Vacations have a way of bringing things that are truly important to the forefront.
My family is home now.
We currently live in Illinois, but for the last two weeks we have been elbow-deep in fishing, swimming, eating, being merry, and then… even more fishing up in Minocqua, Wisconsin.
You read that right.
And we go with the EXTENDED family.
Trips like this take a lot of planning & patience… virtues I have been sorely lacking for many years…
But it seems like we finally have a routine dialed in. We have checklists. We know what not to pack. We’ve minimized, you see. We know what presentations to use on the crystal-clear, spring-fed lakes if we want any chance of attracting the finicky smallmouth bass and walleye that roam the depths…
With the added clarity, I realized something this year:
These trips are a good way to disconnect from the modern world.
With an intentional focus on family, fun & fishing, all of the excess – the clutter, the noise, the distractions – they all fall by the wayside.
At times, we find ourselves on the calm, quiet lake, and we are left with something a bit unsettling…
This helped me notice a very bad habit…
I start every morning by reading “the news”. After checking a few sites, I hop over to read 8 to 10 Twitter feeds, to get a feel for the reaction(s) to said news. This can take about 2-3 hours as I drink coffee and “wake up” with the rage machine.
At the end of the day, I catch up on daily events by watching YouTube commentary for 60 to 90 minutes.
Yet over the last two weeks I didn’t have the time to indulge in this sick, twisted habit, and as a result I realized just how destructive it was.
I was up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to fish with my Dad.
It paid off.
Sometimes with fish.
Other times… with conversation.
The days were filled with family activities. Swimming, sight-seeing, bobber-fishing.
In the evenings, I would read to my boys, then lay them down after prayers.
Then at night, the adults would play dice and drink a few refreshments, eventually rambling off to bed. Late. Late enough that I didn’t even want to try to keep my eyes open to watch YouTube commentary.
The swimming and sun, combined with everything else that happens on a vacation day, makes you rather tired. The real tired. The good kind of tired that comes from actually doing stuff.
Then something changed.
I began to enjoy the mornings.
I looked forward to the evenings when my head would hit the pillow.
My family started to get the best of me, my wife got more attention & time and my kids got Daddy in a good mood. I started to focus on them, started to plan things with them, started to zero-in on the things I could actually change in the short-term. There simply wasn’t time for my bad habit.
But I didn’t even know I had made a change… until I came back home.
When I sat down to sip my coffee and fire up the same ‘ol websites the first morning back, something was off. I realized that I was about to pick up a bad habit that I had minimized… by accident.
And so, this habit has stay gone.
I am now entering into a period of Political Detox, to see what I can do with the time I will regain.
If my math is correct, I may very well regain four hours every day.
How in the WORLD was I wasting four hours a day without realizing it?!
What could I do with an extra 4 hours?
Write more in this blog.
Hell, write a dang book.
Work on nutrition & move iron.
Spend more time building my website development business.
Develop a healthy website consulting business.
Edit more videos and build my fishing YouTube channel.
BE A BETTER DAD & HUSBAND.
Don’t they deserve that?
Start today. Be better.
For the next 30 days, I am not allowed to waste this time.
It is mine.
It is theirs.
I reclaim it.
The screen is not allowed in my bed.
The screen is toxic.
It must go.
Take some time and fish for your own bad habits. I have a feeling you’ll discover a few… and who knows what you can accomplish with that extra time?
I can think of a few things…
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.