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Buh Bye Productivity

This past weekend was spent with an old friend and a pair of new friends in a cabin remotely set on the banks of the Au Sable river.  While we were there to chase big fish with big streamers, it was about way more than that for me.

Long excruciatingly stressful weeks of work have piled upon me, taking an enormous toll on my own well being and mental psyche.  I needed this trip to unwind, participate in shenanigans, and display an overall lack of responsibility.  It was well past time to recharge and rejuvenate my soul so that I could hopefully reintegrate myself as a once again productive member of society.

There are few places left on this earth like remote, northern Michigan.  There are hardly any watersheds – especially with the size and fame of the Au Sable – that are nearly barren and void of evidence of human establishment.  In the 21 miles of river that were covered, there may be only 1 mile that is lined with cabins, the remaining 20 miles of river bank are lined with giant walls of mature cedar and pine stands that tower towards the heavens and gives me an awesome sense of complete and utter seclusion.

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While beautiful, peaceful, uninhibited, and soul soothing – this environment can also be down right maddening and frustrating.  Every square inch of river looks like it is probably holding the largest trout you’ve ever seen – grade A stuff for trout.  For the first several hours of the day, you always expect something to happen each and every time you pull your streamer broadside across the current back to the boat.  Only it doesn’t.  Things rarely happen – at least for most (myself included) on this water.  I knew that going in, I spent the better part of the week leading up to the weekend, mentally preparing myself for this.  Getting ready to endure a tough go on the fishing front – and made it about the experience, the relaxing, the hanging out with buds.  I needed that, I needed the unwind time.

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Then my life was ruined.  My career now hangs in the balance.  My relationship with my wife will undoubtedly endure enormous amounts of strain.

I finally was able to score a good fish from this water.

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One would think that I would return back home and to work completely satisfied, my thirst quenched, my soul healed, and my mental stability restored.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  I literally have spent nearly every second thinking about getting back in to the water, any damn water, to pull streamers around again.

I’m an addict.

I fear that like drug addicts, who are said to constantly try to replicate that first high they ever had, only they are unable to, I am concerned that I will wander the rest of my life seeking to replicate this experience.   I have in the blink of an eye developed a unquenchable thirst, a sickness for which there is no cure.

I suppose the only option is for me to embrace it, and feed it.  Good bye career, see you later mental and emotional stability, and please take a moment to wish me luck with my marriage.

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