Thursday, April 29, 2010

Out of the loop...

In the midst of my online blogging absence, I'd like to take the chance to let my readership know that I haven't died but have been rather busy with several items of writing distraction.  As the school year winds down, I'm trying to get my after school program schedule worked out and preparing my older students for the upcoming exams.  In addition, I've been doing my best to prepare for the Maine Guide's Exam.  It is in my hopes to take the test early this summer and join the ranks of the elite few who exemplify the outdoor world I love.

I'm fortunate to have several top notch guides as great friends and one who is currently the newest Maine Guide .  With their help and my intensity of study, I'm confident that I may pass the test.  It is important to emphasize that there is so much information and material to cover, this so far hasn't been easy but rather an enjoyable hardship of self-improvement.

So I'll try to get some writing in, especially since the big fishing trip is approaching and my boat returns from some more warranty work (fuel pump defect).  Until next time, take care.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

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
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