Trina Machacek: A ‘FIN-ished’ fish story
I’m looking for my happy. I have been told lately that I need to find then do what makes me happy. Now, on the surface that sounds pretty easy. But when it comes down to it, what makes you happy is not all that easy to put your finger on. Just try it. Like this …
For the next 10 or 15 minutes give yourself permission to do virtually the one thing that will make you happy. Go shopping? Just go. Go fishing? Just go. Nap on a soft couch without waking up all hot and sweaty because you fell asleep when it was cool and now it is after 3 p.m. and the air conditioner isn’t on and it’s like 400 degrees on that comfy couch? No, that wouldn’t make anyone happy, so this one is not to be considered as being something that would make you happy. Let’s keep going.
Shopping. You can only shop so much then everything looks like the last thing you looked at. Everything on the shelves at the stores look like they have all been picked over and stuffed back on the shelf. But you buy things and when you get home you really don’t want them, you just bought them because you were shopping and when you shop it’s only natural to buy — so you return half of what you bought. And really if you had all the things in the world that you could shop for and have, would you really be happy? For how long?
Fishing. Some people, I am sure, could fish and fish and fish. But think of this. If you fished until you caught a ton of fish then cleaned them and even ate all of them could you go back out the next day and fish more? Would that make you happy? Really happy? Or would you eventually just want to have a pile of barbecued ribs instead of fish. Yum, wipe your chin! Would you find that fishing just became a chore, not a happy event for you to look forward to?
See? Happy isn’t so easy to accomplish, is it? But! Yes, a “but” is here. But happy is attainable. More important, happy is sustainable. Now, understand that even though I know this suggestion I am about to offer as a way to find happy has been done before, by someone, at some time, somewhere, I might recommend this be done with online shopping only. If you do this in reality shopping, it might be considered bad manners. But let your conscious be your guide. Get a cart and put things in it that you feel you just can’t live without. Put in things like clothes, shoes, a new curling iron, a No. 2 weight fly rod and a new reel that makes it all balance on the tip of your finger. (Very cool, trust me on this as I learned about rods and reels at the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing school in Freeport, Maine.)
Then when you are tired of the shopping, putting all of your dreams in that cart, then — just walk away — uh … “X” out your “online” cart. Don’t buy, don’t return, just walk away from it all. You get to have that feeling of shopping, but without the buying, storing, dusting and eventually reselling. Could this “not buying” make for some happy for yours truly? It has in the past.
If you are the fishing type, try this. Catch and release. Toward the end of my fishing “career,” I found that bending the barb on the hook as to not hurt Mr. Fish, then releasing the finned guy back into the water and watching him wiggle his tail at me in a goodbye swanky like arc gave me an amazing feeling. OK, OK, or her tail — just felt strange to suggest a girl wiggling her tail at anything, especially me! Swimming along …
I really don’t like fish all that much, I am a beef kind of gal so to put a fish back made me happy. Ah, there it is again, happy!
My other half loved to fish. So much so that he once caught a three-pound trout at the Ruby Marshes, had it mounted and he looked at it for years. That made him happy. Now I have that stuffed fish and I would like to find it a good home for the rest of its stuffed fish life, which could be forever. Need a stuffed fish? A deal at just 75 bucks. That would “FIN-ish” this fish story and would make me very happy!
Finding what makes you happy is a process. It’s not just one thing, either. It seems to be the whole enchilada, the whole ball of wax, the whole shebang, the entire package of your life that makes you happy.
Pretty sweet if you think of it that way.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!