February 19, 2019
Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis
I found this on a shelf of fishing books I keep in my home office. Regrettably, I don't recall who sent me this book. If I had to guess, I'd say Howard Levett, but honestly I'm quite ashamed to say that I'm drawing a blank. If you thought this was a book review, I'm sorry to let you down. It has sat on that bookshelf for a few years now, untouched. I've never read it, but perhaps now is the time.
I think I'm going through a bit of a midlife crisis as well. I'll find myself the at the age of 42 this June. Not feeling old or run down by any stretch, heck, I still have all my hair and it's not even gray yet. However, the average life expectancy in the United States sits at 78. So simple math (and a barrage of tax-time phone calls from my financial advisor prodding me about saving for retirement) certainly reveals the inconvenient truth.
Honestly, it's not any realization of one's mortality that creates this epiphany. I'm not tempted to go out and buy a sports car, motorcycle, or boat... or whatever those popular stereotypes might be. Unfortunately, I do find my mind wandering quite a bit these days. I'm not as focused as I once was, and it has nothing to do with early onset dementia.
I'm fairly certain that my conscious thoughts are succumbing to a genetically embedded inner voice from the primitive times of man. I've sat under florescent lights, stationed in front of a computer screen in a somewhat sterile office setting for almost 20 of those 42 years. I grew up in an urban (or at least suburban) environment. Asphalt and uniformity is everywhere, Once upon a time it wasn't a big deal, it was my everyday. My normal.
Today, I find my mind wandering constantly. I'm reading books about the 1800s... mountain men... bison... and Teddy Roosevelt. I'm watching Ken Burns documentaries on the American West and National Parks. I want to hike... explore... fish... Challenge myself both physically and mentally in the outdoors, not just for a few hours on the weekend, but all the time.
Call it a bad case of wanderlust if you will, but it's real, it's strong, and it has had a fairly strong grip for the past year or so.
Eventually, I can see my family moving to a mountain town, be it in the Appalachians or Rockies. I think that's the end game once Lilly is off to college. I just need to convince K.C. that snow isn't the worst thing in the world between now and then. While neither of us love Florida, she is quite fond of the Sunshine State's winter weather... oh, and the accessibility to Disney World.
Until then I'll just have to deal. After all, it's probably just a phase. I know I'm not alone. I'll probably snap out of it one of these days. Or not. And if you actually made it this far, thanks for humoring me through this rant. Either way, I'm still reading that book...