Apple River and Mental Gymnastics

Apparently on June 5, 2011 I went fishing out on the Apple River. This is something I used to do a few times a year, but according to my records I went once in 2010 and can’t find anything for the few years before that. I also haven’t been back since.

On June 13, 2011 I started writing what is below. I also went through the trouble of picking out a few pictures from that day. For some reason I started typing all of this directly in WordPress, which I never do. I do all my writing and editing and composing in a word processor then simply copy and paste into WordPress. For some reason I got part way done with this, stopped, saved it as a draft and never came back to it.

Till today.

Every day for nearly three years, there it sat, saved as a draft, staring me in the face. The other day I actually clicked on it and read it, something I haven’t bothered doing since I saved it as a draft. It didn’t start out too bad, but there it is unfinished.

The Mental Gymnastics required to justify driving over 250 miles round trip to catch a few fish had started over a week earlier.

Filling the tank with gas would cost a bit over 50 bucks. Somewhere along the ride I would have to fill it up again. Years ago when I drove out to the Apple River gas was going for under $2 a gallon. I didn’t think twice about filling the tank and going.

The destination was well worth it, but still…

Both Mapquest and Tom Tom agreed, it would take 2 hours and 23 minutes to reach my destination. Neither had factored in the 20 ounce cup of coffee pit stop that would become a necessity at some point. I figured it would take 2 hours and 30 minutes. I left the house at 4 A.M. and I arrived on the banks of the Apple River at 6 A.M. This time included the cup of coffee pit stop in Stockton, Illinois.

It’s not that I speed, I don’t slow down much.

The first few casts got the first fish of the day. I thought this was a good thing.

I wandered up stream like I usually do. Had to crawl under an obstruction. I’d like to see these obstructions gone from all Illinois Rivers in my life time, but I have a feeling the ignorance of Federal river laws will keep that from happening.

And that’s where I ended it back on June 13, 2011.

I sat here looking at it for a minute or two when it dawned on me, this is the exact moment that my Give a Shitter broke. I recall when I typed in that last sentence nearly three years ago, I stalled. I had no clue where to go from there. I realized at that moment that I no longer gave a shit about Federal river laws or harping on them any further. That had a snowball effect. I realized I no longer gave a shit about dam removals, river clean ups, any conservation groups locally or nationally that had anything to do with rivers.

This culminated in a post I put up recently called Your Membership has Expired. Why repeat it all here, I said it pretty well in that post.

Over the next two years the affects of my broken Give a Shitter expanded well beyond all things rivers and I know I’ve touched upon some of that over those couple of years. Tough economic times will do that to you. Makes you focus on what is important.

This morning I was listening to talk radio drone on about the growing crisis in Crimea and the Ukraine. I thought about that for a second and the only thing I could hear in my brain was “who cares.” I can’t come up with a single reason to care about Crimea or the Ukraine, regardless of the emergency that it is being made out to be.

No, I’m going to wander around like I usually do, take more pictures if so inspired, write a few words about them if I can think of any. I’ll go to work every day and come home. Kiss the wife hello and goodbye every time I walk in and out of the door. Tell her I love her after each kiss. Tell her to try not to die on me today, will ya?

I’ll call my parents and have a chat now and then and do the same with my two daughters.

That’s enough. It’ll keep me busy.

As for all those other things that kept me busy over the years, all those things I thought I cared about, all those things I’m told I should care about, count me out.

They’re not important anymore.

6 thoughts on “Apple River and Mental Gymnastics

  1. Howard Levett

    Wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself. It must be the Illinois connection. My don’t give a shitter is in critical condition. Only time will tell whether I’ll resuscitate.

    1. Ken G Post author

      You’ve gone through hell the last few months Howard, your attitude is justified. Not sure mine is, but it is what it is.

      Just got done reading about your setback. That happens I hear and hopefully that will smooth out and stop happening so you can get out on the water.

      At least you didn’t hit or try to hit anyone this time.

  2. Jim McClellan

    I can so relate to that feeling. I spent the first 20 years of my career working in and around politics, being passionate about trying to make things better, dealing with an angry public and basically trading years off my life for dollars. The economy tanked and my lifestyle went with it. Now I work for a tech company that is devoid of controversy and I’ve simplified my life to the point where family, fishing, hunting and writing are the things to which I devote my mental and emotional energy. And, you know, I’m much happier now than I ever was before. Here’s to broken give-a-shitters!

    1. Ken G Post author

      Maybe trying to make things better is ultimately a young man’s game Jim. Or at least a younger brain. Just got done deleting three email about the latest meetings on river conservation issues. Only bothered reading the titles. I should just tell these people not to bother sending me things anymore, but I don’t have the heart.

      I’ve got to think of a more positive term for Broken Give a Shitters. There’s gotta be a way to rephrase that since I don’t think of it as a bad thing.

  3. Quill Gordon

    Some Give a Shitters wither away due to disuse, some become worn out from over-use, some are broken in terrible ways by others, and some are forcibly shut down by the operator. No matter the cause, it is possible to get along without a Give a Shitter and be a perfectly acceptable human being.

    (Some people use their Give a Shitters indiscriminately, every chance they get. Some of these people should have their Give a Shitters forcibly shut down by others, but that would require someone else to give a bigger shit, leading to a vicious feedback loop …)

  4. Ken G Post author

    Love the way you phrased that Mr. Gordon. I’m going to have to add that to my list of things I try to remember. It’s a long list.

    I think for me it’s been some combination of all those things, but I know buried deep down somewhere, I can Give a Shit when called for. I think that’s the part the keeps me human.

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