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A new year, a new plan of attack

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POSTED December 29, 2010 2:41 a.m.
Purely by coincidence, life-clarity has coincided with calendar change.

I’ve always hated New Year’s resolutions on the premise that it doesn’t take fireworks and funny number glasses to reveal deficiencies. I should be just as aware of my idiocy on April 18 as I am on December 31.

Even after cleaning up areas of our lives, there is always work to be done, because life is dynamic, even if we remain static. I can’t treat my life like I did when I was 22, because I am 29, and life has evolved whether I like it or not.

The clarity came as I sat on a bench outside a cooking store in Murphy’s on Sunday. As I waited for mom, my mind wandered to the river.

Statistically speaking I went fishing every four days in 2010 though half of those 87 days came during June and June.

Unfortunately, the stress of my job overlaps the time of year when I do the least afield.

There are plenty of simple getaways that only require a quarter to half tank of gas and a few ham sandwiches which I want to explore within a budget and without the use of a credit card.

I’d love to visit the Orvis-endorsed Clearwater Lodge in the Redding area. After all, I own an eight-weight Orvis Clearwater fly rod. The deal is that if I book the two full days on the water with a guide I get a top of the line Orvis fly-rod valued at $850.

Since the price is $999, a mere $149 more than the retail of the rod, it appears that I am getting two days of fishing on a legendary trout stream for $149.

Problem is, by subscribing to this logic, I’d be dumping a month of rent and an auto insurance payment out of one hand, for a pretty stick for catching fish in the other. All just to replace the rod I already have and love. One decision like this can change the monetary complexion of my entire year, so there is no chance.

Maybe that’s why the deal is what it is, keep dudes like me on the public water, but I’m not sour on Orvis or the Lodge, I am, after all, a subscriber to the newsletter.

Those sort of temptations can be put to bed with logic, but its more trying when the cuts include hunting deer, a fishing trip to the Umpqua River that I promised a friend in Corvallis, a college reunion in San Diego, and even foregoing the $14 lunch Sunday out after Church.

On a more expensive side, I’m even axing my Alaska drive this summer. No more Tim Horton’s coffee and breakfast sandwiches on the bank of the Skeena River. No camping in places like 75 Mile House, 100 Mile House, or 150 Mile House.

It’s the affordable medium, between loose wallet lunacy and penning weekly columns about needles falling off my Christmas tree like a cabin-dwelling hermit writing a manifesto.

I can’t take money with me when I die, but I can’t take stuff or pictures either.

Speaking of physical health, unless something ridiculously unexpected motivates me to find and hobble through a distance run by Friday, 2010 will pass, and be the first year since 2004 I did not participate in a half and or full-marathon.

Pathetic.

Yeah, I could blame the high ankle sprain or whatever, but shape and health deal in facts, not excuses. I did, or I didn’t. I do, or I don’t. Look where ‘trying’ got me - a chump, sitting in my chair looking outside wondering how I couldn’t muster just one 13.1-mile race in the previous 365 days.

The good thing about being employed and of some-what sound mind, is that I’ve got the same chance every other law-abiding citizen has in this country to steer my life in whatever direction I want in the coming year.
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