Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “happiness”

Aquarium Dreams

When I was an infant, I had an aquarium.  It wasn’t exactly traditional, and probably today it would not be sold, and the PETA people would come after it, not to mention all the shrieking there would be about the risks of infant strangulation.  Plastic bags, and all that, you know.

My “aquarium” was a long, transparent bag, about 6 inches deep, and exactly long enough for its straps to tie across the rails of a crib.

I had a goldfish in my aquarium.  I don’t remember if he had a name, but I am this minute resolving to ask my mom if he did.

The bag was tied low enough (I wasn’t yet sitting or walking) that I could whap (this is a family word – I think it is a good one) on that bag with my hands, and watch that fish scoot around above me.

I kind of doubt the fish was happy, what with all the whapping and all.  However, apparently he did live for a good long time. Goldfish are pretty hardy, and easy to care for. 

His demise was brought about by my grandmother.  We apparently had to travel somewhere for some days, and she forgot to feed him.

I do not remember my fish.  I don’t think.  However, I am pretty sure my subconscious remembers my fish.

I dream a lot.  About fish. 

You know how there’s that one recurrent dream that everybody has, that they can’t explain why, and that they have various versions of it?

I dream about fish.  And aquariums.  Quite a bit.  Not every day, or week, or month, but I have dreamt about them a LOT.

I am very happy in my dream, because I have many aquariums, which contain a multitude of exotic (and implausible) fish.

I am happy but concerned, because I walk into a room full of tanks of fish, and someone has neglected or forgotten them, but I can see there are some live fish, and I set about cleaning them up and rescuing them.

I am VERY happy, because I am in a shop, and I am there to buy (some) fish.  These fish are WILDLY impossible creatures.  I remember once there was a miniature underwater giraffe.

Occasionally, I am horrified because I have many aquariums, and somehow I forget I have fish, and now they look miserable and sick, and it is all my fault, and I have to make amends, and clean them up, and make them better again.

In all my dreams, the fish make me VERY happy.  Except for the early on part where I find the forgotten ones, because they look sad.

In real life, I have owned goldfish, bettas, neon tetras, guppies, plecostomas (I may have spelled the name very wrong, but they are the little depressed looking bloopy ones who keep the tank clean), angelfish, fresh water sharks, and cichlids.

I love the goldfish the most.

Especially the fancy ones:  the Black Moors, the Lionhead Orandas, the Pearl Scales, and those black Telescope ones who have the bulging eyes.

I have had some of all of these goldfish.  I want to buy one right now.  Alas, we travel too much.

So what does this mean?  I have a feeling that I have a visual memory, or a stored feeling of happiness if I see a fish, from my infancy.  I’m pretty sure.

Is this true?  I don’t know, but I sure love fish.  I really love them.  And that makes me happy.  Very happy.


Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were

When I first started pondering this writing challenge, narrowing it down enough to pick one thing that I wished I were seemed impossible.  I wish I were rich.  I wish I were travelling.  I wish I were thinner.  I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener.  I realized after going through slews of “I wish I weres” that what I really wish I were is more satisfied with my current circumstances.  I can never seem to be happy with my own life; I always wish I were somewhere else or doing something else or doing something with someone else.  I guess some of that is just human nature:  the grass is always greener and all that.  But really, the true definition of happiness seems to be being present in the moment and enjoying it just for what it is.  So what I really wish I were is happy.

Happiness has eluded me.  I can remember a few times in my life I have been truly happy: one time in college when I was all done with my studies for the winter and I had my boyfriend with me and my Christmas presents bought and no bills to worry about.  I remember distinctly thinking:  I am really happy right now.  I was happy the day I got married.  I was happy the day my daughter was born (although it was a horrible day for me, physically).  But during my day-to-day life, I have virtually never been content.  Medical school was actually pretty good.  But then I got to residency, and that was one of the most horrible experiences of my life.  We were completely abused by the staff and the upper level residents.  Living in New Orleans during that time made me happy, and I did get some time to enjoy the city.  But while at work I was distinctly miserable.  Then I took my first job in Atlanta, and things went from bad to worse.  I hated Atlanta.  I was miserable.  The driving and traffic situations were horrible.  I got lost all the time.  I didn’t really make any friends and for most of the time, I couldn’t find a boyfriend.  I was really lonely.  Then at work, they worked our butts off.  We were kind of like a sweat shop for young doctors out of residency.  My boss went through seventeen partners and potential partners in a matter of a few years, because she was so controlling.  Most days I didn’t even get lunch.  When I finally found a boyfriend, he turned out to be a real nut case.  I understand that pornography for most men is a must, but he had an entire room devoted to it.  I felt like I had stumbled into a den of iniquity.

When I met my husband and we moved back to the deep South, I felt things would be looking up.  I would make new friends and we would be closer to my parents, since we were planning on having a child.  I wasn’t overly thrilled about moving to a small town, and as it turned out, my reservations in that area were well founded.  I just don’t fit in.  Again, all my friends are old friends that I’ve had since childhood, adolescence and college.  And none of them live around here.  My husband blames me and my hermitlike nature for the no new friends thing.  But I didn’t use to be like that.  I just feel so judged here; I don’t go to the right church or have the right friends or know the right people.  This is a pretty tightly woven city, and they just don’t welcome newcomers.  So my only company is my husband and my child, and sometimes that’s just not enough.  And I hate my job.  I mean, I really hate my job.  I am tired of the hours and the call and the tiredness and the stress and the near-fatal emergencies and the surgery and the clinic and just, everything.  I have told my husband I would really like to retire from this job but he just doesn’t think he can support us on his salary alone.  But I have so much stress at this point that I just feel I am really really going to lose it.

So, I wish I were happy.  Some of my unhappiness is my circumstances, and some of it is that it is just plain not in my nature to be happy.  Spending time with my daughter and husband makes me happy, but as I said before, I don’t have nearly enough time for that, and sometimes I just need something a little more.  I miss my friends.  I hate that I haven’t made new ones.  So if I could wish for one thing, that thing would be happiness.

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