When is the last time you did something that scared you? For me it was today, I went on my first duck hunt.
I have been wanting to try hunting for maybe the last 5 years. Last year I took the first steps and I went and got my CORE. It was a check mark off my bucket list. However, it was kind of like I got certified and stopped there. It is easy to take a classroom course and pass a written test (sort of) but to actually go out hunting was a lot scarier. I felt overwhelmed by all the information I had just been given and intimidated by all the experienced hunters around me. The course did inspire me to learn more about conservation, hunter’s ethics and the responsibility we have as hunters to protect the land and animals. I think it gave me a new opinion of hunters, but it didn’t get me out in the fields or forests hunting.
Hunting is not new to me. My family and friends and even my husband all enjoy hunting. We grew up eating game meat and I love the idea of truly eating local and knowing where your food comes from.
Lately I have been envious of hunters and going out, and figured if I didn’t just jump in, despite being scared and nervous, I would never learn. I am not sure if it is COVID and cabin fever or the appreciation for where we live and the opportunities all around us but whatever it was, I decided to get out and try. I have been so badly wanting some hands-on experience so I can understand the stuff I learnt and apply it to the real thing.
I am always telling my kids to try new things, and that it is okay when new things feel scary but they can also be fun and rewarding. I finally took the leap and went out. I am grateful for friends who not only encourage me but also teach me. I have two good friends who hunt and both are always encouraging and reminding me that I can do it. These girls have inspired me to step outside my comfort zone and enjoy the privilege of hunting. We can all do hard things, hell we are adapting and living through a pandemic!
I think it is hard for me to do self-care things inside my house or with my family around. I love my kids and husband but trying to work out in a living room while my kids are screaming and running around, or meditating in my bedroom while I see stacks of laundry that need doing can be challenging. Forcing myself outside in rainy weather (perfect for duck hunting) and just escaping for an hour to basically watch the sky is a whole new self-care. I left my phone in the car and left the family at home and just took some time for me. I actually think when you are dressed for the rain it can be nice and feels good to have fresh air. Plus, sunset has always been one of my favourite times and it doesn’t matter sun or rain, clear skies or cloudy cover the sunset is magic.
This year has been challenging on so many levels so it is easy to stray away from adding any more challenge to your life but sometimes it is that discomfort and fear that can bring great inspiration and leave you feeling more alive. I have really been trying to come up with a bucket list and things that I want to see, do and accomplish however most of these things would include travel or experiences. Knowing it could be a long time before travel outside of Canada is possible can leave you feeling uninspired. However, realizing how many opportunities we have that are unique to BC and Canada has had me trying to learn to appreciate them and take advantage.
I am a lover of heat and summertime so exploring in the summer is easy. We loved having our boat this year and getting to explore the Gulf Islands a bit. It is funny now that I think about our first boating season and the many things we did where I was super nervous and scared. I survived these moments and wouldn’t trade our time on the boat for anything. Scary things don’t have to be bad, when we are willing to face fears we often come out with an incredible experience and new perspective. We also learn the things we are scared of might not be as bad as they seem. So despite fearing the long winter and cold weather I’m going to really try to embrace it this year.
Tomorrow I am going to find a recipe and cook up the duck meat, that I actually butchered myself. I think I impressed and surprised my husband when I started to cut up the duck. I was nervous and unsure if I could do it but it was so much easier than I thought and I think with practice and experience it will start to feel like second nature to me. I also have registered for my PAL at the end of this month and am going to continue working towards becoming a hunter. I am super nervous about this two-day course but know that I need this to be able to own and carry a gun, so I want to continue to challenge myself and know that with that will come rewards. I hope you don’t let fear stop you from trying new things! What things have you always wanted to do but fear is holding you back?