Are you facing an insurmountable task?

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That’s how our household’s latest project presented itself – at least from the outset.

My husband and I live in a rural suburb of Redmond, Washington.  Because we’re rural, a sewer system is not feasible, so all the houses in our area have a septic system: septic and pump tanks fairly close to the house, a drainfield as far away as possible from the house.  Our house’s system was installed in 1989 – the drainfield recently failed – and now it has to be replaced.

Maple tree before ...
Maple tree before …

Dilemma: A 50 year old multi-trunked Maple needed to come down, as did a few Alders and a Cottonwood.  Trees have roots, and those roots gravitate towards moisture, regardless of the source.  We so wanted to keep those trees, but one cannot live without a septic/sewer system so we had to do what we had to do.

Maple after.
Maple after.

Monday and Tuesday of this week saw the professionals doing the deed, with my husband and I, and our neighbor Bob, taking on the task of turning a pile of tree trunks into logs suitable for a fireplace.  Our neighbors Bob and Patty use a lot of firewood and our other neighbors, Irma and Larry, do as well.  Rather than have the tree professionals remove the massive trunks, we wanted to be able to “recycle” it and providing it to our neighbors is what we wanted to do.

I’ll admit that my hubby and I have been under lots of pressure since we discovered the drainfield failure back in April.  And now having a pile of wood that needed to be reduced to logs in less than seven days’ time freaked us out – okay, it freaked me out – but freak out or not, it sure looked like an insurmountable task, and a painful one at that.

It’s not insurmountable any more, but it’s still painful.

Just as is needed for every large task with which we are confronted – whether a complicated office project, a weight loss plan, or what have you – if you break it down into manageable steps, the project will be completed.  That’s what we did, and as of the end of yesterday, what was insurmountable now appears to be doable.

Erin and my hubby; Summer 2013
Erin and my hubby; Summer 2013

Yesterday, my daughter Erin came to the house at around four o’clock after teaching her Junior Achievement class in Seattle.  My hubby came home shortly thereafter and within two sweaty and painful hours: Jerry had made a dent in the pile of wood by cutting it into manageable logs and Erin and I had hauled multiple wheelbarrows full of small and HUGE logs to various locations where wood needed to be distributed.  Now the remaining task actually seems palatable.  An aside: that daughter of mine is such a stud – you should have seen the massive logs she lifted off the ground and tossed into the wheelbarrow.  Ugh.  One thing for sure is that all bodies involved in this project have not needed to do any extra workouts this week!

The moral of the story: when presented with a large task, allow yourself to freak out, then calm down, break the task into smaller chunks, and get to it.  That’s what we did and I just know that eventually – but before the drainfield system is installed the beginning of next week – we will have made those massive trunks into usable logs, and all will be well.

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