If you have ever met my mom or dad they would be the first to tell you I’ve loved fishing from an early age. And I guarantee they will share with you a story from when I was 4. My first ice fishing trip with my dad and the beginning of the infamous line, ” One more fish.” When asked if I was ready to head home and be done fishing for the day I would reply, “One more fish”. Why? Because that next one could be a huge one. Because maybe after one more they would start biting like crazy again and we could catch a ton. Or maybe because I just wanted to spend more time with just me and my dad on the pond. Whatever it is spending 30 more minutes with my dad waiting for “One more fish” was always worth it.
Over the past few months I have had time to relax and do some ice fishing. And it has given me time to think about the last 9 years of photography. And how my photography has evolved. See it’s rare for me to stick with something this long. I normally take the time to figure it out and invest time into it until, well, until I get bored. Then I find myself moving on to something else. The two things that I have stuck with though has been photography and….fishing.
Both provide different things for me in my life though. When I think about photography I think about being able to create. Adding something to the world and trying to make a difference. It’s where I get to do something to help. When I think of fishing I think of slowing down and appreciating the world and what beauty it provides. It takes me away from trying to always make something better and being okay with where I am.
What is it about fishing that is so enjoyable. Spending time in the middle of a lake or pond, hovered around a small 6-8″ hole in the ice. Dropping a fishing line down in hopes of catching a trophy fish or sometimes anything to bite at all. Did I mention often times it is below 32 degrees outside. That may not be the best elevator pitch to entice someone.
For me it’s been that constant in my life. Fishing has always seemed to give me the return on my investment. It isn’t about the number of likes I get and I haven’t found myself winning any major tournament that is equivalent to the time or money I have put into it. But I’m talking about what it has done for me mentally and artistically.
It causes me to slow down and relax. To enjoy the nature and get outside. As a good friend of mine would say “do something by yourself”. No matter what time of year and how busy I am going to a lake or pond allows me to experience space. To take what is in my crowded head and just give it room to breathe. It gives me time to think about how I can communicate my ideas. So many great artists have amazing ideas, but fail at communicating them.
Today I find myself spending so much time on Facebook, Instagram, my phone in general. But when I’m fishing I’m away from all of that. Allowing myself to think, process, translate, and discover. It has a direct correlation to my creative side.
I’m not saying that you have to go out and fish or go out with this goal of discovering a new hobby. I just think it is important to recognize the balance of your life. If it’s working on a project, spending time with your family, running, hiking, reading, or cooking so be it. But recognize when you need to spend some time doing whatever your “fishing” is. Because “one more fish” or thirty minutes invested in yourself is okay. That is the best investment I can make. Because a healthy you can do more for others than an exhausted, frustrated, tired you.
So go invest in yourself, go catch ” one more fish”.