Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Since the birth of my son, my life has changed. It’s taken me a year and then some to adjust. My waders now have plenty of time to dry out before called to duty and I’m just fine with that. For now, I can tie about a dozen flies a week as opposed to a dozen a night before my son.
When standing back for perspective, I now realize I haven’t lost anything or missed out on whatever. The fishing I do now is much more intentional and the fly quality has gone to another level. As with other parts of my life, I realize the shift from quantity to quality.
I compare it to another life I lived a long time ago. I was acknowledged into the art world and quickly had to produce quantity based on demand. With each piece, the quality increased as it naturally should. I had postured myself into a lifestyle that was nothing but work at all times. I lived in my studio and my job was art. My social life was patchy and my love life, spotty. This is what had to happen to get where I needed to be. Then came the stuff... the attachments and the gear. In hindsight this had to happen. It was a natural progression as I ventured further.
Packing for the Rabbits this last month, I had my duffel bag wide open on the bed. I was struggling with distraction because that's when I forget stuff. It dawned on me about how much shit I usually bring... i.e., quantity, overkill awesomeness! I just laughed and acknowledged myself at the crossroads of growth. Here was my chance to take a step forward or resume the current state. I pondered this dilemma for a bit, even stoped and filled up my water bottle and sat down next to the oversized bag sipping away at some cool water.
On one side was my old self saying; pack your shit! Pack all your shit because you never know what you’ll need or when you’ll need it. That voice felt familiar and comfortable.
I sat back, took another sip and listened to what the new self had to say. It came in the form of questions. I know you like to be the guy who has everything he needs and 99% of the time you help others out but isn’t it time to let go? Trust over fear? Trust that half this shit is unnecessary and besides, it kicks your ass when climbing those stairs at the cabin and you curse every time. Fear is making you your own Sherpa. Is it worth it? I took another sip and glanced at the clock. Doing the math, I now had 6 hours instead of 8 to sleep before the drive tomorrow. Old self jumped in for the save and said; pack it all.
I laughed out loud and was worried that I woke my son. I didn’t. I listened to utter silence in the house and picked up the subtle snoring of our heeler tucked into his bed. I took another sip of water and stood up. Back in the closet, I grabbed the smaller duffel and packed only what I needed... quality.
The 3 day excursion was epic. I was recharged in my world without a hitch. Only during the drive home did I reflect on my pregame dilemma. I’ve grown to be the older bull as opposed to still being the young one. If you’re not familiar with this story, it’s okay. Yet again I realize my growth... exhaling I took a sip from my water bottle and checked my speedometer. I eased back on the throttle and pegged it to the speed limit.