The Ripple Effect

Monday left me feeling a little extra blah. I had tossed my fishing poles and tackle box into my trunk before leaving for work, but didn’t really expect to feel like fishing after my day had ended. Once I left the office that’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to unplug and disconnect. I find myself on my phone constantly. I’m always reminding myself: put it away; stop checking on nothing; just be present. Rarely do I follow my own advice. I hate that I am so attached to something so minimal. 

Fishing and hunting offer me that disconnect. It’s so much easier to unplug and be present when I am in my comfort zone. This time, that meant having my fishing pole in hand. I stopped at one of my go-to spots. They had just stocked last week and I had hopes of catching some trout. It was cloudy and a bit chilly when I parked the car, but I had already made up my mind. I reminded myself I need this today as I fought every urge to just go home and veg out in front of the TV with a bag of chips.

As I got out my gear and started rigging up one of my poles there was another angler there unloading his kayak. He was nice enough to make some conversation which was refreshing. As a woman who takes a lot of solo outings, I’m acknowledged by a lot of men with a simple head nod. More often than not there’s just gawking. Anyway, he told me that he had some success the day before, and where I might want to try fishing from shore. I thanked him and we went our separate ways. I got set up and it was almost instantly that I caught a fish. I was hoping for a trout but I ended up reeling in a perch; then a pumpkinseed; and another pumpkinseed. I felt like a kid on Christmas; it didn’t matter what I was catching, I was catching fish.

The weight of the day was suddenly gone. As I sat there in the rain watching the geese on the lake, a blue heron flew overhead. I let the tranquility of this quiet lake just consume me, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: This is it. THIS is what I want to share with others. It’s not the trophy catches that keep me fishing, it’s the calm, cool, confident, put together version of myself that I become when I am in my element. The woman that I am when I make the time to do what I love, fully immersing myself in the outdoors. Appreciating every little detail, to the point where even the rain doesn’t matter.

Make time for yourself. Do whatever it is that allows you to unplug and disconnect from the everyday chaos. Find your element and you will find that confident, bold, bright version of yourself. For me that means hunting and fishing. Maybe for you that means doing yoga, learning to cook, or getting out for a hike. Start by just giving yourself just 15 minutes a couple days a week. Whatever it is that you love to do, take the time to make putting yourself in that environment a priority. Be the very best version of yourself for nobody else but you. Trust me. The effect of sheer positivity and happiness it will create in your life is like nothing else.

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