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A Boomer’s Predicament

I’m going to take a chance with this post and write something in a different style. You’ll have to let me know if you like it. “Boomer” and “Confidant” are real people and this short story really happened.

thumbnail photo of the author

Scott Reed, author

Boomer was born in 1950; thus the name. Boomer had two brothers, one sister and perfectly normal middle-class nuclear family. His parent’s direction defined his life. Get an education and a good job, work hard, get married, have children, buy a home and you will have a fine life indeed. He retired at the age of 57 because he hated his job with a Fortune 100 company. He moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to get away from the stress and turmoil of living in cities.

“So what’s wrong with that?”, asked Confidant.

Boomer replied, “My life was a bore. I lived inside the box that my parents had defined for me. I trusted their advice; education, a good job, work hard, family, and somehow everything would be great and rewarding.”

“And so it should be. You have a fine family, Boomer”, replied Confidant. “You made good money at your career. Your children are perfectly normal with no issues with drugs, alcohol, divorce, or the law. What could possibly be wrong with that?”

“That’s the problem.”, replied Boomer. “I don’t feel like I succeeded at anything. I never stepped outside the box that my parents had defined for me. I was all a routine. I set limits for myself and was always fearful of stepping outside of those limitations.”

“Everyone does that.”, replied Confidant. “What’s so unusual about that? Most of them don’t even know that they’re doing it.”

“Again, you restated the problem.”, replied Boomer. “If you want to do anything significant or rewarding with your life, you have to get outside the box that your parent’s teaching ingrained in you. You have to realize that you have complete control over only one thing – your mind. You have to recognize that there are no limits. You can do and be whatever you want. You should never set limits. But I did because I didn’t know any better. If you want to succeed at something you need to get outside your comfort zone, use the 99% of your mind that you use for nothing else, and replace simple imagination with creative imagination.”

“Who told you that?”, injected Confidant.

Boomer looked off into the distance and seemed to be in deep thought. “After retiring, I was so unhappy once I realized that I had succeeded at nothing, I spent the next four years researching why. I read every book I could find on success. I learned a lot and started applying the principles that I was learning. I fixed me first. I was a mess. Negative attitude most of the time. I repelled people with my negative attitude. Didn’t know I was doing it. Anyway, I fixed everything and changed me. But that was only half the job that needed to be done.”

“So you still felt that something was missing?”, replied Confidant. “Isn’t a bit late to look back on your life? You can’t change anything in the past.”

“No.”, replied Boomer. But every day can be a new beginning. I can start over. I can shed the limitations that I placed on myself, begin thinking creatively, follow my gut and instincts instead of my parent’s advice, do something different, and take risks. Do you understand what I am saying?”

“Kind of”, replied Confidant. “But I still don’t understand why this bugs you so much. Anyone would be happy with your life. So you’re bored. You are a little more demanding than most people. But now that you fixed certain aspects of your character and thinking, what is the other half that needs to be done that you referred to?”

“It bothers me that others are doing the same thing without knowing it.”, replied Boomer.

“Doing what?”, questioned Confidant.

“Setting limitations on themselves”, replied Boomer. “Living their lives inside a box. Doing exactly what their parents did and taught to them. Believing that is the way to a successful and rewarding life. I see it every day. Get up, go to work, put in their eight hours, go home, go to bed, and do it all over again. But if they would take control of the other 99% of their brains, put on their creative thinking hats, and get rid of the fear, doubt, and worry that holds them back while replacing it with faith in themselves. There is so much more in their environment that needs their attention. So many things, ideas, and concepts that they would find both interesting and rewarding on a grand scale.”

“But what if they don’t feel the same way about all this?”, argued Confidant.

“So be it.”, replied Boomer. “But they at least need to know what’s possible. Then they can decide.”

“Are you saying that you intend to let the whole world know that they need to throw off whatever limitations they have defined for themselves?”, inquired Confidant. “And that they should start or do whatever they want without fear or limits?”

“Yep.”, replied Boomer. “That’s exactly what I’m saying”.

“But how, exactly, do you intend to do that, Boomer?”, asked Confidant.

“Confidant, we have the Internet now.”, replied Boomer. “You can use the Internet to talk to anyone.”

“Another Weblog?”, asked Confidant.

