Risk & Reward
By JEFF LUND
December 13, 2016
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Life is an equation of risk and reward.
Will the benefits of this risk be worth it? I thought about this when I was looking online for stuff I wanted to convince myself I needed for Christmas. Things like a new GPS, a SPOT locator… you know, responsible toys.
In movies and books the main character is forced to move into a world of conflict. In real life, we don’t have to. Once we have achieved a level of comfort, we might not be compelled to move, challenge or change ourselves. Couch. TV. Netflix. Boom.
If for some reason we do feel compelled to recruit adventure into our routine, it provides an added zest to our existence.
Life is scary and dangerous enough as it is, but Alaskans do lots of things to make it even moreso in the name of fulfillment. We want, maybe need, to push the limits.
So why not do it smarter, right? Collect the best stuff. The old-timers didn’t need it, but you’re not an old-timer and you can get Alaska Airlines miles if you put it on the credit card. I used that excuse to get some new hunting gear that’s lighter and supposedly warmer than the old stuff I was using. We’ll see.
Anyway, doing things outside comes with risk. This time of year all that increases thanks to weather and daylight. But you don’t live here to be dormant for a season.
At Thanksgiving I sat quietly at a table while men told stories about the time they had to swim to their respective skiffs that were floating away for a variety of reasons. I’ve never had to do that. But that’s not because I am smarter or more cautious. I’ve just had less experience and with less time comes fewer opportunities for chaos. It doesn’t sound like fun to have to put on a life jacket and swim after a skiff but it almost sounds worse to never have done anything that might require resourcefulness should things go wrong. If you can laugh at it later before heading back for seconds of turkey maybe you appreciate it more. Maybe you’re a little more thankful for everything. The real challenge then is to not lose that perspective and appreciation.
We get caught up in nonsense sometimes. Sometimes it makes us hold too close and never move to create the life we want. The lives of people who took calculated risks in business, with hobbies and passions, not indulgent distractions seem like they are living the secret to life. They are doers, not talkers.
So yeah, I want to do, but do smart and when it comes to presents or gifts, I guess maybe the real gift is living here, you know? It’s a wild, outdoor emporium.
But I should probably update my electronics, right?
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
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