It’s time for me to revisit my rant about the lottery dreamers. Like in some 80s movie where the protagonist wipes the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand despite the fact he is wearing a headband ala Mike Reno from the band Loverboy, whose magnum opus hit “Working For the Weekend” plays in the background while the scene does a wavy dissolve into the dream sequence where our main character is driving a Lamborghini, mullet tails blowing back from his Oakley framed face, up the quarter-mile long curved driveway to his mansion he purchased with his lottery winnings.
Thank you society, for the make-believe ideology of the panacea of wealth, of selling us the snake oil from the inside of fashion magazines and sitcom storylines that ensures us that copious wealth will cure us of hangnails and bedwetting and ever having to wait in line at the DMV.
I know, I appear to be casting aspersions at the media and culture and modern entertainment. But I lay the blame squarely on our own shoulders. We as human being creature animals are constantly looking around to see how we can once-and-for-all permanently avoid adversity. We dig furiously in the sand or through heaped tables at garage sales looking for a lamp or amulet or candlestick that is serving as the domicile of the djinn that will grant our wish of never stubbing our toe on a doorframe. We look for anything that will guarantee in perpetuity that we never again suffer heartache or loss or trauma or a mosquito bite.
Here’s the sad truth for all of us cake-eaters: If we can find a way to guarantee we bypass times of discomfort and sadness, we will end up tossing out the times of joy and jubilation with that bathwater. Joy and sadness are a married couple that attends every party of life and holds hands on every ride. They are as inseparable as day and night or hot and cold. One simply cannot exist without the other. Much like these, pleasure and pain are aspects of duality that reside on the same pendulum.
Am I saying we should run straight into every burning building, or rub our hands and get excited about hard times? Not in the least. I’m just saying challenges and obstacles and the resulting disappointment of them are unavoidable. They will come. These abysmal lows serve to illustrate to us the dizzying highs. They let us know through their delicious contrast just how sweet life can be when the honey starts to flow again. The problem is, when we spend all our time, energy, and effort creating escape routes and practicing bugout drills, we find the space between our times of trauma where joy would normally seep in ends up getting usurped by anxiety and worry for some-aggedon that may or may not occur.
So what do we do? We take those moments of joy and we absorb them and appreciate them while they are here, as they are fleeting at best. When they finally slip away through our cupped hands and adversity comes to land on our shoulders, we will recognize that this too shall pass, knowing the sun always comes out to shine after every storm.