Untangling My Line


This weekend I got to escape with my Sweetheart for a little lake time on the kayaks. It's so peaceful on the water and I treasure the few moments of silence to attempt to quiet my noisy head. While I love floating in the calm of the lake with the soothing breeze blowing, my husband is all about the fishing! Me? Not so much.... I mean, I try, I really do. When we hit an area with hungry little Bluegill I can cast all day. But, I guess I just don't possess the patience that a good angler should have.  Still, like I said, I try...

This brings me to the little lesson I stumbled upon this past weekend. I honestly think I spent the majority of my fishing time untangling my line, either from a tree branch, from a fabric flag on the back of my kayak (yes, you read that correctly and fixing it required my husband's assistance), or just from itself. It seemed I would jerk too hard after baiting the hook so the line would just tangle around itself. Or, I would cast badly and end up "catching" a "tree fish". I even got my entire self tangled in low branches more than once. As you can see, it's a good thing I married a man with patience and a good sense of humor!

I'm going to be honest here, I was ready to just quit multiple times. And, THAT made me even more frustrated because I am not a quitter. But, I was just so irritated at myself for not getting it and embarrassed because I was looking like a total goober to my Man. (He already knows I am so I'm not sure why I worry ;) ) Then at one point it occurred to me that my predicament was much like starting and running my business. This topic was fresh in my mind as I am in the midst of refocusing my skills and launching a new site. What I realized is that when I don't focus on the small steps I need to take in my business, and instead focus on what I think the end product should be, or worse yet what someone else's end product IS,  I feel the same frustration and overwhelm as when I am untangling the stinkin' fishing line for the third time in a single cast.

See, when I slow myself down and really think through where I am trying to put the bait I do well. I have the ability to fish decently and am not always a schmuck! But, my attention goes all over the place so I am not in the moment. I also hate to ask for help because I want to look competent and independent. So it goes in business. I mean, am I the only one who will struggle for days with an issue that could probably be resolved in minutes if I would just ask for help? Another silly thing I do is sit down to write, but my mind is really on someone's books I need to balance, emails I need to return, what the heck I'm going to make for supper since I forgot to take meat out of the freezer. Therefore, my writing is either terrible or doesn't get done at all. Because I quit... because I didn't want to slow down, untangle the line and focus.

The lesson I got this weekend is that it's worth the effort to keep trying. I'd love to say I finally caught something so my patience paid off, but the only thing I caught was a chill from the rain (and my husband's wayward paddle)! But, I will definitely go back out with him again. Probably this coming weekend. Why? Because it's worth the struggle, same as it is in my business or yours. Maybe I'll ask for some pointers when I'm tangled (probably not, though). But, I will definitely make a decided effort to think through what I am trying to do instead of hurrying through the experience. And, today, when I sit down to work I will make that same effort to be right in the midst of the task at hand, instead of letting my mind wander to the rest of the to-do list that will still be there when I'm done.  Because, no matter what task we are taking on we can always spare the time to slow down, untangle the line, and focus on the moment at hand.

Stacie Hays