A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles, he hugged his two small children, and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied.” I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.” He paused. “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
Moral of the story: Troubles are only as big as we let them be. Removing ourselves from the situation(s) and doing other activities to take our minds off of troubles sets them aside for a brief time. Sleeping on it allows our minds to focus on others, and to rest. Revisiting problems after a time makes the problems look different, not so bad, and more palatable to cope with.