Rocks and bubble gum

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kelley Moore
  • 39th Medical Operations Squadron commander
The other day I had someone in my office who said, "I feel overwhelmed. Things just seem to be coming at me from all sides." It reminded me of how I felt in school at the beginning of each semester. I would take a look at the syllabus and think, "There is no way I can accomplish all this in just four months!" So, I told my Airman the same thing I told myself years ago, and the same mantra I tell myself every day. Plan out the "rocks" for the day, the things you need to accomplish. Then, plan for your "bubble gum" or reward for the end of the day. Something to look forward to once you accomplish all the tasks you had for the day.
In order to keep life in perspective and not get overwhelmed, I have to think of just today's activities and not the whole week's or month's worth of activities. Thinking of all the tasks I have to accomplish in the week or month can be overwhelming. I've found if I list the "rocks" for the day that I have to do, and just today's, I somehow manage to get through and before you know it, the month is over and what do you know, I got a whole lot accomplished! 

So each day I wake up to think of today's "rocks" - the things I need to accomplish today. Along the same lines, I psych myself up by saying, "If I accomplish these hurdles today, when I get home I'm going to treat myself." Now, bubble gum just brings out pleasant memories when life was easy and all a kid had to do was play and chew bubble gum - no worries. Now, I think of the "bubble gum," or a treat, at the end of the day I'm going to give myself. Whether your treat is dinner with friends, a good book, sitting outside to watch the kids, a hot bath, or a mindless TV show, whatever your treat or "bubble gum" for the evening is, enjoy the reward you get after a hard day of work. Before you know it, you will have accomplished everything you had originally thought was going to be impossible to do! Rocks and bubble gum, one day at a time!