When my husband and I were dating we loved to spend a Saturday at the coast. He had an old airboat and we fished up in the sawgrass and creeks off of Keaton Beach. One particular Saturday, we had been out on the water for a while and suddenly we hit a pocket of trout. I say we. It wasn’t we. It was David. David hit a pocket of trout and began bringing in fish after fish. I cast my line in the same place he did and the fish took his bait instead of mine. I reeled exactly like David. I even held my head crooked and mouth funny trying to be like him, but nothing took my bait.
So I did what any other person would do that was getting skunked by their boyfriend. I sulked. I crossed my arms, pouted and sulked. David finally felt sorry for me and gave me his pole. First cast into the water and David lands another trout. On my pole. And I was hot! This competitive girl over here lost her cool, threw her pole down, and just quit. It was almost funny at that point because after I showed out, David really tried to fish “badly” but he still kept catching fish.
Fast forward to this weekend. We took our boys down the river and found a nice little sand bar near one of my newly found fishing holes. Another family with kids was there and their son really wanted to catch a fish, so I told him the next fish I hooked, he could reel it in. After a few minutes, I called him over there to reel in the fish. He was so excited. I got it off the hook, he grabbed it, and ran over to show his mom and dad. I smiled from the inside out and got another line ready so one of my sons could reel in the next fish that I hooked.
A lot has changed over the years. I used to want all the glory. I put in the hard work of baiting and casting. I waited and hunted for fish and if one ever took the bait, boy was I excited to bring that sucker in and show it off to anyone that was around. And I couldn’t stand it when someone out-fished me. But now, I’m content letting someone else reel it in. I don’t mind searching for the perfect place, putting the time in to bait the hook again and again, and waiting on the fish to take the bait. I don’t mind handing over the reel to someone else and letting them get the credit. The smile on that little boy’s face, the pride he felt, the encouragement it gave him; it was worth it.
Life’s the same way. Sometimes it’s okay to back off and let someone else get the credit. In this world of competition, climbing the ladder, and trying to be the best, sometimes we forget that our life and actions will speak louder than one isolated moment of victory. Yeah, someone else might get the credit for all of our hard work, but maybe that’s the shot in the arm they need to move ahead. Maybe we have already proven ourselves again and again and it’s time to put someone else in the limelight. Or maybe we just need to encourage those younger than us so that they will feel and become successful. Whatever the reason, just remind yourself that it isn’t always about getting the credit. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else reel it in.