Saturday, October 15, 2011
"HAVING IT ALL"--PRINCESS DI & STEVE JOBS
When do we have it all? What happens to people who have it all?
It was obvious to me the first time I met her, that in terms of personal compatibility, we "had it all". And my observation has been confirmed and reconfirmed every day since. She and I behave "as if" we are the best match possible, and in doing so, make it the best match possible. Sometimes, and in this case it is true, thinking makes it so.
But this blog is not about relationships, but about "having it all". I started out talking about an intimate relationship, because, for me, that has always been the hardest piece of the "having it all" puzzle to fit in place. I am healthy, productive, my books are getting good review and good sales (for early days), and I seem to have a lot of people around me who seem to like me. I have a dog who seems calm. But I don't seem to "have it all".
I am not recognized on the street, except in Ilderton, Ontario where I am well known for my chocolate chip cookies and for walking that pretty setter dog. Additionally, I have no "real" money and no secure financial future.
Which leads me to ponder people who seem to have "had it all": Steve Jobs and Princess Di come to mind. What was life like waking up in the morning, looking good, with huge wealth, lots of productive activity scheduled and good personal relationships? I am befuddled by the thought. I have never yet opened my eyes to such a scenario.
I have always posited that we human animals are hardwired to worry and be on the alert. All animals have "flight or fight" hardwiring that is triggered more or less regularly and also food and sex-seeking behavior that is constantly tuned up and turned on, the latter during breeding season ( in humans, breeding season is every day). When we have all the health and wealth we need and all the sex we desire and we have security of person for ourselves and our families, what is left? Where do we get our "jolts" in the "fight or flight" department and the "sex and food-seeking" department? What happens to people who "have it all"?
Some of the books I have been reading recently (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Master Game) tell me that such people who "have it all" and do not seem realize they "have it all" continue to acquire food and sex and wealth far beyond their real needs, producing promiscuous, gluttonous, materialist pigs--people who live in a state of self-destructive anomie. Others who do realize they "have it all," often become depressed that there is nothing left to do with their lives. For example, I ask, how many millions of North Americans are super excited to build their "dream home" and fill it with junk, only to be bored and depressed when they have it built and have to live in a palace filled with crap?
Others may turn to creative or charitable pursuits. Others may seek "enlightenment" in mystical practices. It seems we are not meant to be happy when we "have it all". We are a species that is hardwired to need and want challenges and even threats to stimulate our action centers. We are not meant to be zoo animals who live in a state of torpor--even though we are our own zookeepers. North America as one big f_cking zoo...
All of the above leads me back to the personal, which is where I started--with this wonderful woman I met and the prospect of being happy with her forever. I have always needed threats to make me effective. I have always needed an empty belly to hunt effectively. I have always needed a "burr under my saddle" to run fast. Perhaps the realization that I am in my sixth decade and that THE FINAL THREAT is just around the corner will be enough of a threat to keep me keen and working and allow me to accept with good grace the love of this woman and monetary rewards from writing.
Oh, yeah, did I mention that Steve Jobs's system crashed--permanently--recently, and that Princess Di is now just skin and bone in a pretty black Catherine Walker dress? Unsettling images that, oddly enough, afford me some insight...