I’m working on our Christmas card photo today.
Sitting in my office here in Illinois.
A nasty chill is seeping off the windows, fighting the heat. It makes the floor cold. Too cold for bare feet. I was up this morning well before the sun, and the sons. I started the day by reading through all of the articles & updates that went live throughout my last Political Detox session.
I need a refresher. After the confusing midterm results, I’m frustrated. Cold. Discouraged. Run down… and here comes winter.
I hate this time of year.
The weather, combined with an overall feeling of “what the crap is going on in this country?!” will do that to a man.
The news always seems bad. The country (and our countrymen) are always in some sort of conflict.
You might feel the same.
From time to time it’s nice to get a little reminder about happiness.
Earlier, as I was forcing myself to work a bit and clean my email inbox, an article came through from a new site that I am following called All Pro Dad. (I recently subscribed to their daily emails because I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to consider suggestions from other parents.)
The title of the article?
5 Subtle Lies You’re Telling Your Child About Happiness
It’s a short read, and a good one. To paraphrase, the author reminds us that we need to be careful our children don’t think that happiness is controlled by other people, or that it comes from money. We need to teach them that happiness is in fact essential, and for many it’s not something that they find, but something that comes as a result of what they do.
All good points worth thinking about, instead of grumbling about the cold weather, amongst other things…
Something struck me though… the final point was that [It’s a lie to think that happiness is] acquired by acquiring.
Ah! How very minimalist of you!
It’s a good reminder to pause and make sure I don’t allow myself to fall back into the old winter habit of buying every fishing product I can get my hands on in an attempt to take my mind off of the fact that I’m bummed out and stuck inside.
To fill the void.
That won’t make me happy, and it sure won’t make me a better fisherman.
Make Sure You Don’t Go Back to Collecting STUFF
You’re thinking, “but AJ, your most recent article REVOLVED around stuff!“
Ay, it did. It also served as a warning to readers (don’t mimic my mistakes) and was meant to be a means to an end: I need to upgrade the batteries that power the jon boat before I get stranded or hurt.
(A YUGE special thanks to all of you that donated! We are well on our way to upgrading the compromised batteries…)
A Minimalist Fisherman is still a Fisherman.
Fishing requires equipment, and that equipment needs to be maintained, upgraded, replaced… but not collected.
Never piled up “just in case”.
Items without a purpose must be avoided, or let go.
There is a balance.
Make space, so you can think clearly.
Make space, so you can focus on technique.
Make space, so you can learn more about the behavior of your prey.
The happiness is in the doing. The improvement. The successes, and yes – even the failures.
Lord… if you’ve visited this site more than once, you know there have been failures… they’re not hidden away. That’s by design. They’re public, and a big part of the process.
This morning, I was failing. Focusing on what couldn’t be done. Feeling sorry for myself, and feeling like I was going to slip backwards into old habits…
During the summer months, fishing makes me happy. It’s a good way to escape the craziness of everyday life. A calm lake surrounded by birdsong in the morning. A cool, shady creek with water running past your shins in the afternoon… it doesn’t get much better than that… but it isn’t the ultimate source of happiness.
My faith, and my family… OH! – that Christmas card photo… I better get back to working on that…
We all have something to be grateful for, no matter what is going on around us.
Seek happiness, but remember: happiness is not acquired by acquiring.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
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Crawling Under the Interstate to Fish
Last year I found a gorgeous fishing area after crawling under the interstate – these 4 baits slayed ’em! Watch the Video>
Stars & Bars Fishing is a video blog (vlog) dedicated to putting the techniques we write about to work. All Episodes>
Our lake went and froze over last week. tis the season. I’ll be out on the ice next week. I’ll get some pike and fillet them boneless. When I think of happiness related to fishing, I’m most happy taking someone fishing, or at least catching enough to share with a couple of the neighbors who can’t get out.
I shed a single tear when I heard about your frozen lake… however, if you’re headed out ON it, I wish you safe, awesome fishing my friend! I agree with you as well. My best fishing memories include others. Those big smiles on their faces – priceless. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Gary!
Practical and timeless advice, AJ.
Thanks my man – Merry Christmas to you & yours!