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.
Mike Sepelak said, This “older” friend smiles to read this. You are both wise beyond your years and intensely young at heart; one hell of a good combination, in my book. Never change.
In reply to Mike Sepelak, Dave said, Thanks homie!
Alex said, The title of this post reminds me of something. Maybe something that George Carlin said, about being on a plane, maybe running out of gas, maybe with engine trouble: The woman sitting next to him asks how far he thinks the plane will make it, and he replies “all the way to the scene of the crash.”
Living kicks ass.
In reply to Alex, Dave said, Living does indeed kick much ass.
Revive said, nice dave. keep up the excellence.
In reply to Revive, Dave said, thanks dude. i’m definitely trying.
T.J. Brayshaw said, All in all, I’ll take wisdom over youth.
But as my knees ache more each morning, and the hangovers take so much longer (oh, so, so much longer) to recover from, I am starting to rethink this.
Nice post. We need to do some philosophizing together again.
In reply to T.J. Brayshaw, Dave said, Fishing has been exceptionally good lately. I’ll email you. We need a re-do
hiptothesip said, Happy belated birthday.
I hear ya on the getting older thing. Too many beers and/or too much casting of musky flies put me in this weekend. I used to be able to drink twice the beer and fish twice as long. Now… I say, bring on the bengay.
In reply to hiptothesip, Dave said, Thanks homie! You coming to the Rustbelt Bake?
Austin orr said, Dude, that last fly on the picture column is d-licious. Great looking tie.
In reply to Austin orr, Dave said, Thanks bro! That was a quick throw together to see if I liked how it moved. I did and the fish did more. Now I gotta remember how I tied it!