This was the best visual I could find for expressing where I’m at emotionally today. Quitting is too costly. Keeping on going seems, well, pretty near impossible.
I thank God for the perspective of a friend who listened to me wail about being stuck today. Having a friend around when you’re stuck doesn’t necessarily mean you can or will get unstuck. It doesn’t automatically make the impossible seem possible. But a friend can bring perspective to the situation, even if it is just by stating the obvious so obviously that (1) I realize I really do have good reason to despair (i.e. I’m not crazy to be feeling overwhelmed) and (2) I can actually even laugh a little about it (I find it nearly impossible to laugh, alone, when I’m stuck. I have many good and funny friends, though, and I appreciate every little laugh they can eke out of me when I’m down).
It’s amazing how being able to lament with someone else about how hard things are can infuse a desperate situation with a ray of hope. A friend’s very presence reminds me that I’m not alone. One friend can be a tangible reminder of the many other people still in my life. And although I cannot defend or explain exactly how it works, a friend’s listening to my cries (and sometimes crying them with me) gives me courage to keep crying out to God and trusting Him, even in between a rock and a hard place.
Don’t ever underestimate the strength and courage you can give to someone who is stuck, by sitting with them, sharing in their grief and lamenting with them. You may or may not be able to help them see another solution to getting through or even out of their problems. But you honor their suffering by listening. You pass on courage and strength by grieving with them.
Okay, that’s enough philosophizing about pain and suffering and feeling stuck and wanting to quit and the importance of friends being there with you even if they can’t do any better than you can at getting yourself unstuck.
All that’s well and good, and I’m really grateful it’s true.
…while I was looking for a photo to illustrate those thoughts, I came upon these priceless bits of information in case I’m ever really and literally stuck.
I realize this might be of no interest to anyone who typically reads my blog. But, hey, I told you I’m eclectic and my blog is a little of this and a lot of that. And I’ve spent a lot of time today crying. On days like this, learning something new and interesting is always a good pick-me-up. This completely irrelevant-to-my-real-life information helped me feel a little less stuck by giving my brain somebody else’s problems (and solutions) to think about.
[As a side note–What is the world coming to? Lingamish, who originally made fun of “chick bloggers” who post pictures of cats, recently posted a picture of…a cat. And I, one of the “chicks” stereotypically lumped in that original mocking post, have now posted photos and tips for using a winch to get unstuck. What can I say? Things (and bloggers) are never exactly what they seem to be. Put them under a little pressure, and you never know how they’ll surprise you. Not that I know what sort of pressure could have prompted Lingamish to post a cat photo.]
Maybe someone more creative than me can come up with some analogies from these “getting unstuck” tips to principles for getting out of metaphoric rocks and hard places. But, if not, my joy in these tips is full just in thinking about and learning some things I’d never really thought of in quite this way before.
The above photo and the following tips are selected from Peterson’s 4WHEEL & Off-Road, and each tip I’ve quoted–plus some more I didn’t–has its own photo illustration in the original article, entitled “Hot Winching Tips and Tricks”:
- Mount the winch the right way… Having the winch and mount dangling from the electrical cables instead of being securely on the front of your truck is a great way to ruin your day [and we don’t want MORE of that].
- And speaking of anchors, make sure they won’t move. We’ve seen more than one guy winch a tree down onto their Jeep, as well as rolling a rock or two off a cliff [OUCH!~]. Always use a tree-saver strap on a tree to protect the shrubbery [Because when you are SUVing, being as green as possible is surely one of your top priorities], and mount it as low as possible for maximum strength. The higher a strap goes, the more leverage is induced to pull the tree over, while even little shrubs can hold a good amount of weight if the strap is placed low around the base.
- Whatever you attach the cable to, be sure that it is rated as strong as-or stronger than-what you’re pulling. Attaching a winch hook to a stock bumper is one way to mangle that bumper. Never use a trailer ball, sheetmetal, steering, or suspension components, unless you want them severely rearranged.
- Before you put tension on a cable, place a jacket, blanket, or other weight on it. This keeps the cable under control should it break, or attaching hardware comes loose. A flying cable can do serious damage to 4x4s as well as body parts.
- Limit the amount of well-meaning people in any winch operation.
- Help the stuck vehicle out by driving it at the same speed as the winch is pulling.
- On a triple line pull, as shown with two fixed pulleys, the mechanical advantage of the two pulleys doubles the pulling power as well as halves the effective recovery speed. In addition, the extra cable reeled off the drum increases the mechanical advantage by having less wraps on the winch drum. While effective, this method should be used carefully as twice as much stress is placed on all mounting points. [I’d never really considered that “twice as much stress” might, on occasion, be a good thing.]
- You can even change the direction of a winch pull to move the rear of a rig around. When caught between a rock and a hard place, this can be the only way out.
- Using a tree-saver strap as an anchor around a rollbar is trick, but make sure the bar is securely attached or major tweakage can result. [Major tweakage. Hmmm I think I’ve got some of that going on…]
- Winches use energy and produce heat. They can suck a battery dry and melt their own wires if not taken care of. Keep the winching battery charged while winching by keeping the engine running at a high idle, and limit pulling times so as not to overheat the winch. If you end up with a dead battery or you smoked your winch, your vehicle is a lot more stuck than it was when you first entered the mud hole.
- Severe side winching can ruin your cable if you don’t have a roller fairlead.
- Standing away from the taut cable, or even finding a hiding place like this, is a smart thing to do. It’s the winch operator’s responsibility to clear the “Kill Zone” of the winch cable or other dangerous areas before using the winch.
[Personally, I’d like a nice hiding place like this from my troubles. Funny how relative “nice” can be depending on the surrounding circumstances!]
Well, that was a nice distraction from my own feeling stuckness, and it was good to spend a few minutes thinking about one trouble I’m not likely to have any time soon here in Florida.
It’s back to work for me. And I’d appreciate your prayers as I navigate through feeling a good bit stuck and overwhelmed today, with the pressures I’m facing and the energy and resources I’m missing.