Are You Sleeping with the Fishes?

I have thought he was dead on many occasions–“he” being Kitch, my teal Beta fish.  I have come home, countless times, to see him lifelessly  floating on the bottom of the tank.  Without fail, I hurry to the glass bowl and tap frantically for signs of life. On cue, Kitch begins fluttering his tail and scoots from beneath his seaweed to relieve my nerves.

With a few clicks in google, I found out  my daily desperate shakes were actually keeping him from his beauty rest as  Kitch’s lifeless floating was likely his sleeping routine. But as I excavated the wide world of google, I also came across some other fascinating underwater sleeping patterns that made me reflect on my own life.

Did you know that dolphins rest one half of their brains at a time? As oxygen breathing mammals, dolphins find themselves in an interesting predicament when they try to catch some zzz’s . To make  both breathing AND sleeping possible at the same time, dolphins swim  for around 8 hours a day half asleep, literally. One side of their brain rests, while the other side watches for predators, obstacles, other animals and swims slowly.

Its sounds like a unique position to be in—living half asleep. But there have been many times when my life has resembled the life of the half awake dolphin, living defensively rather than being an active participant in  my environment. My college experience, for example, looked much like the sleeping patterns of a half awake dolphin. It was marked by defensive swimming, reacting to opportunities rather than seeking them out, opting not to take on risks that could lead to huge failure but offered the possibilities of big rewards.  Like the dozing dolphin, I coasted the waves but didn’t enjoy riding them, swam passed the beauty of my environment but did not take the time to marvel at it and truly feed off of it.

Its one thing to move through life but its quite another to live with eyes wide open through the entire experience. Where are you swimming half awake? Are you actively engaging in all areas of your life? Where are you living just enough to avoid danger but not actively enough to engage the gifted risks your environment offers? In the words of Bob Marley, “Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you are living?”

Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.”- Bill Cosby


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Geraldine Reed Brown said,

    This is great!

  2. 2

    Ron Brown said,

    “Sleeps with the fishes” just took on a whole new level of meaning beyond Luca and The God Father. I wonder if other animals “dream” or have “night/day mares”when they are asleep or do the equivalent of “sleep walking”? Thought stimulating blog. Thanks Kim

  3. 3

    Dre said,

    Cosbyness is close to Godlyness lol lol lol Key word is Close lol

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