Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Your spouse, outdoor companion???

In this network of outdoor writers, I've seen and appreciated the passion shared for our all important world. Although I have not networked through this means of blogging, I do try to bounce around the different locales of perspective whether it be location, game, or type of adventure. Some writers are fanatical chasers of the elusive whitetail, or hard core fisherman. Others embrace hiking, camping, and the elements of how to balance life with recreation. Through this entire process, the most apparent element I have found through these past several years of reading & writing is that we all want to share what we do with family, friends, and with our writing- the world. We all want to become better people, more adept at our craft, and generate a willingness to gain perspective in life. This leads me to write this post about a topic that I've been tangling with for some time- the balance the time shared between your spouse in life as we continue the journey of outdoorsmanship (this is my spellcheck word of the day) and time for yourself.

As a man who finds himself against the grindstone day in and day out, working multiple jobs and fighting for greater success, and severely balancing my professional life against my recreational life, I can't help but wonder how people either use the outdoors for personal decompression from life against making it a means to draw two together.

You see, I have a most loving wife who grew up with an accomplished fisherman in her father. Fishing was part of family, once the ice hit they were setting traps for salmon and trout. Upon ice out, the boat was readied for trolling action. I found myself becoming immersed into this world, especially if I intended to literally catch this gem I call my wife.

I grew up primarily hunting for ducks and deer, with a training on small game. This was my world as my father is a most accomplished duck hunter who even has a chapter written about him in Ronald Koch's All Duck Hunters are Crazy.

This is what I would become, the next generation of ocean waterfowler. So two worlds collided in a sense of inquisition and appreciation.

But this is where the onus of the discussion changes, the connectivity also led to tangents in how I balanced my life with a change in perspective. My wife does not mind that I hunt regularly, and even encourages this for it puts me in a better frame of mind as an escape from the daily grind. However, I struggle with the notion that my escape does not include the one who I chose to share my life with as she has no interest in hunting. It has in a way, become a distant world that she supports but maintains a distance. Some people would say this is great for it allows an essential break apart and gives an outlet from each other. But within the same breath, it creates a barrier that takes time away from each other. Don't get me wrong, we do fish as a couple and as a family, but I can't help but ask the readership out there this undying question.

In terms of outdoor adventure, how do you balance your companionship in terms of time spent and what struggles do you find in either not spending enough time in this realm or on the flip side, all of your time?

So for the first time, I implore all of those who read to consider how you spend the outdoors with the one you love. Do some of you find yourself at times wishing you had more time alone or with friends, or direly need more time together participating in the activities you love? Or do you honestly feel there already exists a wonderful balance and you wouldn't change a thing? What may be the factors or issues that generate your thoughts of either satisfaction or improvement?

On that note, I'm putting this in your sights.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter


  1. Did you write that in soaking in a hot bubble bath while listening to Enya and drinking a tall glass of chardongay? :)

    Who loves ya buddy!

  2. Why don't you ask your wife why she doesn't go turkey hunting, or has she already bagged a foolish bearded tom? You egghead... lol

  3. Ok dropping my usual sidewise way of expressing me self to my fellow bloggers I’ll try and add to this….. Clare (my much better half) and me both work, in totally different but both very demanding and draining jobs, my shifts this year keep our time together short so when we are off together then we attempt to spend as much of this time doing things together, whether it be housework, shopping, walking, fishing, being outdoors, or just being cosy in a comfortable silence with a drink to hand. This time is precious to us both, but the silver lining on the cloud of shift work is that we both get time alone to enjoy our own things, for me it be sea fishing, DIY, walking in more harder conditions, working on the dinghy, starting to shoot and a mired of other projects with Clare doing her own thing in her time. It’s all about balance, it’s no good trying to involve your beloved in something she doesn’t understand or feel for, for this time would be wasted (Clare sea fishing? Noooo) it’s best to spend the time you have together doing stuff that you both enjoy (ok not the shopping, but some things just have to get done) and using time apart for the things that you solely enjoy, I guess it’s all comes down to balance and paying attention to each others needs. Hope that this makes sense; gee I must leave the cider and soft metal alone……….

  4. My wife and I will sometimes sit on the banks of a river drowning worms, but most times, my outdoor time is to myself. That's how I need it. Although the kids are FINALLY showing some interest.

    My wife - who for health reasons cannot do the things I like to do outdoors(OK, it's a crippling case of rhuematory arthritis and fibromyalgia) - does encourage my outdoor time and gladly partakes in the tasty vittles I bring home. Duck being a favorite.

  5. I've discovered as my little ones have embraced fishing, we've been able to share time as a family. I don't usually get to participate like I usually do, but the few hours we get to share makes for a healthy compromise. For that, I'm thrilled to connect part of what I do with some budding little fisherbabies.

    When I first came up with the idea behind this post, it was under the premise that I could get some better dialogue through my website but also to see how others like me (or not so much) balance individual passions with the ones we have chosen for life. On most occasions, my wife strongly encourages me to get outdoors as an outlet to counter the daily grind and responsibilities I've chosen as a provider. However, I also understand the importance of not overdoing the very things that allow me to define my well being.

    On a side note, I read these blogs of our fellow huntresses and wonder how their balance is maintained. It almost seems as if the outdoors has become a lifestyle and I wonder what it would be like to have more time with my own spouse in this circumstance. I'm not sure if including my wife in all I do would be as healthy as maintaining our sense of difference. I suppose it is all about balance and there is no right or wrong answer, but rather how we all handle our lives along with the passions that drive us in the field.

    For me it becomes time, place, and manner. I've been slowly introducing my girls to fishing first and showing them the results of my success in the field. My wife supports this action but sees hunting as a different element as fishing. Her angle is that the girls will eventually choose whether or not they want to be part of this, and if they don't then I'm handling the discussed issue on another level.

  6. Tony,
    I am no longer into outdoor stuff as I don't have the time. Wife and I spend time apart, each doing our separate things but then spend a lot of time together on things we share. Your wife is certainly a gem as is her mother. Advice, make sure she has her own breaks and continue to take those wonderful girls fishing. Otherwise, they could end up being Democrats!!!


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