Reflection accompanies birthdays like a glass of milk accompanies brownies. One inevitably follows the other. With my birthday coming up later this week, I’ve been somewhat thoughtful about how things have gotten this way.
This line of thought was spurred along by a conversation I had at work with my newest staff member. I don’t really remember exactly we got on the subject, but we ended up talking about how differently our lives are now as opposed to what we thought they would be like five years ago.
Take me for example. By this time in my life I figured to be either married, or close to it, with at least one published book under my belt, happily working away at a business or career I had built for myself. Have any of those come true yet? Nope. (This year will be the turning point though! I can feel it…)
Our conversation then wandered to where we see ourselves in five, ten, twenty years. We traded dreams, goals, aspirations, most of which are pretty damn lofty, at least on my end. I’ve always enjoyed setting goals for myself, and have several long lists here at home detailing what I plan to accomplish over the next few years.
As my mind wandered to the future and whatever wonders and hardships it may contain, one thing always remains constant. I always, always, always, see myself spending what free time I have on the river with a fly rod in hand. No matter what happens in my life, I will always be fly fisherman.
Too many hobbies, sports and pastimes are only enjoyable for a few years, or at a certain age. But fly fishing possesses a timeless quality. No matter how long you fish, there is always more to learn, new water to seek out, new flies to try and fish to catch. You can never fish it all. You can never know it all. Anyone who claims to is a damn fool.
In five years when I think back to the conversation we had today, I’m sure many things will have changed. But not my love of fly fishing. In 40 years I want to be that crotchety old bastard that goes on and on about “back in my day”, and still can out fish those damn kids.
I fish because it’s a lifelong pursuit.
Photo by Shane Rickert