Pursuit of Happiness

This year was supposed to be different, much different than all the previous years. We are talking about my birthday of course. Usually, it’s some over the top event with dozens of friends having dinner at some fancy restaurant. I won’t deny I loved seeing many of my friends, however, it still seemed cold without enough one on one time to actually talk with each person.  I promised myself this year would be different, I needed to scale things back and reconnect with those closest in my life doing the thing I loved.

After securing a couple of days to fish with Hunter Caballero of Paradise Outfitters I invited a few friends to spend a couple of days on the water with me during my birthday.  The first day was the typical run offshore and catch tunas.  Although somewhat new to my friends it was something I’ve done more times that I can actually remember.  Without letting any of the crew aware of my intentions I simply took a backseat and did what I could to ensure they were able to experience that joy I once had when I was new to this kind of fishing.  As the sun crept across the sky, the day was filled with high fives and ear to ear grins.  After all the dust settled they realized I was the only person who didn’t boat a fish.  Although I was more than content, Hunter put out one last lonely bait.  Within minutes it was engulfed and I ended up catching the biggest tuna of the day.  That night back at the fish camp the guys cooked up some steaks and a few other side items and then we finished it up with some cake.  It was nothing special to speak of on a grand scale but very special to me on another level.

Day two I wanted to take a risk, I wanted to swing for the fences and hope for a home run but the chances of striking out were high.  After discussing with everyone what I wanted to do they all seemed on board.  We met with Hunter and he ran us out to an area he had been successful catching a few swordfish.  It all still seems like a blur but what I can remember is that after two drops we had two swordfish in the boat and I had the best day fishing ever.  I realized at that moment some of the best presents don’t come packaged nicely in some pretty box.  They come from experiences with friends, those are truly the most precious of all gifts.  That’s what happiness is.