A Goldfish Holiday

We’re not so different than goldfish. Swim to the top of the bowl, swim to the bottom, check out the plastic castle, eat, poop and repeat. No, I’m not saying that we spend all day swimming and checking out castles. The point is that like goldfish, most Americans get caught in the same routines and share with our aquatic coun-terparts an attention span of a few sec-onds. Maybe that is why we need to invent holidays like Valentine’s Day to remind ourselves to appreciate our loved ones. Like the goldfish, we rarely (if ever) stop to realize that we’re trapped in the same mundane cycle. We go to school, we go to work, eat, go to the same party, watch some T.V., maybe spends some time on a hobby, poop and repeat. When you really think about it, we’ve become imprisoned in this routine, an-other feature we share with the life of a goldfish. School loans, car loans, mort-gage payments and all of our responsibili-ties ensure that we will stay trapped in our personal fishbowls. Maybe this is why the overwhelming majority of Americans speak only one lan-guage. Unless you have Bill Gates’ money, your world has boundaries, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Caging animals has for the most part been universally accepted as being prac-tice that, for the animal, is a less attractive lifestyle then being in the wild. I shouldn’t have to convince you that the circus el-ephant would rather be in the African bush and the goldfish would rather be in a pond. So how can humans live in the wild? Well, there are a few options. Moving to Papua New Guinea or abandoning all responsibilities and wondering aimlessly as a bum doesn’t sound too appealing. The inexhaustible web of civilization is far too pervasive to just shrug off entirely. But we can start approaching our lives from a new paradigm. I’m imagining a paradigm in which people realize that life is too short to be wasted worrying about how to pack their free time chock-full of meaningless dis-tractions between their numerous respon-sibilities. Think about how much fun it is to go to a Halloween party, eat a big Thanksgiving dinner or how good it felt to get that dozen roses and chocolate from your significant other on Valentine’s Day. In this new paradigm we can break out of these annual routines and make each day a celebration. Pick a random week for starters. On Tuesday, surprise that loved one with flowers and a night at the mov-ies. Thursday, invite friends and family over and cook a big turkey and have your-selves a feast. And there is no reason that you can’t go out on Saturday night to a cos-tume party and have a great time. The point is that we should stop using these holidays as an excuse to live our lives how we want to. Be spontaneous, and turn everyday into a celebration.