You think I’m fishing for ‘mom’ from how you read my title. I was fishing for a mom, but it was a trout’s mom. This is my blog post about how I almost didn’t go, but then I did.
I almost didn’t go. I was thinking back at the week I had, mulling over the lists. Stupid lists. Recognizing the week ahead resembled the same chaotic list-full moments, I knew I needed to make a run; for me, from the needing me, to the river.
I’m such a weirdo when it comes to leaving on my own for a weekend without my posse. I realize what checks my decisions as they exit the plane for flight are not totally my own; they are the weights of other people’s expectations, or my own interpretations of them. Thoughts run through my mind from voices I’ve heard before, who think I’m nuts to take a whole weekend off to fish- that maybe I’m not doing enough or I don’t deserve a break, or maybe I’m wrecking my children’s childhood by not being in their faces every single day. The last stop at the door is checked by my own personal questions: Are you going to drive 9 hours to fish in the freezing cold? Is this the best use of your time? Have you even calculated the gas mileage amount? Aren’t your waders pretty tight with fleece under them? You haven’t solved all of these life problems, are you sure you should go? And, is this the best use of your time, again?
I almost didn’t go, but then I did.
I wonder why we must always calculate the best use of our time… What about the adventure, the thoughtless moments where I’m not solving anything? It has to be ok to not be doing anything, right? Or how about the completely selfish moments where I ditch all my friends in the freezing wind, cast for that rainbow trout I know I saw rise out of the corner of my eye… how does that add up in this strange life calculation? I’m sure that it’s selfish, but I’m just going for it all. I just have to go for it. It’s not selfish, it’s pushing past the limits our culture has put on women to work hard and only play in a certain way. It’s letting myself get what it craves, what it works so hard for: the river, the peace, the uninterrupted moments of casting, the adventure, the laughter with like-minded strange friends. It’s being ok with not being in the best shape ever in this season of life or being the best adult I know I can be, but still allowing myself to enjoy life. There is no way to earn the ability to enjoy life. Life passes so quickly to not take time to enjoy it.
And no matter what size your butt is, your talent and desire for adventure remains the same. See, this is me with my husband’s jacket on that I had in the car, because it was dang cold and the river doesn’t give a flip what women are wearing.
At one point during my trip, I noticed I was on the river with a big dumb grin, a jolly snicker, and a child-like selfish manner of walking my own way up the river. Sure I had those awkward moments of peeing on my wader straps in the snow and hooting extremely loud when I landed that nice rainbow trout I had been stalking. It’s always going to be filled with those moments of calculation resulting in either success or failure, or just pure opportunities to laugh. Mom’s need sel-fish moments! I’m sure glad I have some friends that are as strange as I am and love winter fishing…and they don’t mind how tight my waders were after the holidays. 😉
Disconnect, I urge you. Take care of you. Get into nature and let it make you feel small so you can remember the big picture. Mom-fishy-weekends are so essential every once in a while. When you are constantly doing and serving, it’s easy to forget you are your own strange person. Let the strange person out, or else all you will have is a robot… But always, always, buy your kids something on the way home. And double kiss your husband who kept your kids alive while you were gone and believes in your crazy fly fishing addiction side as well.
Tight lines, mamas!
(Thanks to my friend/cousin, Sally Barnhart, for being my traveling partner and taking most of these pictures of me in my camo parka. I love road trips because it gives me a chance to truly visit! And scare my passengers with my weirdness. And thanks to my friends, Meagan Newberry and Holly Finn, for fishing with me in avalanche territory.)
And Thanks to Terry Edelmann for letting me fish this Pieroway 3 wt rod with a tight Cheeky reel. What a blast. I want one now. Gear review coming soon…maybe…after I cook dinner..