Friday, July 11, 2008
One of the more unpleasant things about getting older, I think, is that we become more resistant to change and learning new things. I know that has been the case for me.
Sometimes we are forced into change, and even when it is because of bad circumstances, that can be good. After I lost my husband almost three years ago, I had to change absolutely everything about my life. I learned to deal with all kinds of new experiences, from pumping my own gas to handling the IRA’s.
I also discovered that new interests not only helped me in the healing process, they empowered me and made me feel accomplished. I learned to dance, and became involved with different social circles. One of the people I met along my way was Tom, who is now my boyfriend. (And yes, it is OKAY for a WOOFer to refer to a man she is dating steadily as a “boyfriend”).
Tom had expressed his interest in fishing when we first started dating, but I was quite surprised when he suggested I try it. “Fishing??? Now isn’t that supposed to be some type of a male bonding ritual?”
His response was “Try it. You’ll like it.” So I reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. Or would that be hook? Of course, I have to admit, it helped when he told me that he had a covered pontoon boat, complete with a stereo system and bathroom. And—that the boat was stocked with lots of goodies, including chocolate and adult beverages.
The first day out was so relaxing—just quiet conversation, the warm sun and the sparkling water. I decided right then and there that this fishing stuff was okay. But then, it happened...
I looked over and saw one of the rods attached to the boat bend completely over. Tom yelled, “You got one!” and I grabbed the rod out of the holder. I started turning the reel madly, only to be told, “That’s the wrong way! You’ve got it upside down!”
The entire time I was trying to get that darn fish to take a boat ride with me, I was yelling “Help me! I can’t hold on! This is too hard!” I glanced over and saw Tom filming my novice attempt. “Oh yes you can!” he declared. “Just kept turning, and hold on tight!”
After a string of colorful words, and a lot of tugging, I won. Tom scooped my catch up into the net and put the fish on the scale. I couldn’t believe it when he said, “You caught a 10 pounder!”
My heart was pumping and my arms were shaking. Man, what a rush! I did something I never ever dreamed I would or could do. Maybe fishing is just a little thing, and of course, not everyone’s cup of tea—but it felt so amazing to realize I had pushed the envelope again. I had been challenged to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
It has been great fun to share my “fish story” and show friends the photo of the big one that didn’t get away. And even more fun to hear the words “Wow. Is that you? And you caught one that size by yourself? Boy have you changed!”