It always amazes me how life unfolds.  Over the past several months I have caught up with or run into many friends and business associates that I had otherwise lost touch with. The same daily lives that dominate your time causing you to lose touch with people can bring them right back smack dab in your life. It got me thinking of the times that we have all shared and the way our lives have played out.  It got me thinking of what we had learned together. One such event happened sitting in a seminar on business several years ago, we were challenged with coming up with our big why.  The reason that you do what you do. Our “Big Why” should be the driving force behind our business and personal life.

At that time, I thought I had it figured out.  The top priority was spending time outdoors with friends and family. Shocking I know. The other was helping with various organizations and service groups. As with most of us, obligations and running my business interfered often.  I always justified it to myself as necessary for the business to be able to focus on the “Big Why” later in my life. I spent time with friends and family enjoying the outdoors as I could, but did miss quite a few as well.  No matter what you do, life throws you a curve ball from time to time.

Merely months after my wife and I said “I do,” she said “We are.”  We had talked about having kids down the road; little did we know that road was only about a block or so. The emotions ranged from joy to panic to anxiety and back to joy.  Soon the time came to have our first son. Honestly, that was the most helpless I recall feeling.  Spending time outdoors, your success and failure many times depends on you.  Putting in the effort and work to get back into the back country, stalking the animal, packing it out; all pit your perseverance and stamina against Mother Nature.  This was different. I was just moral support.  Not really even the camp cook, I was more like the person that tags along that has never left pavement and ends up just sitting in camp needing people to take care of them. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to help and was very supportive.  I didn’t even hit the wrong buttons on the bed, unlike my sister in law! However, no amount of effort I made to push helped bring that child out.  No amount of energy I willed to my wife made her any more comfortable. My world was changing and all I could do was sit there and being supportive.

Now my outdoor adventures have grown to include 2 boys that couldn’t be more content than they are when they are outdoors. The great outdoors always have provided me with an opportunity to recharge my soul and my passion for the outdoors had been what I thought of as my “Big Why.” I was wrong.  It was only my why. Spending time with my boys in the outdoors changed my ever evolving idea of what the outdoors meant to me.  I cherish every memory I have of the adventures I had growing up. I enjoyed it all whether it was fishing, horseback, camping, exploring, or my favorite; hunting with Papa and Dad. I now know why they spent that time with me.  To them it was more than teaching me the respect, conservation and heritage; it was the bond.  The bond that made the outdoors common ground those years that wwdblog2e couldn’t really agree on much. I now see the wonder and excitement in the eyes of my sons.  I have the opportunity to teach them the respect for nature and the heritage of those who have come before us. I find myself planning our next adventure, large or small.  I find myself safeguarding those times as much as possible. That is not to say that life doesn’t still throw curveballs, just that I find myself focused on making things work.  The things that I used to just pass by to make it to the top of the mountain, I now look at through new eyes.  Places I used to 4-wheel to get to, I find myself packing into.  I always took in the vast beauty and ruggedness of my surroundings, but the goal was mainly the destination. For the first time in my life, my wife and boys have brought my “Big Why” into focus.  As cliché as it sounds, the journey has far exceeded the destination. Focusing on sharing time with my family and having the opportunity to transfer the love and respect for nature with another generation of outdoorsmen. My “Big Why” is passing along the heritage and outdoor lifestyle.