|Confidence without Execution|
In 2012, we were fortunate not to have any deaths in the family, or lose our jobs, house, car, or truck. Already, that's not a horrible year. In totality, 2012 was a series of calamities set between a pretty good life lived under stress. I got outside to fish or hunt about 60 times - c'mon everyone - don't call them "fishing days" unless you are actually out there all day - and I'm satisfied, but not thrilled with that total, as well as the skill I demonstrated while hunting and fishing. I worked hard to increasingly involve my 3-year old son to the outdoors, which surprisingly (to me) continues to be a thrill, despite the bungles and debacles that seem to inevitably occur.
I wrote a
1. Fishing and Hunting. Let's cut to the chase, shall we? I really wanted to diversify my fishing and hunting in 2012, and it just did not happen. I fished for trout a few times, with success, but never bothered to fly fish for them. I went fishing in the salt just once, and only caught perch. I fished for bass, and caught a lot of them, even on fly tackle. Probably more bass than any year in my life. I fished in a new state - West Virginia - and caught bass there. The end of the 2011-2012 duck season was a waste, but I got after them hard at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season - I was skunked several times before laying waste to several geese over the course of a few hunts in November and December 2012. I had a notable disappointment in my failure to go surfing in 2012 again - I miss the ocean so much it nearly breaks my heart, but $3.75 gas x 210 mile round trip = discouragement. On the other hand, one successful outdoor accomplishment was that I was able to fish and hunt with three bloggers I hadn't met before (Nick Doumel, Tom Sadler and Steve Kline). Those were real highlights. Overall Grade: B-
|Me, before 2012 weight loss|
|One can be horrible, and still|
accumulate style points
4. Outdoor Parenting. I am still learning how to be an outdoors parent. I am passionate about it, and honestly I tried really hard. Henry rode in a kayak and a powerboat before his third birthday. In 2012, he fished in residential ponds, spring-fed creeks, and ancient cypress swamps. Not bad for a two year old. As everyone knows, the single largest factor in whether adults participate in a hobby is the extent to which they were exposed to it as children. Soon Hank will be big enough for bicycles, climbing walls, and (gulp) his own kayak. It's going to be a wild adventure. Grade: A-
5. Writing. In early 2012, I thought a lot about whether I even consider myself a writer. It's kind of a silly question, because I write reams of technical reports and funding requests for outdoor work, I occasionally blog about the outdoors as part of my job, and in fact, I ghost write for a variety of folks on a variety of topics (I'm cheap! Be in touch!). I consciously work on my writing now, and posted several very personal pieces here in 2012. I have mixed feelings (relief, disappointment) over the fact that so few people read or commented on them. I guess that's to be expected from articles on an outdoors blog that lack pictures of the gaping jaws of a big fish or a dead, bloody goose. I will continue to work on my writing, and I'm happy that this blog exists as an avenue for me to do so (where at least a few people read it). Grade: A
Overall, 2012 was not anything like I expected it to be. I primarily mean that in a negative way, but there were some positives along the way as well - most of them documented here on River Mud. At moments in 2012, I was really shell shocked by what reality was handing me, but in all cases, the personal growth that resulted has made me feel really comfortable in my own skin - something that has not always come easy. I'm looking forward to a strong 2013, and will be making some goals for the blog in the next several days that take into account some of what I learned in 2012.