Time To Quit Hitting The “Snooze Button” On This Blog

Yeah, I’ve been AWOL for awhile on this blog.   And for that I do apologize.   I understand to have a good blog you need to be consistent and informative…both of which has not been my usual modus operandi over the past several months.   Time for that to change…or at least that is a goal for 2017.

I’ve been well…and I’ve been busy with life.   Running a business out of one’s home(which I have done for 27+ years) and doing so profitably these days demands lots of time and attention.   Not making excuses, but fact is doing the stuff to pay the bills is generally more important than doing the stuff (blogging) that showcases your pastimes in life.   I think most people can appreciate that.

Elsie and Dad enjoy some hot chocolate while sitting in the deer blind.

One of the things I do not apologize for is spending time with my 8–y/o daughter.   When I got married later in life (42) my wife was insistent on wanting to have a child before the two of us got any older.   She kept telling me how having kids changes you; not only bringing a relationship closer together, but also changing one’s overall attitude on life.   Boy, was my wife correct on that life assessment.   Until you’re a parent, you just don’t understand.

But I contend how becoming a parent later in life changes you even more than if you’re a parent in, oh let’s say your mid-20s.   When you are a young parent you see a fairly long time horizon and balance out family and adventure accordingly.   For me, being a more mature parent of a youngster…it’s just different.   It’s not that I don’t hope for a long life remaining (BTW, I turn 54 tomorrow), but I think a more mature parent is just better equipped to appreciate how the best gift you can give a youngster is your time…no matter what is experienced together.   If it’s something in the outdoors, even so much the better.

Back when I worked ambulance I used to have a partner who would radio the hospital with a patient report sometimes saying the person in our care was suffering from “TMB.”   Most often the doctor or nurse on the other end of that conversation would scratch their head wondering just what the hell that acronym related to in the report.   It was simple.   TMB stood for “Too Many Birthdays.”   Indeed, there sometimes reaches a point where the best way to describe what a person is suffering with is explained by the fact they are getting old.

Yes, we all get old and I have discovered how one of the best ways to feel younger again is to live the outdoors through my daughter’s eyes.   Children are like sponges and they want to explore and learn.   If you are lucky enough to have the expertise it simply behooves you to find someone with whom to share that knowledge.   This past fall when my daughter told me, “Dad, you’re not allowed to go hunting anymore unless you take me with!”   Seriously, those words spoken were sweet music to my ears.   To have a child who desires to be with you even if it means being cold, uncomfortable and often tired from early morning wake times…well, there’s just no greater feeling in the world.

Elsie proudly displays the turkey Team Braaten shot last April (Elsie’s 1st turkey).

Truly, I am blessed.   If I had extra time or energy that might have once been spent blogging, instead I have been spending it with my child.

She understands how food doesn’t just come from a grocery store.   She understands how the process of eviscerating a wild critter can have a certain unpleasantness involved with the process.   Moreover, she now accepts that death is an emotional aspect of life and that in nature something must usually die for something else to live.

My daughter dreams of someday being a veterinarian.   She loves animals.   At even this young age she understands how with that career there are lots of unpleasantness involved in order to strive to improve an animal’s health.   Blood is part of what we do…either as hunters or as care providers.   The outdoors is the perfect place to mold this understanding which will benefit her later in life whether nor not she actually achieves her career dreams.

Elsie and I have some exciting adventures planned for the coming year.   I promise to do a better job posting more of those adventures for everyone to see.   Of course, not everything about this blog will now involve my li’l outdoors partner; in fact in 8 days I will be heading off to Vegas for my 26th  SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade).   Wow…26 industry trade-shows?   No wonder I’ve been tired and hitting the snooze button.   Stay tuned….

Here’s Where I’ll Be On Saturday

2014 MNBlogCon Attendee

That’s right…I should be hunting or doing something fun outdoors this Saturday, but instead I’ll be spending all day indoors honing my blogging skills.   Great annual event.   This will be my fourth conference out of five years.   Try not to miss it.   Much to share after the event…I promise.   Stay tuned.

The Deer Stand Is Where We Learn About Ourselves

Non-hunters often have great difficulty understanding what would possess an otherwise normal individual to sit in a tree stand for hours on end waiting patiently for a deer to pass.   To be perfectly honest, everyone has their own reasons for doing it.   Early in one’s career the motivation to score on a trophy animal can be so compelling it becomes reason alone.   Later, however, after hundreds if not thousands of hours waiting silently, I do believe many hunters just “feel” it is the right place to be when the autumnal winds start blowing.

Yesterday I saw this little inset picture (wisdom) and found it to be so utterly perfect.   Indeed, in silence is when we learn so much about ourselves.   Deer hunting (as well as many other forms) is an exercise about waiting.   It’s takes determination to rise hours before most other folks on a weekend to pursue the passion.   It takes a desire to accomplish something that takes both skill and luck without ever a guarantee of success.

Oh yeah, hunters learn a lot about themselves.   The time for introspection can have a profound impact on one’s life.   I know.   For it was in the deer stand twice in my life I mustered the courage to tell an employer I was moving on.   Time for greener pastures.   Time to make a change and let go of what had become comfortable in life to seek new opportunities and adventure.

The deer stand will do that to you.

I think the deer stand will also help “reset” your life or put things back into proper perspective.   In today’s fast-paced world this is more important than ever before.   I know from personal experience that far too often life has you running seemingly nonstop almost to the point of exhaustion.   A little “me time” is often the cure for this ailment.

So, when you are in the tree stand considering life, weighing lofty decisions, reminiscing on friendships, contemplating that new truck purchase, taking a mental health break from the kids, putting the stress of work behind you, and simply unwinding with some peace and quiet, consider this.   Time spent in the deer stand helps to recharge your life’s batteries.

When your phone is running on empty, you never quite know if you’ll have enough “juice” left to get you by until the next recharge.   For me, hunting season is my life re-charge.   It affords me the opportunity to step back, slow down life just a bit, and do plenty of evaluating on both where I’ve been, but more importantly on where I am going if I so choose to walk that path.

Speaking of walking that path.   Did you know that yesterday was my official 10th anniversary for this blog.   Yes, indeed, I didn’t care to make a big deal of it…but with this blog post I am now officially starting a new decade of blogging.

You can be sure that when I am out in the deer woods this fall contemplating all there is about my life, part of that learning about myself will involve what I am doing with this blog.   Ten years…can you believe it!   In case you’re wondering, HERE was my very first post.

It’s fair to say the act of blogging also forces a person to learn a lot about themselves.   Yet, the genesis for nearly all of these efforts begins with precious time spent in the woods learning about who you really are.   For once you discover and understand you, the rest of the world comes into much clearer focus.

Tell me about your time spent in the woods discovering about yourself.