Spring has arrived so I’ve been thinking about perspective lately. Let me explain.
In my “other life” I was a corporate executive for over 30 years. I flew all over the world and there were years I traveled about 200 nights a year. It was a pretty cool thing for about the first year or so, then it became a just another part of the job description. The thrill quickly gave way to the drudgery of airports, flight delays, punitive airlines and airline employees, and uninspired hotel and motel rooms. Somewhere about 3 or 4 years into this career I had an epiphany.
I was flying to Asia from Chicago. It was a very long flight and I had the bad luck to be assigned a middle seat in coach on an aircraft that wasn’t very clean but packed to capacity with passengers, some who obviously hadn’t taken as much interest in personal hygiene as one would have expected (or wished for). Yes, luck of the draw had me seated between two of those individuals.
Now the flight was about 12 hours and basically I was stuck. I had two choices: I could get mad and be an absolute jerk and stress out over this. I was, after all, some sort of gold platinum aluminum diamond steel select frequent flyer with gobs and gobs of points. I could protest, become a pain in the ass to the aircraft crew, and generally make myself and anyone who got close to me miserable. Or, I could just figure it was what it was and make the best of what I considered a bad situation.
Well, I thought about it quite a bit prior to take off and then some more after wheels up. That’s about the time I got my perspective. At that time I was in my early 30’s and, optimistically, my life expectancy was somewhere around 80, maybe even into my 90’s given my grumpiness and belligerence at such an early age. So here I was upset over my situation on a 12 hour flight that realistically represented about 12 hours out of my 700,000+ hour life – or about .00001% of my life. Perspective.
Today I still remember that flight and the epiphany that occurred. And I try to use that in many situations that I find myself in, fishing being one.
I love to fish. And I am pretty competitive truth be known. But you know it’s all about perspective. We all know that fishing is something that gives us a great deal of pleasure. I love the new gear that I trade in my old stuff for every year. I love new lures and lines and about anything else that I think will make me a better fisherman. And I anticipate those wonderful days on the water and the fresh air, the natural smells, the beauty, and the challenge that fishing oftentimes presents. It’s an escape. I’m outside instead of in an office or dashing for the next flight or trying to hail a cab in a downpour. It’s natural. Nothing phony. Nothing staged. Nothing pre-planned. It just happens.
But some of you (you know who you are) still stress out. You went to a lot of trouble to get on the water. And perhaps a lot of expense. You not only expect to catch fish, but also expect they will be trophies that will photograph well and provide some serious bragging rights when you return home. But maybe you’re missing the real reason we’re on the water in the first place.
First, we’re so damn fortunate that we have the natural resources in this wonderful country that we have. Whether it be inland lakes, reservoirs, rivers, or farm ponds or the seashore that surrounds about half the border of this magnificent country, it’s all absolutely beautiful. And by and large it’s there for anyone to enjoy. Our fisheries are well managed and even the beginning fisherman has a pretty good chance to catch something that will provide a thrill when the line tightens and the rod tip extends downward.
And truth be known there are very few of us who absolutely depend on what we catch to put meat on the table. Hell, we can drive down to almost any supermarket and get as much fish as we want – and we won’t even have to clean them! Fishing is something we should do to connect with nature. In my mind it sort of gives us an excuse to get outside and test our skills while at the same time enjoying this great country’s resources and natural beauty. Perspective.
I know some of you fish competitively and that’s great. I like to do this on occasion myself. But whether you place 1st or last, isn’t the real point that you got out? You saw a bald eagle or some wildlife along the shore line. Maybe you had a hard strike that excited you. Our you bundled up in your rain suit as an unexpected squall blew by leaving the air sweet and refreshing. Like I said, it’s all about perspective.
Next time you go out make it your first priority to simply enjoy the experience. Listen to the birds, feel the clean air, marvel at the sky and nature’s grandeur, and take a few minutes to realize that time on the water, whether you catch fish of just wet lines all day, is about as good as it gets. Like I said, it’s all about perspective!
This week is all about Spring! We have a loaded newsletter with tons of new fishing gear that is sure to make your experience on the water more enjoyable.
Thanks to all of our great friends and customers who support us and make our days so much fun and rewarding. You are the reason we are here.