The quest for Balance…


I’m not good at balance.

Not good at all.

I’m known as a “closer,” a person who completes projects, creates product, delivers on time, as promised, or better.

That’s all fine and good. But this all comes at a cost.

My focus on accomplishing something, whatever it might be, is at once a blessing and a curse.  Focus is necessary to do anything these days.  Accomplishing a lot of things, many separate things, requires much distinct focus on each and every thing.

This ability to focus and deliver has allowed me to be “successful” in my professional life.  The ability to focus has allowed me to achieve a high level of performance tying flies, fishing, writing, creating salmon art, and sometimes, mowing the lawn or tidying-up the garage.

People who barely know me admire my ability to accomplish as much as I do, never recognizing that I, too, have only so many hours in each day.

I don’t know if they wonder how I manage to balance work, writing, fishing, friends, and family.

Do they know that there simply are not enough hours in a day to get it all done?

Do they know that I never achieve the balance that I should?

I’ve neglected my family, much of the time.

I love Lisa and Jackson dearly. My first-born son, David, and his wife too.

I’m not really sure they know how much I love them.

They know I love to fish; fly tying; writing; salmon art; photography.

They have plenty of evidence that I love my work and all things salmon.

The other night I said to Lisa, you know adore you.


Not good, I thought.

Lisa knows I love and adore her. But it would be nice, she was probably thinking, if I remembered her birthday, and Mother’s day, and didn’t announce to the world that Thanksgiving interferes with the best part of the fall Chinook season.

I take my family for granted.

I know they will be here for me, no matter what.

Did I mention neglecting my few dear friends?  They know how I take them for granted.  They forgive me.  They know it’s just the way I get stuff done.

The salmon, now, that’s a different story.

The salmon may be here today, and have moved on tomorrow.  A hot bite missed is gone forever.  Like the three days last fall when the kings were taking Clousers in the surf at the mouth of Elk River.  I got there two days late.  Two days late is like being in a different galaxy than the salmon.

My family forgave my foray chasing should-a-been-here-two-days-ago salmon.

My family continues to tolerate the intensity of my working-salmon chasing-writing-creating art-tying flies-go fishing cyclic obsessions.

Thank you.

It is who I am.

If they medicated me any more, I’d probably achieve balance, but I might just sit and drool on myself, unable to remember what it was that I was supposed to be doing.


4 thoughts on “The quest for Balance…

  1. Brilliant.

    part of me wonders if the closest thing to balance we ever achieve is a tensioned state of being indicated primarily by a self-realization that our balance is shot to shit. I guess that statement supports the conclusion that actualized balance is that highly-medicated-drooling-on-oneself-unable-to-remember-what-one-was-supposed-to-be-doing state of being.

    I mean, it’s not that I think the glass is half empty but maybe twice as big as it should be– or in the case of fishing: it simply doesn’t hold water long enough.

    anyways… great blog.


    1. Note to self: must acquire bigger glass, pronto. BTW, you will love the Portland, Oregon, Washington area for fly fishing and failure to achieve balance with anadromous fish all year long. Thanks for your kind words. JN

  2. That’s all my first ex-wife ever asked for, a little balance. Her new husband’s passion is for home-improvement. Cha-ching!

  3. Brillant to see a fisherman confess that he needs a little balance in life. I’ll be a wise woman when I figure that one out. Many applauses to the patient husbands, wives, and children.

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