Fall is here, the weather is changing and the warm clothes are starting to filter from the back of my drawer to the front. I love scarves and hats and have started wearing them almost every morning that I walk Mason to school. It’s a short lived adornment since by 3pm the temperature is back up in the 70’s. But I do love Fall and all that it brings.
One of my favorite movies that should start playing on television soon is “Home For The Holidays“. It’s family disfunction at it’s finest. I’ll never forget watching it on an airplane one trip back east and the faces of the people that kept turning to look at me. I’m sure I was a sight. There I was, tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard, trying to be quiet but not being terribly successful. It’s just too funny, but I think you have to live some of it to find it quite as humorous as I do. Diana, I know you know what I’m talking about here! But, one of my favorite lines from the movie isn’t one that makes me laugh, it’s the daughters advice to her mother (Holly Hunter) to remember the fish at the aquarium. To just float. Breath and float.
When I’m sitting here, at my desk, in the office, I feel calm, like I’m floating, as well as crazed. I think the calm has something to do with the beautiful blue walls. I just love the color. It’s a muted blue that calms me down. Then there’s the sound. If I don’t have the external hard drive on that buzzes at this almost annoying pitch, then all I hear is the sound of the water filtering through the fish tank. It’s a peaceful sound, reminding me to just breath and float.
Then there’s the crazy feeling. I think that stems from the long list of things that need to be done. Both in the office and out. But in the office the list just stays at a constant. Something gets checked off and something gets added on but that’s a good thing when you’re running a business. Right??!! That means things are happening which is definitely a good thing!
But, I have to talk about this fish tank for a minute. For those of you that remember this was a gift. For me. From Matt and the boys. For Mother’s Day. I had mentioned to Matt that I wanted to get the boys a fish bowl. Just a fish bowl that we could buy one of those cute gold fish with the really big eyes that look like they’re about to pop off of their heads. Those really cute ones! You know the ones I mean. I even had found a bowl that was a 1/2 of a fish bowl that you could mount to the wall. I thought it would be cool to have in their room. Start teaching them about feeding something, taking care of it, changing the water every now and again without dumping the fish in the sink and having to learn about death to abruptly. That sounded good to me. I could handle that.
But, I forgot who I was talking to. I was talking to a man that when I met him had a 130 gallon tank of freshwater fish. Yes, that’s right. It was as long as his couch and yes, very cool. I enjoyed that tank while we were dating until one day the tank sprung a leak about half way down the glass. It was catastrophe. We had to take all of the fish to the fish store and that was that. The end of the tank, the end of Matt owning fish, until I had the bright idea to buy a fish bowl.
I came home from Mother’s Day weekend with my mom and sister to two very excited little boys and a very excited husband leading me in to see my gift. I could barely hold back the smile that was masked with a look of shock when I saw the 26 gallon saltwater tank that they had picked out, just for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love fish and a beautiful fish tank. I love that they went together and picked it out. I love that we have this beautiful water feature to nurture and build over the years and it is only 26 gallons in comparison to the 130 gallon tank Matt had previously. But, and this is turning out to be a big but, he had no idea how much work a saltwater tank is. I’ve heard that, he’s heard that, but until you dive in head first, you have no idea.
Over the last few months we’ve accumulated some incredibly beautiful fish, some live rock and corral and a couple of anemone. We have also traded a few fish in and netted a couple out. We have three different test kits and a salinity checker that we use regularly to make sure the water is o.k. (it frequently needs chemicals to balance it out) and let me count them, 9 bottles of foods and chemicals to use either every three days, once a week or when needed. If you think this is a lot to keep track of, it is. We’ve had to make a calendar just for the fish tank. It tells us which days to use which bottles and when to do a water change. The water change happens once a month and is Matt’s job.
If this sounds crazy, I think it is, but, all kidding and complaining aside, it’s beautiful and mesmerizing. I could sit for hours if I had the time and just watch the fish swim around. Watch the corral, the starfish and the anemone move. Watch the shrimp sway back and forth or the crabs clickety clack around the sand. It truly is an amazing habitat and such a trip that you can have a piece of the ocean in your home.
For all of it’s difficulty I do love it, the boys love it and Matt loves it. I will warn those of you considering to purchase a saltwater tank that it’s a job. Don’t let there be any confusion about that, it’s a job of figuring out balance. I think, funny enough, that’s something I’m always trying to figure out in my own life. Balance. So, it’s a nice reminder about that for me. A reminder to make sure all of the pieces of the puzzle are being looked at and that I’m taking care of all of me, not just part of me. To remember to float. When everything feels like it’s zooming out of control. Breath and float.