Sunday, November 25, 2007

To Clear the Mind, Take a Hike

When all else fails and the fish just aren't biting, well, take a hike.

Hiking has always been a great way for me to clear my head. With resumes, jobs, and more phone calls than I could have ever imagined over the past few weeks (that's a good thing and Verizon thanks me), I was in need of a long hike. Today, I ventured off to Osbornedale State Park in Derby.

A rather small state park, I discovered a basic trail and just followed it. I discovered some outdoor meeting pavilions with fireplaces, a nice pond with geese (and fish), and a wonderful collection of birds to stimulate my ornithological tendencies. Next time, I'll have to bring my binoculars and bird book. My grandmother would be so proud of me.

I needed to hike today. Clearing the head going into a busy week is important. I have a good feeling about how things are going to play out for me this week. I have some big decisions to make and feel confident that I will have the opportunity that I seek.

Also, it is the holiday season. That time of year when all of your radio presets jingle Christmas music - I always feel sorry for Jewish people and those of non-Christian faith. How presumptive of American radio to play only Christmas music.

The holiday season is also a very warm, fuzzy time of year. My parents (Bill and Carol) will be visiting for a week around Christmas. This will undoubtedly be a very special visit, as Dad has made a complete recovery from his battle with oral pharyngeal cancer. It has been a long, arduous year for him (and us), but no gift can top his improving health. I'm sure I'll be spending lots of time in Canton at J & S's.

My new year's resolution is to become a big sister. Naugatuck has a Professional's program that enables you to volunteer time and help out a child who needs some guidance or support. A colleague does this with two wonderful girls; I'm inspired to do so myself - to give some when I have enough to share.

Wish me luck this week! Happy Birthday, Dad!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Peace can be found in many places but truly, peace comes from within. If you are not at peace with yourself, how can you be peaceful with anything or anyone else?

Today's entry has a lot of personal meaning, so hopefully, you'll enjoy it and perhaps begin to understand me better as a writer and a person.

Today, I fished the Naugatuck River. It runs adjacent to my new apartment complex. I caught a small rainbow trout, but was initially enticed to fish there by three guys in neoprene waders who vowed they had caught a 15 lb salmon. Although I did not succumb to the fishing story, I did find peace along the Naugatuck River bank. I walked up and down, casting under trees, getting my feet wet on a cold, November Day.

Fishing has always brought me back to an even keel. Even in the most treacherous waters (specifically, times in my life where there has been a lot of change), fishing is something that my soul craves. It nurtures me back to a steady cantor. It is a connection with nature, a rhythm, and I'm lucky to have this river right across the street from my place.

What is it that brings you peace? When things are up in the air in your life, what do you do to bring yourself back, reel yourself in, find that cantor?

I have always been somewhat of a loner. I enjoy doing things alone, I enjoy being alone, and I do some of my best work at 5:00am, alone. I'm a technical writer. Perfect fit. I like to garden alone (sometimes), but I like cooking with someone, not just for myself.

I'm wondering if the stars will ever align for me - if I will ever be truly fulfilled with the company of another? For me, it is like the Schopenhauer fable that Jen shared with me - about the porcupines. This fable says it all and it is only now that I realize the truth it represents. I am stubborn (I don't stop fishing until I catch at least one) and I always get what I want. Determined goat. I'm also a big mush and cry in the Hallmark store. Seriously.

There are advantages and disadvantages to self-sufficiency. It can attract those who are self-sufficient and simultaneously drive away those who need more...

This fall has been one of great revelation for me. There has been a lot of change in my life and some growth, as well as the possibility of a new job on the horizon. As always, I remain optimistic that the best position will come to me.

In peace, I hold my thoughts and feelings close, knowing that patience, honor, and respect will win over everything else. As long as I can soothe my soul, casting a line along the Naugatuck River in the meantime...

Happy Birthday tomorrow, Dad. I love you.

Peace. Out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Casting the Employment Net

Just when you think that your life is stable. Good job. Nice place to live. Nice car. Savings for a year or so. Some investments. Then one day, you go to work. The HR rep calls you into a conference room. You look at her and say, "This better be a huge promotion," judging from the look on her face. Her face writhes in agony, only to reveal a meek, "please sit down." The big boss walks in and drops the axe - "your department has been eliminated."

This happened to me about a week ago. Part of my requirement is to support my manager in her effort to take over everything that our entire group was once doing. This means training her, explaining things to her, all the while looking for a new job for myself. Exhausting. Trying. Frustrating. Challenging.

So, I've decided that as of 01/02/2008, if I am not employed as a writer with a wonderful organization, I will be gainfully employed as a member of the crew on Sig Hansen's boat (The Northwestern). Slinging crab from sea-foam covered wire cages. Putting bait fish in, throwing the trap back overboard. Ahhh. I could dream of this for a long time. The scent of the sea and the smell of fish and the sweet reward of a giant paycheck and some tasty crab to send to my salivating father.

It's a real show. It's on t.v. - the Deadliest Catch. Can you imagine living in Alaska and making your annual income in 6 weeks? That would provide ample time for salmon fishing, hiking, biking, surf casting, and fly-fishing for sturgeon. I could live like a queen.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Off-Season Activities

Today's post is about activities that you can pursue in the off-season. Of course, this post could go in a completely different direction... but I will resist the temptation to wander down that path...

This morning, the clocks turned back at 2am. This is a very depressing time for us fisher folk. In New England, the fishing season appears to be winding down. The shorelines are barren of surf casters and the rivers are missing the usual population of fly fishers. A recent check on the Cabelas website reveals a nice stock of ice augers. Get ready, old man winter.

If you're not into ice fishing and cannot travel to Cabo San Lucas on a whim to do some Marlin fishing, here are some ideas for making use of the winter months to increase your enjoyment of the sport when spring comes around:

  • Take a fly tying class

  • Remove the line from all reels and put new line on

  • Clean out your tackle box

  • Get rid of equipment that you just don't use

The latter is like keeping mismatched socks. Why would you hold onto something that you don't need? Unless you are a pack rat who enjoys using orphaned socks as dusting cloths...