July 1, 2016

Outdoor Community Question: A Deliberate Life

Last year I got to spend a couple of days on the river with Matt Smythe from Fishing Poet and Grant from Grant Taylor Images.

That experience inspired the following:

Project: A Deliberate Life
There comes a time in all of our lives when we let ourselves dream about living life on our own terms. When we wrestle with the decision to take a step into traffic, follow our passions and live deliberately – or simply let another day, and daydream, pass.

Which brings me to the Community Question.

I’ve spent the whole of my life surrounded by people who made time in the Outdoors a top priority, so my view on this may be deeply influenced by the way I was raised. But, I tend to believe Outdoor enthusiasts do try to design their life around what is most important to them and that is spending as much time outside as possible.

Maybe it’s a matter of perspective, but I’m curious how others perceive the mixture that is their life.

Would you say that your day to day life is currently designed around your Outdoor passions or do you fit your Outdoor passions in between everything else that reality serves up? 

I’ve re-written that question several ways and it still doesn’t feel like I can convey my question properly. Maybe what I’m most curious about how others view their outdoor time. Something to just enjoy? Something to live for? Something more?


Curious Cat Rebecca

About Rebecca

When Rebecca isn't running the Outdoor Blogger Network, she is off Fly Fishing her favorite rivers. Occasionally she writes about those adventures at The Outdooress.


  1. 1

    At this point, I fit it in around everything else I have going on. I would love to be able to have it be a main focus in my life, but right now… its weekend trips and writing blogs after work.

  2. 2

    I used to try to conceal or dilute the impact my outdoor pursuits had on others, especially my wife. I would buy one single duck decoy at a time or a “Manager’s Special” box of ammunition that had been opened, returned or a shoplifter may have snuck a few shells from.

    And of course most employee handbooks clearly state you cannot talk about guns or shooting sports at work. So very often, in many settings, it is an illegal, reportable action for me to mention my hobbies.

    This year I purchased all my licenses, permits, certifications, tags, stamps and validations at once. This thing printed out at almost 2 feet long and came with a sticker shock price tag. Purchasing a parking permit for the state and the regional park system was easy because this is something we share as a family.

  3. 3

    I’m working towards a more deliberate life. A this point I’m in the dream stage and take what I can sqeeze out of my free time. Love that video.

  4. 4

    I’m looking for a compromise but not very successfully.

  5. 5

    I’ve spent the last few years trying to avoid a “real” job as I attempt to merge my love for fly fishing with something that I can earn a little cash from. It’s bringing me dangerously close to the brink of financial disaster, but I’m not giving up just yet! So, yeah, I’ve designed my life around my outdoor passion, but it has not come without a cost. That being said I will wither and die if I ever have to work in a cubicle again!

  6. 6

    Perspective… I am told by some that I don’t have any when my outdoors passion takes over! Those around me are not outdoor enthusiasts…so, that makes it a little difficult. I would have to say that compromise happens sometimes, but I remain a stubborn, addicted fly fisher lady. = ) When we plan a family trip now, it has to be somewhere that I can fly fish! Sorry, Disneyland… you are now out of our plans. Niagra Falls next year? Sure… New York has great tributaries! Big Brown Trout!! See the picture?? To sum it up… I am totally deliberate! I really should have been in this film… ha!

  7. 7

    I started my family at the age of 17. After 19 years, my children are almost adults, my wife is in her preferred profession, and we are almost financially stable. The goals we set way back then have all been met and exceeded. Now, for the first time in my life, I can make decisions and set goals based on what I want instead of what is best for the people I am responsible for. I do not regret any of the choices I have made, but they were mostly based on necessity rather than desire. Sometimes a deliberate life means making choices that fit a situation rather then a desire. I haven’t always lived the life I dreamed of as a child, but I have always worked towards that end. Everything I have accomplished, every goal I have made and met, it has all been deliberate.

    • 8

      Ricky ~ I really identify with what you’ve written here. Started my family very young as well and since then, I’ve been working deliberately towards….now.

