Chew on This

27 Jul

Not too long ago, my husband and I took the children away for the weekend.  While family babysat the kids, my husband and I stole away for a jet ski ride on the lake.  As we were floating around, something caught our eye.

We moved in and upon closer inspection, observed two dead fish, forever connected.  One larger fish had attempted to ingest another fish that turned out to be too big.  The larger one had the other one in its mouth, belly up.  It had apparently choked while trying to eat the other fish.  It was the ultimate depiction of the old saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”  I immediately thought “Darwinism.”

Then my husband and I were both kicking ourselves for not having a camera.  We always have our phones, and yet this time, were left unable to show everyone what we had seen.  It would have been an epic picture for the fail blog (!

Because I don’t believe in coincidences, I was left for days pondering the purpose of witnessing that display.  I meditated about it: nothing.  I talked about it: nothing.  I journaled about it: nothing.  Then one day when I was nursing the baby, BAM it hit me.  It was the perfect metaphor for what I’m trying to get away from in my life: taking on too much; always saying yes even when I want to say no; having a tendency to bite off more than I can chew.

My whole goal this year has been to simplify my life.  I got laid off.  I saw it as a blessing.  I cut down on activities for the kids.  I started meal planning.  I started clipping coupons.  I’ve cut back on my volunteer work.  I’m no longer the first one to offer to do something.  I have made a conscientious effort to be more active and playful with my children.  I meditate and practice reiki daily.  I started a garden and planted some fruit trees.  I started staying home more and spending less.  I started trying to live a more simple, sustainable life.

When I reflected honestly about my current life, I realized I still had room for improvement.  I was checking social networking sites all the time.  I was answering my cell phone anytime it rang; sending and receiving texts all the time.  I wasn’t always “present” with the people I love who were right in front of me.  I actually had a vision of what was to come.  I saw my girls sitting around the dinner table.  My life had slowed down considerably, and theirs had sped up.  While I wanted to have a quiet, peaceful dinner, they were wanting to text on their phones and were completely distracted.  I didn’t like seeing my kids like that and it occurred to me that what I am doing now is no different.  Kids emulate the behaviors they see.  When it comes to being present, I’m not always setting a good example.

I am still biting off more than I can chew.  Sometimes it takes an act of Nature to get us to realize what’s right in front of our faces.  I’m just grateful that I have the awareness to learn the lessons being presented.  I’m grateful for those small helpful reminders that put me back on the right path!

One Response to “Chew on This”

  1. Lisa July 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    You painted such a vivid picture of fish-eats-fish that I don’t even need a photo. Great reminder about prioritizing!

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