A woman hired a carpenter for some repairs on her old farmhouse. One day, things just went haywire — a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and then his good old pickup truck refused to start. The woman volunteered to drive him home, and in the whole way, the carpenter stared out of the window and didn’t say a word.
On arriving, he invited her in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. In an instant, his demeanor changed. Inside, he smiled and hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Later, as he walked the lady out to her car, she asked him about the tree. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I can’t help having troubles on the job, but troubles don’t belong at home. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”
“Funny thing.” He smiled. “When I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
. . .
What a wonderful idea, isn’t it? We all have long and hard days at work and it can get difficult to completely disconnect from our everyday stresses, tensions, and struggles even if we’re no longer at our place of work.
If we’re not aware and careful, our troubles at work can bleed into our home and personal life as well. You don’t want that. You don’t want any stress or negativity that comes your way at work impact your home life and your relationship with your loved ones. That’s why when you’re back home with your family, you must train yourself to detach from all your worries and just relax, have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
We must learn how to compartmentalize our work life and our personal one. And in order to do that, like the carpenter in the story, we can come up with our own metaphorical “trouble tree” to drop off our workplace stresses and challenges before we enter our homes.
So today, be creative and experiment with this idea. Get your own tree or any other object that can help you detach from your problems at work. If you come up with something unique and helpful or have any similar idea for handling stress, do share it in the comments section below so that other people can benefit from it as well. I look forward to reading your suggestions.