As previously mentioned, I have been super sick this month. I don’t know why. I have been doing all the things I am supposed to have been doing, and my mental health has been great. So what the what, gastroparesis? On Friday, Hubs and I are going camping for our anniversary. I am determined to stay well and be well for this event. Problem is, the worry of getting sick stresses me out, and stress makes me sick. It’s become a pray and hope scenario.
Every day that I wake up feeling well, I consider to be a tiny miracle. If gastroparesis has taught me nothing else, it is to savor each day and try to make the best of it, because a lot of the time my days get ruined. I have a new outlook on life itself, which is causing me to be grateful for the little things. I am always looking for silver linings in the chaos, and this is the biggest one: my appreciation for living.
One of the things that I have done to help my physical and mental self is take up fishing. I got my license in May and Hubs bought me a pole for my birthday, and I have been taking quite an interest in it. My favorite part right now is learning the different types of fish. I literally knew nothing about fishing at all; Hubs has a basic knowledge, but nothing fancy. So, we have been teaching ourselves as we go.
One of our learning helpers is a fisherman/YouTuber by the name of Leif Steffny. He has a show called North West Fishing Secrets, and we watch it every week. His M.O. is to catch some fish, and then cook them up shore-side. It combines Hubs love of fishing and cooking, so it’s our #1 YouTube video experience. We have learned a lot form him, because he talks about fishing as though he is talking to someone who is new to the sport, like us. He is always sure to explain everything he is using and doing, and we learn something new each week.
Now, one of the things we learned, as this gentleman both catches and cooks his fish, is how to kill one.
It looked really easy: you just bonk it on the head, but the reality is a little harsher, to me.
I caught a trout this weekend. Not a big one, but big enough that he managed to swallow the entire hook right down into his stomach. There was no way to get it out; he was bleeding. We could cut the line and let him die in the water. We could leave it and let him asphyxiate on land. Or we could bonk him on the head.
I held him in my left hand while Mark did what had to be done. It looked so easy in the videos. But then, I felt it…shaking and shivering my hand, spasming because it was dying. It was maybe three seconds, but even that felt too long. I ached for that fishie.
When it stopped moving, I dropped it to the ground. Mark told me his death wouldn’t be in vain…we couldn’t eat it, but he would take it home and show me how to gut and filet a fish, and at least it would teach me something, I figured.
But I can’t forget what it felt like in my hand.
K told me she wants to go hunting someday and I grimaced (this was the same day as the fish.) I never wanted to go hunting, because I can’t imagine killing Bambi. (Plus, the hating guns thing.) But apparently I’m fine with killing Nemo? Or am I?
I’m not going to give up fishing because the joy and health it has brought me far outweighs that sad moment with the fish in my hand. And that’s kind of how I feel about most of my life right now. I’m not going to let my good days get ruined by the weight of the bad ones. I try very hard to make each moment count, now, in a way that I did not do before, and that is very important to me. The moment with the fish was devastating, but the fact that I was out in the sun with my husband and daughters was the exact opposite. It was rejuvenating and wonderful and healing. That little fishie didn’t make it, but I was okay, I was still breathing, and I didn’t feel the pain of a hook in my belly, for the first time in a while.