Saturday, March 12, 2022

Celebrate the Small Things: How I Survived the Pandemic

Largest molly - 'Goldie'
Hi there. It's been awhile. I survived the pandemic, as did everyone else reading this post!! I think it changed me though. I know it did. I found myself hunkered down in our home with my husband and 95 year old mother for the duration, sorting through an onslaught of online opinions (many ugly) regarding the virus, a new president, politics, and our waning democracy in the U.S.

I tackled some of the ongoing arguments, but felt awful, depressed to be honest. Mostly I wanted to hide. So, I did. 

I went into hermit mode, sewing a hundred face masks for the community and learning how to purchase just about everything online. Amazon became my new best friend. While it inspired my husband to build a better pantry and my mother to nearly complete a novel, writing pretty much went on hold for me...unless you count the Facebook rants. 

Hunkered down: With Mom & Vince

 Instead, I pulled out our empty 55 gallon fish tank in May of 2020, a long postponed project and Christmas gift of old. I learned everything I could about tropical fish and decided to start with a betta sorority: five young female bettas, plus a couple mystery snails, some ghost shrimp, and several neon tetras. 

2 favorite bettas, Suzzi & Sassy

 It was fun, captivating and very peaceful at first, until I discovered that two of the females were males, which subsequently created drama in the tank. Betta males are territorial little guys. In the end, all but one died due to either disease, stress, possibly old age, and I'm guessing my inexperience at properly cycling a fish tank. Only one ghost shrimp of that group remains, and I have to say it was heartbreaking to see the rest go. You really do develop loving relationships with your fish. I know, silly to non fish-keepers out there, but it's true. All have special spots in my garden now, my favorites under an outdoor turtle ornament.


Today I have 4 mollies, 5 platies (and babies), 3 amano shrimp, 3 new neon tetras, 2 new mystery snails, an unknown number of Malaysian trumpet snails and a few bumblebee snails. This tank, these beautiful 'small' creatures in God's incredible animal kingdom, gave me refuge and soothing comfort throughout the pandemic. I did write about it actually, that is, random entries in a fish journal detailing my daily/weekly experience, and interwoven with Covid and political drama taking place outside our home. Perhaps, I will pull it out someday and see if there is something worthy of a small book. 

Meanwhile, I'm celebrating the small things in life, fish or not. We have much to be thankful for!! Future-wise, I plan to continue my Classics collection of 'closing' and 'opening' lines, a favorite of mine, and I'm seriously considering the April A-Z Challenge this year. 

Sharon M. Himsl
Published: Evernight Teen 


About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.