Youthful Obsession

Do you remember something you did when you were younger?  Something that gave you so much pleasure?  Something you’d thought you’d always be doing?  For inexplicable reason however, you gave up and have never gone back to it?

For me the obsession was freshwater fishing.  Yes!  I said obsession and as you read on you’ll clearly understand that fishing became an obsession.  My maternal grandfather taught me to fish.  My grandparents lived not five minutes from a pond that was full of Bass, Pickerel, Perch and the occasional trout.  I spent much of my youth with my maternal grandparents as my Mom and lived with them.  Even after we moved away my roots were always in Lisbon, Connecticut.  My best friend growing up lived around the corner from my grandparents.  So not only did family draw me back to Lisbon, friends drew me as did my favorite fishing hole.

While visiting my grandparents after moving away, I’d get up before anyone else in the house, sneak downstairs so I wouldn’t wake anyone.  I’d quickly grab something to eat, then head out the side door and into the garage.  There I’d gather up my tackle box, my fishing pole and a can of nightcrawlers I’d found the night before.

Now here’s where the first indication of my youthful obsession reared its head.  Since this fishing hole was just down the street, my grandparents were not too worried about me as they could walk down to check on me.  I’d arrive at the pond first thing in the morning and wouldn’t leave until dusk fell over the water.  My grandfather would join me around lunch time bringing food with him.

As I grew and moved further away from Lisbon and that fishing hole, my obsession went on unabated.  Let’s fast forward to high school.

I recall finding several friends here in Madison who had the fever as well.  In some respects this illness we all acquired took over our lives.  There were days, when Todd, and I (a friend I made shortly after entering high school) got up before school and threw our gear into his jeep.  We’d run down to The Hammonasset River which about a ten minute trip from my house.  Fishing for three hours at least twice a week before school was not unheard of.  Todd would run me home in his jeep.  Then he’d drive around the corner to his home.  We’d meet in homeroom having cleaned our trout and ourselves.

This went on for all four years during high school.  As with my obsession with writing I didn’t foresee a future that didn’t have fishing in it.  If you had known me then, you’d have said the same thing.  Fishing was my life and my life was fishing.

Then as with writing, I lost all my desire for fishing.  Like a light went off.
Then as with writing, I didn’t miss it in the least.  I still don’t miss it.  That’s somewhat challenging to write and somewhat challenging to re-read.

Have you had an obsession in childhood, something that was as much part of your life as is breathing?  Did you grow out of it?  And did you find that you didn’t miss it in the least?  I’m grateful that my joy for writing returned and I only have this blog to thank for that.  Check out a column I wrote in December, 2010 called The Itch that discusses my loss of love for writing and how it returned.

But fishing?  I don’t see it returning.  I find it odd sometimes that something that I spent so much time doing even as an adult seems to slipped through my hands.  Kinda sad too.

How about any of my readers?  Is there anything you’ve done in the past that you don’t do now?  Do you miss it?  I’d love to hear from you.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.



5 responses to “Youthful Obsession

  1. Sadly, I cannot remember anything like that, Chris. I wonder why. I had so many interests that I didn’t pursue anything consistently. I sometimes try to think hard about what occupied me in my growing up years but I fail to put a finger on anything concrete.

    I am still wondering.

    Joy always,

  2. Might an explanation be that you simply maxed out? You did so much of it that you overdosed and wanted to move on to other things in this lifetime.
    Just wondering.

  3. I’m happy to say that at 55, I’m doing all the things that I always loved and wanted to do, as a child. I had a huge gap of time, from teenaged years to late 30s, when life got in the way of art, writing and craft. The same color combo that, in looking back I see that I liked, is amazingly still with me. Just grown up and expanded to be my signature colors: lime chartreuses & purple fuchsias.

    And Chris, freshwater fishing was a part of my life from before I can remember. My maternal grandmother was the cause of it. And I can catch ’em, chop the head off, scale ’em, remove the bladder and innards, filet and fry ’em up! But I ALWAYS prefer frying ’em whole, w/o the head though. Haven’t gotten to a place yet where I have time/means to fish regularly, but I will. It’s always with me.

    Have a nice day.

  4. One thing I loved doing when I was growing up was sketching. My talent was marginal at best and it’s an activity I haven’t done in YEARS! Probably will never do in the future either.
    Blessings, Chris!

  5. that’s so great that you grew up with that outdoor obsession. Out in the natural world! Kids now are too lost in the digital world to take notice or even have the patience I bet, to sit and wait for a fish to bite.

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