You Don't Even Know What a Goldfish Is!\\
Friday, August 01, 2014
This isn't a joke. I don't think I need to say on this website that you have to let a person have their dream. For those that know me, you know that I have been looking for a really BIG prize to give myself for my one year anniversary. I had little to no help, I can kind of understand because I am in a good place and could give myself all kinds of things. As a point of fact people were saying, why don't you call this or that your one year gift. They didn't get it though. I'm planning on going to Great Britain on vacation, but I want to be there for my sister. I just bought a whole bunch of new clothes, but I needed them for work. I wanted something for that little Karen part of me that did something great. I hit my 3 month out, 2 month out, 1 month out goals and then it got to me and I froze and I swear to God it was as hard as the whole year combined I couldn't think of anything to reward myself. Then I hit a realization of all the times I have done this before, where I promise if I did this I could have that and then I let myself down. Complete and utter BS!! I would never do that to anyone. I started crying so bad my husband thought someone died and then shrugged it off when I told him what was wrong. That made it worse and then I guess I hit bottom realizing that I always did this to myself. I decided I wasn't going to do it and that I had 5 hours until my one year anniversary on SP and I was a wonderful, successful woman and I would darn well figure out a spectacular prize for all my efforts. I broke down all the walls and asked what do you really really really want. and I wanted goldfish. Always wanted one, never had one.
This is the story of OUR goldfish and I am going to start by saying you do NOT want to be a nay-sayer. This is not going to be a sad story that I should have learned a long time ago. This is going to be like everything else in my life. An amazing learning experience.
So people say that goldfish suck because they die. Everything dies. That's ok.
Maybe your goldfish died because you didn't take care of it. Don't be mad at me and don't be mad at your parents, they probably didn't know or were just too tired to care.
Don't start the conversation by telling me my goldfish is going to die. You don't even know me! and if you do you are just bringing in your own baggage.
What does this have to do with SP? Everything. Don't listen to 99 percent of the people you talk to because they don't want you to succeed because they didn't and they want an excuse!
The current world record life span for a gold fish is 43 years and many many people report 15+ years. So when people laugh because they put their fish in a little bowl or fail to give it a good living environmental, remember that you are no fool for your incremental changes. You are that 43 year old goldfish and they are the fools for thinking that goldfish (and life) are simply disposable.
I have a little more edge than normal, but let me tell you, I really have wanted to have a goldfish for more than 40 years so guess what, my goldfish and me are going to have such an awesome life together. You can doubt me, but I most certainly do not. There is absolutely no reason to. I just need to learn what I need to do and do it and keep doing it and that is all that is all there is to it.
You can try to say what you want (but please don't) but I won't believe you because I have always won against the odds and my goldfish are going to live until my retirement!
8/2/14: I was not in the office, but staff reported that the little one was acting different and hanging around at the top a lot. I researched it and so did many others and there is nothing critical to worry about. I was very heartened by all of the concern and support. I was also happy to have my prior advice feed back to me "if there is nothing to be done, don't worry about something until it happens." I feel very lucky. It makes sense that it would be harder in the beginning. First of all, because although I studied a lot to get set up for this adventure, I still have a lot to learn. Also, this is new for the goldfish so they need some time to get adjusted. Also, they are very, very little so they may struggle at first. My job is to stick to the basics of providing healthy living conditions, keep up hope and of course enjoy the journey.
8/7/14-The fish have been named Brother Tito and Tikva (meaning "hope")
8/15/14-When I first sat down to update this I was going to say that I should have named to post "I Don't Even Know What a Goldfish Is!" and I meant it in a mean and bitter way to myself. Having said that, the feeling was brief but has been coming and going all week. You see, I lost Tikva. It get's worse and then it get's better so hold on. When I left the office on the 13th, I have to admit I was worried. Tito was growing, glowing and swimming like crazy, but Tikva just struggled. I didn't enjoy the journey. I was guilt ridden and distracted beyond measure. Everyone gave me updates on Thursday/Friday, but when I came in on Monday it was apparent she had been gone for the weekend. I'm going to try hard to not get into technical details here, but let's just say a lot of chemistry was going on. There was also a lot of emotion and I acted on it and got another sweet little thing that only made it to this morning. I kid you not that I stared at that brave creature for an hour last night knowing I had done everything I could and bargaining with God.
