This entire self-serving and self-deprecating blog post is born of my realization that I’m nearing middle-aged crazy and probably on the precipice of some sort of “phase.” The idea for the following diatribe hatched in the normal way, stemming from a conversation with my fishing buddies. Almost all of us are struggling with the same daily reminders of our increasing mortality, and realizing that we must seize what time we have left (and hopefully, for all of us, it’s quite a bit) to make the most of the lives with which we’re blessed.
It can be terribly depressing stuff, but like many things, it can also be just a matter of your perspective. As I’ve stated before, I’ve enjoyed some very good things in life and could argue that it’s been a very fulfilling existence … but I’m not satiated either, and want to make sure I take advantage of the opportunities – no matter how big or small – which surround me.
Life is good, but precariously short. In no particular order, life’s too short to …
- Have sunburned feet.
- Not have pancakes every once in awhile.
- Not work hard.
- Work hard everyday.
- Spend your Sunday evenings worrying about Monday morning.
- Not see a lunar eclipse.
- Not see a double rainbow.
- Not remember the most awe-inspiring sunset you’ve ever seen.
- Not go a little nuts every once in awhile.
- Pay so many taxes.
- Eat peas.
- And broccoli.
- Watch Lonesome Dove and not cry when Gus dies.
- Not fly-fish for tarpon.
- Not stalk a school of permit and cast a crab fly to the lead fish.
- Not go offshore.
- Not fish with my Dad every time I get the chance.
- Not call my Mom at least once a week and tell her thanks for something, anything, everything.
- Not start and end my wife’s day by telling her how much I love her.
- Not see a soldier and tell him/her thanks.
- Not dream big.
- Not fish a shad kill.
- Not fish the spring stripe run.
- Eat bad Chinese food.
- Get a stomach virus.
- Read a book you don’t really want to read.
- Live vicariously through anyone.
- Do math.
- Not eat, drink and be merry.
- Try to impress everyone.
- Be rude.
- Not learn how to make a good margarita.
- Talk too much.
- Not listen.
- Not catch a big, angry amberjack.
- Not go on an all-day float-trip with your buddies every once in awhile.
- Worry about asteroids, aliens and global warming.
- Not see the mountains.
- Wear skinny jeans.
- Have a favorite parking spot at work.
- Not smoke a perfect rack of Memphis-style ribs on an old grill.
- Drink cheap beer and crappy coffee.
- Not to play my Fender Strat.
- Not to have “Safety Dance” stuck in your head for a couple of days.
- Not double-haul an articulated streamer, wrap it around a small overhanging tree branch that you didn’t see, only to watch the streamer yo-yo it’s way free, drop into the water and get inhaled by a big brown trout who watched the whole thing.
- Not pay a ton of money to be flown into some remote stream to fish for big, stupid fish.
- Dance in public.
- Complain about the weather.
- Not dance in the safety and privacy of your home. In front of your cats. And, maybe your wife, but only to make her laugh.
- Eat something really fattening, then worry about it.
- Not drive a truck.
- Not walk on the beach at night.
- Not sprint down the beach in order to cast to schools of little tunny feeding on glass minnows in ankle-deep water.
- Not build a house.
- Not have your favorite team eventually win it all.
- Not toss a good spiral, make a 20-footer and groove a four-iron within two feet.
- Not cry over losing a pet.
- Not hear a baby laugh hysterically.
- Not own an Orvis reel.
- Not take a shot at getting Orvis to send you free stuff.
- Not listen to Led Zeppelin.
- To hear “Sittin’ by the Dock of the Bay” on the radio and not whistle during the Coda.
- Not go to a NHL Playoff game.
- Not hire a guide once in awhile.
- Not go to Vegas. At least once.
- Lose your keys.
- Drop your cell phone in the river.
- Shart. At someone else’s house.
- Not paint what you love.
Life’s too short not to make lists.
To end this, take the sage advice from the British philosophers Monty Python …
Some things in life are bad; they can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
But, when your chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble. Give a whistle!
And, things will always work out for the best, and
… always look on the bright side of life.