I turned 34 today. Or I will in 30 minutes or so. Thirty four. Yesterday as I was walking a creek with my buddy Don, I was thinking about getting older and what it means. I started waxing philosophical in my head.
Don was downstream. Way downstream. A few days before we’d been on the same stretch of water. I caught all the big fish. I was lucky, I swear. Then again, I’m a lefty. Most of my friends cast right handed. Most of the world casts right handed. We lefties are a rare breed; usually because the world tries to kill us off early. Darwin and all that jazz. I actually feel bad being a left handed caster when wading with a right handed caster. It means I’m always low holing them. I always get the first shot at fish when I’m wading close to a right hander. Always. It’ll make you feel pretty shitty. If I’m not in front with the fly flying off my left shoulder, I’m behind them randomly saying, “behind you, watch your back cast..” You can’t wade with a lefty behind you and hold a conversation.
So with Don making sure to be a hundred yards downstream with the first shots at the fish, I was in my head thinking about getting older and what it means. I have no idea what it means so I stopped thinking. What I do know is life is getting better as I get older. I once thought my twenties were as good as it gets. After I hit thirty, I figured I was just waiting in line to die. I was pretty fucking wrong which leads me to believe if all goes well, my forties and beyond will be even better. If there’s any wisdom I have gained, I hope it’s that. I watch my older friends and they seem pretty damned happy with a pretty damned balanced outlook on life.
On the cusp of my mid-thirties, I realize I’m in a gray area. People in their twenties are for the most part now foreign to me. Folks close to retirement look at me the same as I look at a recent college graduate. Pretty sure I’ll always be there as long as there are people older than me. I’ll take it. For now, I’m going to enjoy being happy and healthy. I have an awesome wife who has spent the past 15 years with me through the good and the bad, I have a roof over my head, an awesome cat, an awesome dog, amazing family and friends, and the fishing has been good. What more can you ask for? Anything else would be greedy.
Yesterday I caught the biggest fish I’ve seen in that section of that stream. I was way behind Don. I was lucky.
Now to go pop some advil because my hands are hurting from the arthritis and carpal tunnel.