While travelling by car another long distance at one moment I suggested to my kids to imagine that we caught a golden fish and each of us can ask three wishes to be fulfilled. While I was happy to hear that they do think of others I also wanted to hear myself uttering my priorities. So I wished good health for my mum and myself and for the job that would feel useful and meaningful. My daughter has proved not to loose her pragmatic side wishing to catch another golden fish in order to multiply her wishes (I rely on you, darling, once I am old and still here :-)) The magic was there we were all concentrated as if it was real, weighing our words, giving pros and cons. I think I even imagined the fish and the gesture of letting it go. This reminds me of those childhood moments when I witnessed the fishermen pulling the fish out of water and estimating whether they can keep it or not. I always hoped it will be too small. I cherished the moment when it was let back into the water – observing the swift movements of the sleek body disappearing in the depths of our summer lake.
It was a good game. It allowed us to dream. It allowed us to evaluate things we consider important. Things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. It was not all about receiving. It was also about giving. Giving somebody more years to live. Wishing for somebody to have less pain. The longing to multiply wishes symbolised for me the longing for eternity. It also showed me recurrence of certain topics that preoccupy me – the importance of health that is often taken for granted or activity that serves higher purpose than that of earning money and consequently buying nice stuff.
Right after, I tried to answer honestly for myself the popular question that is given to us at interviews or yearly self assessment exercise: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” This question has been haunting me for long. I am trying to live Eckhart Tolle’ s present moment since 2011. I have been setting small goals to myself in order to get over my issues, insecurities, past hurts, obstacles, setbacks since I have been a college student. (This seems to be a very good strategy according to Jordan B. Peterson, clinical psychologist from Toronto I like very much.) I am incurable optimist and dreamer despite all the situations that turned the opposite of what I expected, wished for and dreamt of. Still, last time I was not able to say where I see myself in 5 years. (too far future?)
The golden fish game, though, disclosed to me the following: I am not able to say whether I want to climb the ladder (with enormous gaps in between the steps) in my job or whether I want to work freelance or not to work at all and do the charity work instead. Yet, I am able to say that in 5 years I want to see myself healthy and with enough energy to exercise some activity. To be able to give love and joy to my family and close friends and people who ask for my advice. To have fun, lots of fun. To help people to live their lives better and fully. I am not totally sure how this all will happen but I feel I am one step closer to it than I have ever been before. Most probably because I learned that apart from listening to others I need to listen to myself too.
Next time when the intimidating question of 5 years occurs I can answer it within the scope of the efficient fish game (rules: the fish contributes extensively to the mission and prosperity of the lake company and general peace with other fish. It is encouraged to use wisely its skills, pro-activity and navigate well in blurred waters. Goal of the game – to get slightly better position compared to other fish.) The problem is I find it boring. All fish most probably mumble the same thing while not seeing anything ahead. I prefer to go like this: If I caught a golden fish…