Doing The Things That Count In Life


I haven’t been the most active on this blog site over the past few years and for that I do NOT apologize.   What you say?   If you’re serious about blogging why in heaven’s green earth are you not sorry?

It’s simple.   I have been enjoying my time being a dad first and foremost.

Now, I know what you’re about to say.   Well, many people have been dads before me and will be so after me.   I get that.   I understand that.   I also know there are many fathers who will not let raising their kids get in the way of their next fishing or hunting trip.   I certainly respect that…but things are different for me at this stage of my life.

I became a biological father at the ripe old age of 45 and I contend that being an older father makes you see the world just a bit differently.   Oh, that’s not to take anything away from those dads in their 20’s who try to do it all juggling both a family and an active outdoors life.   But when you’re older I think you recognize the choices you make are more important.   At fatherhood, you get one chance to do it right.   In the outdoors if you screw up…well, you can try it again next season to do it better.


When I was actively blogging on a much more regular basis I would be doing so evenings after supper or mornings before going to work.   Now I find these precious moments absorbed in fixing toys, getting kids ready and off to school, you know…the typical dad things.   But rather than rush through them to move on to other tasks…I find myself totally immersed in being there for my sweet 5y/o daughter.

You see, when I was just 10 years old I lost my dad.   My dad was great, but he was active and very busy in life.   Oh, sure, I got to know him for only a short period of my life, but it certainly was tragically cut short when I lost him.

I have no regrets.   My dad was the sort of family man trying to scrape a living and make a better future for his family.   He worked hard.   He laughed hard.   And he wasn’t always there for me when I needed him.   But I understood.

When you are in your 20’s and perhaps your 30’s you feel that life centers around you and that you’ve made lots of sacrifices in life to get to where you’re at…now it’s time to reap the rewards.   Sure, that continues to be true in your 40’s and 50’s, but with that increasing maturity you also come to realize that it’s not always the what in life that is important, but the who.

In my little girl I see a child hungering for attention from her daddy much like I once did from my father.

I will still try to make posts to this blog as often as I possibly can, but understand what counts in life is not how many words you put in your blog during the course of the year.   Nope, instead…what truly matters is how you spent your time doing the things that count in life.

When I am absent from this blog you can rest assured I am spending quality time with my little buddy.   That said…are you doing the things that truly count in your life?   Tell me about them in the comments below.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

What Makes An Outdoors Expert In Your Mind?

Before I get going on this blog post I want to make a confession.   I DO NOT consider myself an expert in the outdoors.   In fact, the older I get the more I realize just how much I still have to learn about most topics.   Oh, sure, I have plenty of experience in certain aspects pertaining to outdoorsy activities, but none of them relegate me to the status of considering myself an expert.

Yet, these days I seem to be in the minority.   Look around and everyone—or so it seems—is claiming to be an expert about something relating to hunting and fishing.   As I page through most sporting publications I see “so-called” experts giving seminars, serving as pro-staffers, etc. as if this is supposed to mean something to me.

SLD_1601Honestly, Mr or Mrs. Advertiser…if your experts are names I am not familiar with in the outdoors world does promoting them as being at the top-of-their-game really have any significance to the average sportsman?

Okay, let me stop here by saying this post is not about bashing industry experts.   Quite the contrary, my question to you is what qualities or level of achievement constitutes “expertise” in your mind?   Is it the fact they have a wall full of trophy fish or game in their den?   Or is it a certain intellectual aptitude they have for discussing a particular topic?   I don’t have the right answer, and quite frankly there probably is not single correct response.

I think back several years ago to a stunt the Today Show pulled for a segment.   In a nutshell, they set up an autograph session with a no-name actor signing their autograph at a booth.   Unsuspecting people lined up without any regard for who the person was signing and taking pictures with the would-be autograph hounds.   You see, it didn’t matter if the person giving the autograph was legit, what mattered is everyone automatically elevated them to someone of importance.   The person was instantly—and I might say, undeservingly—famous.

Sometimes I wonder if this same mentality doesn’t occur in the outdoors world.   When someone holds themselves out to the world as important and worthy of respect, sportsmen often flock to them like lemmings on an outright run heading directly toward the cliff.

To some extent I think outdoors television is also largely to blame.   Obscure people garner enough sponsorship and funding to all of a sudden become “somebody.”   Doesn’t always matter if they have a lick of ability in front of the lens or a personality to entertain or enlighten, what matters is they get exposure and get groomed to become “somebody important.”

In closing, I want to ask each of you this important question.   Who gets your respect in the outdoors?   Is it the person who has deep pockets and can afford to buy notoriety?   Is it the person who has overcome great odds and achieved something most sportsmen could never dream of accomplishing?   Or do you simply follow the crowds and give undeserving folks a status they shouldn’t otherwise attain if their bio was scrutinized much more closely?

I know for one thing I’ve started taking a closer look at those folks within our industry who ask to be recognized and/or treated special as someone important.   In many cases I’m not seeing they are much different than me…and like I started out in this blog saying, I AM NOT AN EXPERT!

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Win A Chance To Meet Uncle Si And Willie From Duck Dynasty

Okay, I will admit it.   I’m a BIG Duck Dynasty fan.   Didn’t think it would happen.   Even avoided watching the show for the first couple seasons, but finally I gave in.   And like most things that are naturally addictive, I find myself amused unlike any other show I can compare it to.   If the show is on TV and I’m in the mood to waste some boob tube time…the show has me hooked.

So, when I was contacted by some PR professional trying to promote a contest with a chance to win $1,000 and an opportunity to meet Uncle Si and Willie, I flew headfirst like the moth into a roaring campfire.   Indeed, I don’t usually promote contests on this blog site, but this one just seems kind of fun.   So, here goes….

I’m not going to say much more about the contest other than CLICK HERE to enter.   The deadline is July 31st  so time is running out.   To read more about the rules click HERE.   Oh, there are other prizes to win too, such as ducks calls, hats, etc. so what have you got to lose other than a minute or so of your time.

Check it out!   Have a great weekend and good luck!

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.