“No.”, replied Boomer. “A training/teaching website. A monster of a site with daily interaction between instructor and student. Self-paced learning, audio tapes, video lessons, checklists, recognition for accomplishment, seminars. It’s not hard to teach someone success principles like desire, faith, perseverance, organized planning, use of master-mind groups, thinking creatively. But teaching these principles is not the challenge. You have to show students HOW to persevere, HOW to plan, HOW to think creatively. And then you stick with them until they have mastered the principle and made it part of lives. That’s the challenge.”

“Wow!”, exclaimed Confidant. “Are you serious?”

“I’m afraid so.”, replied Boomer. “I know. It’s scary. It’s a huge undertaking. And I don’t even know if this type of content will be accepted. But I have to let people know. I have to do something besides shove a book in their face. When I was still working, I tried that with my office staff and no one read the book.”

“That sounds like a gigantic undertaking, and risky.”, replied Confidant. “Are you really going to do this?”

“I’m not certain.”, replied Boomer. “I think that I have to in order to find if I can be successful at something. Or the whole thing might be a failure. But remember that there is much to be learned from failure too. Failing is just as instructive as succeeding, although most people don’t see it that way. The important part is that you don’t quit when you fail. When it’s time to attempt something like this, I’ll know. But I think it will get done some day, so stay tuned.”


Berkley Fireline – the Fishing Line of Choice

Photo of Berkeley FirelineFisherman, how many times has this happened to you when you are using monofilament fishing line? You set the hook on what you believe to be a trophy fish. But your monofilament line has so much stretch in it that you get a poor hook-set and loose the fish. Or worse yet, you hook another beauty and during the retrieval process, the fish bites off the line.

Berkley Fireline is the solution to your problem. It has virtually no stretch. So when you set the hook, you can be assured that you have a good hook-set. Fireline is braided and fused so it’s strong. I’ve never had a line break or a bite-off by a fish when using  Fireline.

But what I like most about Fireline, because it doesn’t stretch, is that you can feel everything on the bottom of the lake. It telegraphs everything up the line to your favorite rod. A rock feels like a rock. No need to set the hook. A stump feels like a stump. If you are pulling a lure through weeds, you know they are weeds and not fish. And that’s what you want. Because your expensive rod is your most important piece of equipment when on the water. Your rod is designed to be your most powerful weapon when searching the bottom of the lake for fish or when retrieving fish. When you spool sub-standard line on your rod and reel, you cripple your most important tool – your rod.

But Fireline’s advantages do not end with strength, lack of stretch, and its ability to let you know what is on the bottom. The diameter of the line is thin. For example, I use Fireline10 pound test for game fish. The diameter of the line is only 8 pound test equivalent. I use 6 pound test line for pan fish. But the diameter of the line is only 4 pound test equivalent. This is a bonus because the thinner your fishing line, the less chance there is of fish being able to see your line in the water.

Let me remove a myth about braided lines. The old braided lines of the 40’s and 50’s had huge diameters. They were difficult to handle on fishing equipment because the line had characteristics like rope – bulky and not easy to spool on some reels.

One of the first improved braided lines is Spider Wire. Spider Wire is also thin and strong. On the down side, a knot tied with Spider Wire must be glued before use. The line is slippery and capable of coming untied if not glued. That doesn’t fit MY fishing style. Imagine waiting for the glue on your knot to dry when the fishing is hot and you want to get your lure back in the water quickly. Or if the weather is frigid, do you really want to try and squeeze a tiny drop of glue onto your knot in a 25 mph gale when you are freezing to death in a boat on a lake? I don’t. That’s another reason why, when it comes to braided fishing line, Fireline should be your first choice.

Berkley Fireline can be purchased at most tackle shops. If you are seriously thinking about switching from monofilament or other lines to Fireline, www.berkley-fishing.comhas a wealth of information on Fireline and compares Firelines characteristics to other types of lines. Fireline will cost a little more than other lines. But it negates the fishing line frustrations that I’ve described above. We fish because it’s fun and challenging. Battling with your fishing line detracts from that experience.

I usually buy a 1,500 foot spool of Fireline in each size that I use. This brings the cost down considerably. I know that I’m going to use the line eventually anyway. One last characteristic that I should mention about Fireline – it doesn’t deteriorate over time like monofilament line. So don’t worry about how long you have had that spool of Fireline sitting around.

Pick up a smaller spool to test and give it a try. My family of six has been using Fireline for a decade. And we are so spoiled about good fishing line that when the Fireline spool is empty, we don’t go fishing. Try it, you’ll love it!