Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Wake-Up Call.

We were riding in the car in total silence, both of us exhausted from the events over the last 5 weeks and not yet fully recovered from the other traumatic 12 weeks in 2005. Out of the blue, Husband blurted out a single sentence with heavy-duty poignancy.

Husband: When you move a goldfish out of a small bowl and into a bigger one, it grows to fit into its new environment.

Jill: No way, I've never heard that before.

Husband: It's true and it's going to happen to us.

Later that evening, I jumped online and found several sites that confirm this fact: Move a goldfish to a large aquarium and it will double or triple in size. Put it in a pond and it can grow up to a foot long. The biggest factor that determines the size of the fish is the size of its environment.

I think this is true for people, too.

Husband and I have whittled our lives down to a myopic focus on work, work and work. "Fun" is experienced on the veneer only, because deep down...we're chronically anxious about work and how well we're performing. It's a shallow, unfulfilled life because it doesn't really provide help to anyone else and the demands are incessant. One can never do enough. And if one doesn't keep up, then there are 50 other people who are eager and willing to make the sacrifice.

I don't want this quality of life anymore. I want to be fulfilled by love and fun.

I'm ready to become a better, more compassionate, patient and loving person. One who laughs frequently and smiles often. One who has the time and energy to return phone calls. One who experiences joy from planting flowers, having friends over for a simple meal, or playing Canasta into the late night hours.

I've learned the lesson the hard way. Family is First. Period.