Here's the thing. I was kind of (as in totally) lying to myself all along. It sucks to admit it, but I really did not provide the best environment for those fish. To a great extent, I didn't know what I was doing and while I tried like all get out to buy everything that they would sell me to fix the situation, I didn't listen to the experts that were blogging about it. What did it need? Not a chemical fix. Time. It takes time. You can't just say I want a healthy fish tank and then spend some money and make it happen. In fish tanks it is called cycling. Some people report it happening in a couple days and others have said it takes months, but most of all it is a bunch of people freaking out because they are doing everything they can to fix it right now and most of them fail. It is breaking my heart to say this. I really just wanted to have some goldfish how hard can it be? I really just want to be a normal weight how hard can it be? The answer is that you don't know until you do it, because you are going to have your own unique experience. I feel stupid and horrible. I went out there with guns blazing saying that I was going to overcome the odds with shear force of will and then I let two beautiful innocent little ones go. Where am I now? There is a lot going on. First of all, I have Brother Tito, who is thriving. I don't want him to live alone and that was the biggest reason why I got a replacement for Tikva so quickly. Honestly though, I was trying to comfort myself more than anything and that was wrong because I should have taken a big step back and been more responsible.. The fact of the matter is that the tank is not done cycling. For now I will keep Brother Tito safe with a lot of diligence, but I am going to wait at least a month before giving him a partner. I am very sorry that I pushed so hard to the detriment of others, but all in all, the plan remains the same. In going on aquarium blog sites I've found they are just like SP in their advice about not giving up. Apparently, if everyone that lost their first fish gave up their wouldn't be an aquarium loving community. This is comforting to me and I hope that it is comforting to you as well, because it tells us a lot about life. A goldfish is what it is. It is a gamble, but something you can stack the odds in your favor. They don't suck because they die. It sucks that they die, but if you want to have a gold fish for a long time, you may have some lessons to learn. Patience is always a hard lesson, but given what life has in store for all of us, I think it is nothing less than essential. Therefore, I am more determined than ever to live my goldfish dream and although my lack of competence and the pre-determined bad odds have brought me heartache in the near-term, I am going to stick to the plan and get the tank in balance one day at a time. When I mentioned earlier about tanks cycling and how complicated it is, I have to say it really reminds me of metabolism. The system has to find a balance of what is coming in and out and what is expected of it. It doesn't seem right that two people can have the exact same tank, put in the exact same things and have different results, but there it is, it happens. It isn't anyone's fault and there isn't a magic fix. There is just me and you being patient, observing and responsive and most importantly knowing that if we never give up we will achieve our dreams. RIP Tikva "Hope"
I followed through with my plan and waited a full month. Brother Tito was unhappy and hid most of the time, but he was eating and growing so I stuck to the schedule. I got a new fish on September 21st and they started playing around together instantly. The new fish was named Cecilia Ri yesterday and they are both thriving in body and spirit.
Still thriving and we will start learning tricks this week!
It is very interesting. I did start the "training". I started by tapping on the glass and rewarding with food and then moved on to the specially crafted goldfish wand (yes, they exist) to get them to respond. The interesting part was that people thought my fish were being starved because they walked by my office when I was gone and they thought my fish were being starved because they would swim up to the glass and swim frantically like look at me. They were not acting like the goldfish they were use to. They were acting like fish that knew what it was like to have a purpose in mid.
I'm proud to say that today Cecilia Ri swan through a hoop. My goldfish dream is alive and well. Brother Tito was there, but still shy but I am not going to give up on him.
Also, my boss said I can get a bigger tank, but he said it like of course I could which is so just like life because I was scared to ask and it ended up being no big deal to him. He actually LHAO when I told him that I got Cecilia Ri to swim through the hoop. "of course you did" shake of the head. You have to understand that I am a mature woman with serious professional responsibilities. Then again, I think this whole experience is actually enhancing my commitment to the good fight and seeing how doing things right pays off.
Everyone keeps saying my goldfish will die and they are right. But I am enjoying the heck out of them now and they seem happy too so I am very glad about my decision.
Brother Tito and Cecilia Ri are progressing splendidly. They help open the door to ex
press my one year celebration of SP and to share my over all celebration of life. I don't have much experience, and I am very biased, but they seem to be the biggest, shiniest and most beautiful goldfish ever. Cecilia Ri is missing approximately 20 scales on her right side because she freaked out a few weeks ago and must have scraped along the rock arch, but it will all be fine. It is interesting that I have not met another adult that has goldfish but I'm more intrigued than worried about it.
Don't be surprised! Brother Tito and Cecilia Ri are alive and swimming! So much like other things in life, people forgot that they didn't believe and take joy in the triumph. Myself, I am very happy for their playful yet calming presence. The complications of tank chemistry and such are now just second nature to our daily existence. Cheers to SP and the voice they bring to how it really is. Most people's goldfish die in a couple days, or weeks, but if you come to understand how it works, it isn't magic anymore, it is just the natural rhythm of your day. It doesn't make it any easier to eat a salad for lunch or clean the tank on a Tuesday night, but you just know that that is what you have to do to have what you want. It isn't luck that my goldfish have lived a year and while I feel like I should knock on wood I also know that I did this by doing what it takes. Many people are upset and I can understand why. They had goldfish and were not in power to do what it would take to make this happen. Unfortunately, this ultimate thought of loss and "why should I try" is strung throughout people's lives. Goldfish (as proven) can live to be 43 years old, but yours only lived a few short weeks so you deserved it. Forget that!! You are not the same person anymore. I have forgiven myself for losing Tikva and the other little one because you know what, my intentions were better than my understanding and I did the best I could at the time. What happened 11 months ago is not a prediction of what will happen in the future.
In fact, they keep getting stronger and stronger and easier to take care of. In short, this is the same thing with a healthy eating/exercise lifestyle. People will look at all your efforts at first and say in a sickening sweet/ condescending way....oh yeh, (probably not out loud) I did that before, good luck and you'll be back to get another cure in a week...well forget them! Just because they didn't succeed, doesn't mean you won't. The fact is that most of it is in our hands entirely. Something strange may happen to derail you in trying to reach your health and fitness dreams, as it did with me and Tikva, but in the end you get to decide if you take that as "yes, they were right' determinism or just the same old story of people trying to tear down your dreams.
For me, I say that health and glowing and swimming is a blessing I'm not willing to give up to the negativity of the general population. What vitamins do I take? A good walk with my dog and laughing with my husband. There is no pill or instant cure to give you your dream, you have to come to understand it, want it and own it.
Thank you SP a thousand times over for helping me to see the balance between my body and mind...happiness. I'm proud for sticking (day in and day out as I can) to do what you are saying to do and I am also happy, as tangential as it seems, for reaching my unforeseen dream of having goldfish, or as I call them my little fish puppies.
Laugh as you may at my goldfish dream, it has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined and I hope that everyone that has had a contrary experience let's it go or experiences it anew as an armed custodian.
Alive and doing swimmingly!