Are we in this game (Fishing, Hunting …) for the prizes? The mounted trophies on our wall can be a great motivator for getting outside. Are we in this game (Fishing, Hunting …) for the Proof? To prove to others and ourselves that we are the Masters of our world, The BIG Fish if you will and we rule over the outdoors and if we want to shotgun pass a trophy trout back into the river, then BY Golly we will! Or are we in this game (Fishing, Hunting…) for the Peculiarity of trying to fit in with Nature and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. I have a feeling that if we took the time to really examine ourselves; we would find our motivations come from one of these P’s.
Spending time with my family this Labor Day weekend has made me so glad that I have put a value on my time and my family. I have a great family that would do anything for us if we ever called. I truly believe that we could do almost anything and they would come to our rescue. That being said, I know there are attitudes and issues that each of us carries around, we’re family and we all know how family is! I also know that sometimes I judge too harshly on other people’s actions and not my own. I carry each of the 3 P’s in my own person. I constantly try to get the biggest fish when we come together, and would love to be the one who can walk up to any pool and grab the lunker out of it. I think that being the BIG fish is something that is a man thing and proving that we can conquer anything is part of who we are as men. But I also believe that trying to fit in with Nature is the basis for all the love that outdoosmen have for their beloved past-times, no matter what those hobbies are.
I know one of life’s greatest pleasures is working hard and enjoying the fruits of your labor. My problem with that is that I used to work hard and other people enjoyed the fruits of my labor. Not that I didn’t gain financially from it, but when money is the only motivation, it quickly loses its luster. I came to realize only too far along that money can’t buy happiness, it’s found in the life that you make. Now I have family members who are in the same place that I was a few years ago, and it pains me to see that there aren’t more options for people to spend time outdoors and make the money that you need to make in order to live a sustainable life. When this particular family member asked if I would like to fly-fish with him vs catch more with my ultra-light combo, I gladly said yes. Taking time to just exist on our waters and really step back and relax was just what we both needed. My hope for their family is to come to the peace that we have found.
Back to the proof for a minute, we also have a contest that has been running since our fall gatherings began. There in the beginning, we would have fun seeing who would catch the biggest and the smallest, the most total weight and the least… One family member in particular has always caught the bait fish that is just bigger than the size 12 hooks that we use to catch trout. I’m sorry for this person, but the redemption this year was they also caught the most for our annual fish fry and there were some awesome keepers on the stringer. But proof in numbers is a small price to pay for the sore shoulders, back and legs we all get trying to outdo one another. If we can only prove to each other that we can be the best, we’re doing life the best in all the ways we live then. It’s been a hard lesson to learn that what people really connect with is the struggles that you go through. If they can help us realize that we just need some time to step back from our problems, the solution may present itself. That I am grateful for this weekend!
And finally, peculiarity (code name Madsen family)! We are peculiar in the sense that we have found an inner contentment with what we have, we like our lives being slower paced, and we live where that form of lifestyle is not branded crazy as loons. While we haven’t retired from life, it’s been nice to see that life doesn’t have to revolve around someone else’s schedule and when they want a project done by. We live at the pleasure of Time and when we’re hungry, we eat. When time sees fit to work again in a different capacity than what we have been, I just hope I can get back to some form of balance; knowing that time and attention is the greatest gift we can give anyone on this planet.
So go out and challenge yourself to question your motives for being in love with the outdoors. Do you want to prove that you are the boss and you will come out from your camping trip dry and perfect? (Answer: Don’t think this, it never works, nothing is Pinterest perfect!) Do you want to win the biggest prize and will you be disappointed with your experience if you don’t? Or are you going to be the peculiar one and just flow with whatever Nature can throw at you? Hopefully, the peculiar nature of the outdoors can give you a draw to come back time after time. It has been fun enjoying Nature in our family, make it fun with yours.