After a third consecutive night of what I'll call "disturbed sleep", I've come to a conclusion regarding "what the heck I'm doing". My conclusion is ... I'm doing it all wrong.
I started thinking back to years gone by. Many of them. Back to when I was just a kid who loved to fish and wished he could do it every day. I remember going to ice fishing derbies and getting a thrill out of watching people register their fish ... just to see the fish! I remember getting dropped off (wasn't old enough to drive yet) at the river sloughs at first ice with a chisel and a couple of cheap tip-ups and spending all day trying to out-think a northern pike or two. I remember going ice fishing with my buddies and making sure somebody remembered the football and the grill.
Somewhere, something went wrong. I've just realized that fishing has become trying to out-think other fisherman ... trying to get a step up on everyone else so they'd get a thrill out of seeing what I caught ... trying to out-spend everyone else because "the experts" said I needed this or that.
Somewhere along the line I forgot the football.
So, it's back to basics for this guy. I pledge to myself (as I sit here at 3:55 a.m.) that from this day forward fishing will once again be about the fish, the friends, and the football. If you're looking for me ... I'll be the guy turning the brats on the grill. I'll be the first to help my buddy land his fish, because that means I'll be the first to see it. I'll be the old guy limping around because his knees can't handle the post pattern anymore. I'll be the guy with the smile on his face ... actually enjoying himself again.
Let me know if you want to come along. I've got plenty of the latest equipment ... I've still got my football somewhere around here ... and I make a mean brat!