"Taking a Break" from the outdoors world

"Taking a Break" from the outdoors world
Don Dziedzina

On Tuesday of this week I figured I’d be “Taking a Break” from my daily routine as a guy involved in the outdoors.  I had things to do, people to see and places to go.  All in all, none of this had anything to do with the outdoors so yeah; Tuesday was “Taking a Break” day… from the outdoors.

For those not familiar with me or my blog allow me to give you an idea of what I do and how my days go.

For over 40 years I’ve been involved in the outdoors world; even longer if you want to include fun fishing and hunting trips.  Being an outdoor writer, (for two years as the outdoor columnist for the Chicago Tribune), outdoors TV show host and producer, and outdoor radio show co-host has kept me busy.  Sometimes too busy.

I don’t just talk and write about the outdoors.  I do it.  I fish and hunt.  There are two German Shorthaired Pointers (great hunting dogs) that live under my roof.   In the garage is a pretty nice boat that has gets wet on local rivers and lakes, Lake Michigan and an assortment of other bodies of water around the Midwest.

But being part of the outdoors media industry, there’s more to all this than going fishing and hunting all the time.  It will not be denied, I do get out more than the average guy, but this is a business.  Magazines columns have deadlines.  Blogs need to be posted.  TV shows have to be recorded and edited and commercials need to be sold.  Airtime in Chicago is expensive and I don’t have deep pockets.   Being on 6 radio stations simulcast also requires research, guest line ups, ad sales and more.

TV and Radio are on 52 weeks a year so as you can imagine, this business has no room for a couch potato.

But Tuesday would be “Taking a Break” day.

A doctor’s visit was scheduled for the first thing in the morning.  Scheduling it early is a must because a blood draw always follows and fasting is required.   All went well but believe me when I tell you that by 10 o’clock when I walked out, I was starving.

The day before a bud of mine asked if I wanted to meet for breakfast.  He was okay with meeting a bit late for his first meal of the day.  He starts work at about 6 AM.  (Ugh)

I had two eggs, sunny side up, a Greek seasoned chopped steak, medium and juicy, no potatoes, grilled Greek’d tomatoes, whole wheat toast buttered edge to edge and way too much coffee.

So far, “Taking a Break” from the outdoors world is working.

After an hour and a half long bull session at the restaurant, I headed home.   The dogs were let out, given a treat and kenneled up again because I had a 1 PM appointment at the Social Security Office.

I elected to not apply for Social Security when I first became eligible to draw.   The business income would have affected my monthly check.  Now, at 66 that doesn’t matter.   The draw will not be great but what the heck, might as well start getting my money back and let Uncle Sam take my Medicare payment from the Social Security instead of my checking account.

This was an amazing part of the day.  You may be thinking, “Social Security office, bureaucracy, paper work, long lines, longer waits, and walking out in frustration.”

Not at all.  I had an appointment for 1 o’clock.  I got in and was done and back in my car by 1:15.   Everything is done; confirmation and details were printed out for me.  I’ll have an automatic deposit into my checking account on the 2nd Wednesday of every month and all in all, it was quite pleasant.  Now that’s a welcomed break.

So what can be better than that?  How about two blocks away there’s a  Babe’s Hot Dogs stand and it was 99 cent Jumbo Hot Dog Day!   Had to have one.

Nothing special went on for the rest of the day.  I did want to watch America’s Got Talent at 8.  I hit the couch a bit earlier only to see some senseless food show that’s on channel 5 before AGF.   No big deal.  I was able to make the time pass.

It couldn’t be helped but I had to crank up the lap top and check emails.  There were about 85 backed up and unread.   One came from fellow outdoor blogger Glenn McCarthy, author of Live Your Dream: Sail Lake Michigan on ChicagoNow.

Glenn wrote about a recent ChicagoNow email suggesting that bloggers promote other bloggers.  Since we both have a passion for the water, he thought he would contact me and ask for suggestions on how we can cross promote our blogs.  My reply to Glenn was done about a half hour later.  Sometimes I have a tendency to ramble on and on.  (kind of like I’m doing here).

So I wrote about fishing, and what I don’t know about sailing.   From there, as long as the lap top is on, the first draft of this blog went into type.

Now I’m looking up over my lap top and the credits are rolling for AGF.   What happened?  I missed it.

No matter.  I enjoy doing what I do.  To take some time writing about the outdoors whether it’s for a newspaper, a blog, or replying to an email is okay.  It’s fun to do.  I did slack off most of the day from my outdoor world but thinking about it now.  I did talk outdoors in my email to Glenn.  And I guess I sort of cross promoted mentioning his blog.  Got this one almost all done last night too.

So for the most part I did take a break  on Tuesday.  Now on Wednesday it’s prep day for radio, contacted all my guests, and got the paperwork all filled out and printed for the show.

I think I’ll be “Taking a Break” now and go get a hair cut.


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