Fishing Lines - Make a commitment to share the outdoors
This last week has been emotionally challenging. One of my brother-in-laws has been hospitalized with a severe stroke. He has been a healthy and active outdoorsman his whole life and the kind of man you would least expect to have this experience.
As we approach the new year, it has caused me to pause and reflect on the things in our life that are most important. Health, family, friends, and the memories we create with each other are the real priorities.
At a very young 60 years old, Jerry has created a lifetime of memories with many friends and family members. He never seemed to need to be reminded that his love of fishing and hunting time shared with friends and family is what makes him a rich man. We hope and pray for recovery and for Jerry to be able to continue to enrich his life and those around him with his love of nature and the outdoors.
As we pause to make our "New Years" resolutions it makes sense to me to keep perspective on what is really important. The "lose 10 pounds" or "stay away from sweets" kind of resolution won't cut it if you are a fisherman and have a passion for the outdoors. A commitment to share your passion and make a memory for someone else is a resolution for the new year that will last a lifetime.
For those of us that have a gift or aptitude for fishing, hunting, or the outdoors, we have the obligation to give back to others what has been given to us. We need to pass along our passion so others can "pay it forward" to the future outdoorsman. Share your gifts and talents and teach your skill to others.
Most of us all know someone in our lives that has experienced a life changing event, have been through one of our own, or have been effected by a 9-11 or school shooting type of situation. These are all reminders that life can change for us and our loved ones in an instant.
I resolve this year to work at not taking my rich life for granted. I will follow through with putting a few family members back in my boat with me that have not been in the boat with me for some years. We will make some new memories together. You never know when life could take those opportunities away from them or me.
It is easy to "sweat the small stuff" and I am guilty of losing my perspective and stressing about things that, in the long run, don't really matter all that much. I am better with my perspective today than I was yesterday, and have been better this last year than I was the year before that. I am hopeful I can keep making progress one day at a time.
I also know, that for me, fishing is a part of my life that has helped me make progress with appreciating the simple joys. Fishing helps with relaxation, excitement, joy, laughs, communing with nature, and an escape from some of the stresses that make life challenging at times. For me, and I would guess for many others, fishing is therapy. Not always an inexpensive therapy appointment, that is for sure, but always worth the investment! I am making some specific plans to fulfill my "New Years" resolution. I encourage you to do the same.
I know this week's article is not going to give you any fishing tips you can put into practice, but it is the end of the year and a time for reflection. It is the start of a new year and a good time to set some fishing goals for the upcoming seasons. Next week I will try to pass along some fishing tips you may find more practical. Be safe on the ice and make good decisions in the outdoors. Peace to you and your family in the new year.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)