The Cost of Fish

Almost everyone has a fish story and it’s usually not about the fish that got away. No, the tale they bemoan is the about the fish they caught or the one they stayed with and they probably should have thrown back. Relationships, jobs, towns they stayed at because they were familiar and they’ve always lived there. These are my thoughts today. Should we follow a whim? Take a chance? And what if it doesn’t work out? And like me, have you forgotten how to have fun?

In most towns, there’s a carnival our kids drag us to. We spend a ton of money to gorge on fried snickers, cotton candy, funnel cakes, popcorn, and we often end up carrying around a couple of half dead goldfish in a clear plastic bag. Junior won them. Way to go little tyke! So here we are in line at the superstore, the cashier’s ringing up your purchases. The tank, food, gravel, and water purifier are all yours for a grand total of $50.00. Charlie, fish number one might live through the first day. You’ve got a decision to make. Buy another fish to replace Charlie or let the whole episode die of natural causes?

Whimsical

Most of us, including me, are not good at taking off on a whim. Quick changes. If I have a hankering for ice cream in the middle of the night, I’ll usually ignore it and go back to sleep. But there are some people I know that would go to the extreme, beyond even the ice cream in the middle of the night. I know a person who if they felt the urge to go skiing, and if there were ski slopes available, would drive across country, just on the whim. They could ski just one day, and be good to go back to work when they came home. And here I can barely get myself out of the house to take out the garbage.

I’m really not talking about goldfish. Life is expensive. Someone once told me, having a car costs. One way or another you’re going to pay for having the luxury of driving. Whether you repair it if it’s used or if you buy it new and pay for its newness. Truthfully all of life is that way. That $50.00 will be spent somewhere, whether you spend it on the goldfish or on pizza. The choice is where do you want to spend it.

My question is, what is this costing me? Every day that I sit and not act on an urge and every time that I suppress a desire to play and I choose to work instead, what is this costing me? Sometimes when you’re just putting up with stuff, you’re only taking the easy way out. If something is continually chafing you in a situation, it’s a good sign that it’s time to change. It might be time to cut our losses and get out.

How much does it cost?
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • Memory
  • Friendships
  • Self esteem

Thanks to Christi for the goldfish inspiration – if you’re reading, you know who you are!

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Thank the Goats for Coffee!

I love a good story, but goat herders, red berries, and smugglers. Craziness! This Tuesday, September 29 is National Coffee Day 2015.  So whether you prefer yours sweet, bitter or with a dash of cinnamon, go enjoy a cup of coffee.  My favorite is a strong cup of Columbia with milk.

And this is the legend of coffee –

It’s all because of a 9th-century Ethiopian goat-herder named Kaldi.

Allegedly, Kaldi observed his goats behaving erratically after eating the red berries from a nearby Coffea arabica tree. He tried some of them himself and was soon acting as hyper as his herd. He then brought a batch to a monastery where they were derided for their stimulating effects during long hours of prayer. The religious leaders there threw the tree’s beans onto a fire to destroy them, but the pleasing aroma of the roasted beans convinced them to give the coffee a second chance. Much like with tea, they put the roasted beans into warm water and the beverage was born.

Mental Floss – Who Discovered Coffee

Happiness Is?

Happiness, to me, is a natural result of health and love. It’s thriving. It’s like the moment my car is tuned just right. Or maybe when my cat is purring on my lap. What would it take to fill up my happiness container? And why did it get low in the first place?

How do you equate happiness? Is it a switch you turn on or off? Or a bucket you fill? This is a lot like the glass half empty or glass half full question. It’s funny since most people think of this as a right or wrong, optimist or pessimist problem, but I don’t see it like that.  It could be both.

If happiness is a bucket we fill, then load it up with lots of big stuff first. Vacations, toys, experiences. And don’t forget the ice cream. No one is happy without ice cream. It’s a proven fact. Somewhere there is scientific evidence for that, I’m sure. My friends and I have determined that anything can be cured by ice cream. Breaking a nail? Wreck the car? Lost your job? I guess the only exception would be death. That’s the one thing ice cream isn’t helpful with. Unless you serve it at the funeral. 

If you want to be happy, be.

Leo Tolstoy

If you see happiness as a switch or a button, what will it take to turn it on? Medicine? A brisk walk? Sleep? Talking with a friend? Maybe some more ice cream will do it. Maybe happiness isn’t the perfection I’m striving for. Maybe it’s just being in the moment that is. Not with everything perfect and in order. Control freak here. I have to remind myself that happiness can be just having the ice cream even if the rest of my life is in chaos. That’s my on switch.

Here is one of my favorite quotes that reminds me of that moment. I had it on my refrigerator for a long time to remind me of this truth.

“Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.”Epictetus

 For a little fun check out this link:

Cyanide and Happiness