Monday, April 27, 2015

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Most of my life I have struggled dealing with change in any amount. Even today, a minor tweak along my personal time-space continuum stresses me out. I've recognized that while it's not possible to control how I feel, I can control how I react to them. It's an ongoing learning process to improve handling my emotions more efficiently.

Lately, the kiddo (G) has been asking for a fish. We weren't really thrilled about getting one, but agreed to think about it for a few weeks. After the thinking was done, (and G wouldn't forget about a pet fish), we headed to the pet store to do some research on prices and whatnot. We decided to go ahead and get a betta since they are inexpensive, easy to take care of, and can survive in a small container. I think we spent $11 to take home a bright blue betta imaginatively named Blueberry Jewel.

While I researched online about how much food to feed this little guy, I discovered they actually do not care for small spaces. Since only one betta can be kept in a tank at a time (they fight other fish), it's not cost effective for pet stores to house individual fish in separate tanks. Therefore, as a marketing tactic they just tell customers they prefer small domains like bowls or vases. Great, now I feel the guilt of animal cruelty. I've got to get Blueberry Jewel more spacious accommodations. Now I'm stressed. Not only do I have to spend more money, but I put pressure on myself to obtain it ASAP. Plus, I have to learn how to care for an actual aquarium rather than maintaining a simple little bowl. It seems silly, but I constantly worried about this, upsetting my time-space continuum and providing myself with headaches. I starting having regrets about adopting this fish in the first place, but I had also become attached to him. And so began my mission to upgrade his living quarters.

Fish tanks are pricey. I wanted a 5 gallon tank and aquarium kits can run $50 and up at the pet store. I was able to purchase a decent second-hand set for $20. I still had to purchase a few supplies and a GFCI outlet adapter (to protect us from electrocution from the heater and filter). An $11 investment quickly turned into a $62 investment. Luckily, my father-in-law is an experienced fish keeper and held my hand through the set up process. Blueberry Jewel is happy in his new pond. I'm feeling much better knowing a living entity is in a proper environment. I'm learning this new skill of fish keeping and the silver lining is: I'm enjoying it so far.

To continue with the out-of-the-comfort-zone theme, G took a big step this week as well. (Yes, I'm afraid she's inherited some of her mother's anxiety.) She rode the bus home from school! We don't live too far from her school as it, so it's a quick ride after classes to the bus stop which is about a half mile or so from our house. This is really quite exciting! We walk home together which saves gas, of course, but it's also a great way to spend some time together before she's in the house and plopped in front of the TV. And I don't need to get in the car, drive to school, park in the lot, walk into the school, walk back to the car, wait for my turn to back out, twiddle my thumbs while the parade of school buses pull out onto to road, get through the congested intersections a second time. Well, you get the idea. It's only been a few days of this new routine, but she seems to enjoy the extra independence so I'm rolling with this! 

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