  8. 9

    Thank you everyone for your input so far. I appreciate the honesty and insight ~

  9. 10

    I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle. I tend to try to plan things around my outdoor activities, but the unfortunate reality is if I didn’t make work a priority I wouldn’t be able to afford most of my outdoor activities. Teaching school is nice because it gives me summers off to do some fishing, and our Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks both fall within deer season. Occasionally it works out where our spring break also falls during turkey season. I didn’t plan all this out when I first went off to college to be a teacher, but I can’t say I didn’t take it into consideration. I feel fortunate to be able to have the time to do these things, but of course there never seems to be enough.

  10. 11

    I plan my life around the outdoors. Need more family time? We go to Washington DC to tour the sights. At night I bowfish for snakeheads just a mile down the Potomac from Mt Vernon.

    How bout a trip to the mountains? Family likes those paranormal shows on television. We look for the Brown Mountain Lights in the Appalchians while roughing it in a 8 x 20 cabin with no a/c or tv.

    Then, when I need to take a big trip somewhere like Texas…I invite a few people along that have the different outdoors experiences that will give me 4 or 5 outdoors columns which is enough to pay for the trip.

    Hasn’t always been that way though. Just figured out how to plan things to make them work out that way.

  11. 12

    For me, this underscores the importance of setting thoughtful goals and writing them down. Rebecca, you said you’ve worked deliberately towards “now.” I feel like I’m on a course with clear short term goals that let me explore the outdoors from time to time, but I, honestly, can’t say that I’ve figured out what my “now” will be. I’m not sure what the day looks like where I sit back and say, this is it. This is what I’ve worked so hard for and where I want to be.

    Maybe it is time I make set some concrete goal to deliberately work towards with regard to my outdoor life.

    Great video. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 14

    Rebecca, this a powerful question. I’m not outdoors half as much as I want but I think I’ve lived a life that has rarely strayed too far from where I’ve wanted to go. I have outdoor passions but I have other passions as well so I need to seek balance.

    David’s point about setting objectives – at least having some idea of where the journey is going – is the most important thing one can do to make sure that the gap between the life that we’re living and the life we desire is as narrow as possible. Compromise, reality, and chaos are all part of the equation so these best laid plans have to be open to adjustment but if one is flexible enough and strong enough to call another play when necessary it can be done. A plan gives you context for calling a new play.

    Kirk has called an audible and I admire him for that. You’ve made sacrifices to honor important commitments; seeking balance as possible. I think many of us do that in many different ways. If there’s some semblance of a plan, a direction in which this is all going, then I think our lives are deliberate. If there’s no plan or a wide gap, which seems to be what’s going on for Matt and Grant, it’s time for a change.

    Ricky’s words are spot on, “Everything I have accomplished, every goal I have made and met, it has all been deliberate.”

  13. 15

    My efforts are certainly all driven towards maximising opportunities to get outdoors. I think it would be fair to say that if you ask anyone about who I really am – the standard response would most certainly be that there has been one constant in my life since I was a small boy: I hunt.

    I’ve studied and I work and I run a small business and I’m a husband and a father; there are a lot of wonderful things about life. But behind it all, behind every big decision is that underlying need to get out and hunt. It’s such an intrinsic part of everything about me that I cannot separate it. I love it.

    Very much looking forward to “A deliberate life” – nothing like a bit of inspiration!

  14. 16

    I’m glad to have found you, as I explore Outdoor here…

    To answer your question, More. It is something that I live for, live as and the rewards… the Blessings that I have had made so obvious to me over the last few years, are well, like you, there are no simple or quick words to describe it.

    I live and work here in the remote Alaska wilderness, and this is where and what I have been up to now for 20 years. I look around sometimes and think, “Just LOOK at my office!” But. Then I think about others. You, your friends, my friends, people I have met online, people I have spoken to over the years at Outdoor Shows, and honestly…the people I haven’t met yet. If they don’t know we are even here…. that we are an option… for pleasure or for a life.

    That was one of the biggest motivators for me to write and publish My Identity Crisis. (Yipee! My first book! LOL) Anyhow, I am glad I found you and I am off to see what The Outdooress has!
    ~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

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