Traveling the distance

By Ox Drover

I got to thinking the other day about how our strength and ability to carry an emotional load of “stress” is sort of like a long-distance walk or ride or race. People who travel in various long distance endurance races, or just for their own purposes, have to limit the amount of weight that they carry. Some people who do long distances on foot even cut the handle off their toothbrushes to reduce the load they have to carry by even a fraction of an ounce.

If I had to carry a five pound sack of flour to our local post office, which is about three miles away from my farm, up and down several steep hills, I could do it without a great deal of time involved, but would probably leave me feeling that that five pound sack of flour was “pretty heavy” by the time I got there.  I am sure by the time I got to the post office, I would be switching it from hand to hand pretty rapidly as it seemed to gain weight. I could probably even carry that five pound sack of flour as far as the nearest town, about 13 miles away, though I would sure be tired when I got there.

However, if I had to pick up a fifty-pound sack of horse feed and carry it to our local post office, I could probably do it, but I imagine  it would take me several days to accomplish it. If I had to carry that fifty-pound sack of horse feed to town, I could probably do it as well, but I would be physically and mentally exhausted when I arrived there several weeks, or more, after I started.

It isn’t just the weight of what we have to “carry” in terms of a “load,” but also the distance we must carry it. When I was a kid I saw a western movie where the guy is crossing the desert and he has a pack with enough gold to make him rich for the rest of his life. Eventually, though, it becomes so heavy that he throws it away in order to get across the desert alive.

Psychopathic weight

As we go through our lives we all have stress to carry, and the weight of that stress can be pretty heavy, for example, a divorce or a death in the family, but we recover from carrying that heavy weight. We rest and recoup our strength, before we progress on further. With the psychopath adding not only weight to our stress level, but keeping the stress at a high level, both the weight and the distance (time) we must carry the stress becomes overwhelming.

We may find ourselves in the position of the prospector coming out of the desert with a pack filled with gold, where we have become so tired from the weight and the distance that we have carried something, even something valuable to us, that we have to throw it down and leave it in order to survive for one more step.

Sometimes we “throw down” our careers, our education, or even taking care of our own health because we are so stressed out and so tired from dealing with the psychopath that it seems we don’t have the energy to accomplish taking care of these things. We feel as if our very survival depends on dropping some of the “weight” of “things to do” off our backs immediately. We become distracted by the weight of the demands of our families, our children, our jobs, and our psychopaths that we drop the “gold”–in this case, ourselves, in an effort to reduce our stress and “survive.”

Lightening the load

The most important thing I think I have learned from the chaotic experiences I’ve had with the psychopaths is that I have to be in this for the long distance course. I have to reduce the stress and weight of the “things” I carry so that I have the strength and resources to keep on  carrying the “gold—”myself—for the distance.

I have to quit trying to carry the burdens of others who would rather have me carry them than hoist their own packs on their own backs and assume responsibility for themselves. I have to quit carrying unnecessary trivia, and distinguish between important things I need and things that I can do without. When it comes to “shared responsibilities,” I have to do my share and expect others to do theirs,  to demand it if necessary, and to use my judgment to decide what is a fair division of those shared responsibilities.

I’m in this life for the long haul, not just for a sprint! So I’ve got to adjust the weight of my burdens accordingly and put my own long term best interest and my ability to survive foremost in my own mind and heart!

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110 Comments on "Traveling the distance"

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Your so welcome! “Old English teachers never die, they just lose their class!” I was always top in 3 subjects at school, Art, English, and French.
We had to learn an awful lot of stuff “by rote”at school, but Im glad now, as I still remember most of it!
My school was {and still is} the oldest school in Scotland, founded in 1606, for “The daughters of Merchants”They were called “The Merchant Maidens, and originally it was an orphanage for poor girls.
It wast thought worth educating girls up to the Late Victorian and Edwardian eras.
MY former school now is one of the top in Britain, and the fees are through the roof, 3,000 British pounds per term, ie,12,000 pounds a year.My parents sacrificed a lot to send me there, but because my dad taught all his life in a Merchant Company school,{for boys} the 3rd child’s fees were halved, so my little brother benefitted. I was very very lucky to go there,I believe a first class education is beyond price.The fees were nowhere near as steep then, but still high.
Another benefit was the very high percentage of spinster lady teachers whose fiances had been killed in that slaughter house, the First World war.There were literaly very few men left, to go round, and these spinster ladies ended up devoting their whole lives to their girl pupils.Most of them were strict, but EXCELLENT teachers!.Love, Mama gemXX


gem – you know, you have a wicked sense of humor…and i don’t mean ‘great’, i mean ‘wicked’! some of the the things you’ve said (of your own making) have blown me away. you oughta’ let that shine more. it’s not ‘nice’ at all (good thing), but darned smart and incisive.

Yep, she sure does have a wicked sense of humor! LOL and I love it too! You know a good sense of humor and a little gallows humor too, all make for laughing at some of the things we used to cry about and put some salve on the wounds!

20/20 Hindsight is always better than foresight!

Just found that our Thanksgiving camp out for the living history thingie for TG week/weekend is going to be rained/snowed out it looks like so I am canceling going up on Wednesday like we usually do–may go up on Friday if the Thursday snow showers are not too bad. (It is up a STEEP mountain!) We used to camp in the rain, storms, sleet and snow, but I’m getting soft in my old age and besides this is close enough I can come home and sleep in my own bed–but I am NOT driving up or down that mountain if there is even ONE SNOW FLAKE in 100 miles!

EB can have her arse-deep snow storms!


well, you’re gettin’ too skinny to be out in the cold, anyway. 🙂


Boy, I have laughed so much my flabby belly hurts! I still have enough blubber to feed an Inuit family for the winter! Heck, the whole tribe! SAVE THE WHALES, harpoon Oxy!

You are funny too One_step!

Well, I am not going to cook a big FEAST on Thanksgiving that I can’t do anything but look at, so I will have to do some more planning I guess—but I DO have a Turkey, and I DO have yams (sweet potatoes) and I have some corn bread already made (for dressing) so I guess I can at least make a pretty good Turkey dinner if nothing else! Get that sucker out and thaw it in the morning. Will freeze what the kid and I can’t eat in a couple of days!~Maybe will invite someone over to eat with us!

Let’s see, low fat, no salt dressing, start with cornbread….ah heck, ONE DAY OF INDULGENCE WON’T KILL ME, better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission! LOL

One,-What things in particular did I say that you find wickedly funny?Im thrilled that you think Im wickedly funny, but Im damned if I can find anything in the above post , re my old alma mater thats funny! HUH?
Maybe,”old teachers never die”but its not original!
So, WHAT? Just curious!!
Maybe you found it droll when I told EB Id confisate her batteries, after she was drooling over Johnny Depp!


No, it’s the original things you say. there have been many. Next time you pop one out and I see it I’ll let you know! (and yah, the Johnny Depp one was good. ;))

Well it’s a slow night and I’m gonna go put myself to bed! My eyes are at half mast. G’nite to all

Just heard a good one, One!
Two little old ladies in Church.
One says to the other,
“My butts gone to sleep!’
Other old lady,
“Yeah, I heard it snorin a coupla times!”

Excuses for not dieting.
Fat lady,
“Doctor, its not my fault I cant lose weight.!
All the fridge magnets drag me to the fridge by the fillings in my teeth! And when Im there, why, I cant resist opening the door!”
THANKS, Ma,am, for your kind words!! Hope your having a better day!
Dont forget, God loves you and so do I!

Great laughs for me to be waking up to!

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