Today's post started with the practical aspects but after a while moved into the mental and emotional issues that come up when our endurance is being tested.
Mostly because the next few days on top of the last few are something of an endurance test I go through each winter since I moved into the tiny trailer....
The reality is it sucks.
The bottom line is I have no choice but to endure. The only part I have control over is when I let it get to me (confession, it always does at some point).
Here is the video I made from a previous year - in which I should add the heater situation was a bit better than it is this year.
Wow, I haven't watched that in a while! The difference right now is there isn't much snow so it isn't as beautiful or as insulated. Snow actually can keep things a bit warmer.
We have wind. I've noticed that the temps in here are lower with wind because as much as I try and seal things up the door is worse than an open window in many ways. It leaks 24/7 in terms of air coming in and even worse, the wind is blowing IN FROM THAT DIRECTION so every time I have to open it, well you get the idea.
The dog and cat do okay because they have fur and can be under the blankets generating sufficient heat since their body temperature runs around 101 degrees.
I am not so lucky.
However, as much as I am (still) in whiney mode about all of this, I wanted to share it as a bit of a reality check on why endurance is something our bodies may do but the real test is our mind and emotions.
Because the reality is if you do have to go into a real survival mode, there is no time out or quitting.
We can be emotionally broken and still be okay because our water is running, there is food in the fridge, the lights are on, and we have a heating system in place.
We can be mentally unhinged and survive when the above is true.
However, when we don't have the conveniences in place and we need to perform physically - mental and emotional temper tantrums can literally kill us.
The answer is practice, discipline, and awareness of this issue.
It is the strength to have the discussion in our own minds that even though we are NOT HAPPY we still have to stay focused and keep going.
And crying isn't practical when the wind chill is below zero - trust me on this.
The only upside is I am not a cow stuck outside. Walls blocking the wind are a beautiful thing.
So in addition to the basics the other issue I thought I'd share is what came up as I was going to get water.
There is no way to store more than a few gallons of water inside and when it never gets above freezing, no way to keep water from freezing outside right now.
So, we hiked out to get two more gallons for today.
Plus, good practice - right?
I put on my super survival boots and tested them in the coldest day so far. They held up.
However, everything else was a disaster. This is why testing in real life conditions is SO important if you really want to prepare for a someday that may include walking away.
I am still having major backpacking issues. I have found that a fur lined hood is wonderful. I have not found a way to keep it on in the way that best works. Or a hat underneath OUT OF MY EYES - as being blinded by hair and hats isn't practical.
Not to mention the fogging of the glasses.
Or the running of the nose.
And the freezing of the hands every time I had to take them out of the gloves - too many.
Though petroleum jelly works well on the nose and cheeks to prevent wind burn.
And then trying to negotiate all this with a dog on a leash. Which wasn't working so I let him off and he ran away. My rationale was if he ran he could at least keep warm.
And while walking under a mile this way is easy to endure. Walking all day this way would not have been.
And as I type this my hands are FREEZING and so my point being - endurance is when the discomfort may be different, but it never ends.
Three days and counting.
I am whining to make a point though. Endurance is a real skill we all need to learn and the get some of.
What have you had to endure lately? How did you do? Whining works as long as it doesn't stop you in your tracks.
And the most important piece to all of this is the real message - the ability to endure the pain and discomfort and not give in to giving up. The knowing you want to live doesn't mean you'l never endure discomfort.
It does mean you can.
And everything, even pain and cold, ends - eventually.
Three days and counting...
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