Friday, April 06, 2007

It's always something!

The late-lamented and very funny comic actress Gilda Radner penned an autobiography when she knew she was terminally ill entitled It’s Always Something. The title was riff on one of her SNL sketches, and it was a look at no matter how good things might be in your life, some fucking thing will come up to put a damper on it all.

We spend our days dealing with various problems and sometimes are driven to think, If only (whatever it is) would be resolved, then I would be happy. The point is, you wouldn’t. Because immediately after that problem was solved, another would come to take its place. Hopefully not a problem as severe as dear Gilda's.

Like the other day, I cashed out an old life-insurance policy I’d contributed to for years. But, it was a policy I’d bought years ago and, as it was, I once took a loan out on it, so the interest from the loan was eating up all the cash value. Furthermore, its net worth had diminished sufficiently enough that Wendy once said: “So, if you died, then I would probably be able to live for a month on that particular life insurance.” Exactly.

So, I got rid of it, and they sent me the money. That was a good thing. I like getting money. Like all of us, I tend to worry about solvency far more than my actual circumstances call for me to do. I’m not loaded, but I’m not three days from living in the streets and eating out of dumpsters, either. But, I worry about money, nevertheless. So, cashing in this policy left me feeling just a little more flush, and left my fertile imagination free to fret about other things. That’s because, ‘it’s always something.’ You see, income tax time is coming up and I am certain I’ll owe those ‘revenuer’ bastards something, and then they'll spend it on crap that is either meaningless to me, or offensive to me. Then, in June, it’s property tax time, and that means those bills in my little cash fund from the insurance policy are going to grow wings like they do in cartoons, and flutter out the window. And then I’ll be back worrying about cash reserves again.

I often wonder about those people who win millions on the lottery. I mean, what is it like to know that you have so much money that you would have to take three lifetimes to spend it? It must be the most amazing feeling to know that not only can you buy any damn thing you want; you will never, ever have to worry about money again.

But, from what I’ve read, those people are not supremely happy. In fact, some of them are downright miserable, if you can credit that. Evidently if you are stinking rich you worry about such things as your health, your longevity, your appearance, whether you are accepted in certain social circles, whether somebody is going to kidnap your kids and demand a ransom the size of Dubai’s treasury. And so on and so on.

I can suggest no answered to this quandary other than to fall back on the old Latin maxim: carpe diem. Seize this day, my friends, because it is the only one we have. If you can feed the kids today, and keep the rain off overnight, you’re doing OK today. Tomorrow is a crapshoot. It always is. And, guaranteed there will be “something.”

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Blogger Tai said...

Yup, couldn't have said it better myself!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Big Brother said...

So right, Ian. We never know what the future will bring. So Carp Diem and let tomorrow take care of itself. :o)

4:36 PM  
Blogger jmb said...

My husband keeps buying lottery tickets although we are borderline old and relatively well off. I tell him he's crazy, if we actually won it would just be a headache and cause all kinds of trouble, if you ask me.
Although it would be nice to be able to give it away and help out some good causes.
Happy Easter

5:11 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

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5:28 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Great post, Ian. It sort of relates to some of my own ruminations lately so I had to mention it chez moi.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Janice Thomson said...

You are quite right Ian. A Robin doesn't worry where his next meal is coming from and still sings everyday of his life. A Hemlock tree doesn't change it's needles everyday yet still looks beautiful each time we look at it...maybe something we need to ponder a little more deeper...
The amount of "things" we buy is always in proportion to the amount of happiness we hold in our heart.

7:27 PM  
Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Gilda was an amazing comedian and woman. I still miss her.

You're so right that there is always something. I am finally beginning to embrace the notion that what I really need manifests, despite my fears, and I should worry less.

It only dilutes the pleasure of the moment.

I'm new here, but I'll be back.

12:23 PM  
Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

You're right of course, lots of cash does not bring happiness. I'd sure like to try it though. I would even dutifully pretend I didn't love being filthy rich. As I jet off to explore some new corner of the world.

1:28 PM  
Blogger CS said...

Gilda Radner was so very funny and so human. I still say, "Oh, that's very different. Never mind." And absolutely - if you worry about what the next "something" will be, you miss the incredible moment you are already in.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

Yep. It's always something. Some of us are experts on this subject. LOL

Seriously, this post is a keeper, Ian. I love the writing.

By the way, I was a big Gilda Radner fan. Thanks for making me smile. I'm going to seize the day!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Well, like my mom says, money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes unhappiness a damn sight more comfortable.

I'd love to never have to worry about money ever again. Granted I'd find other things to worry about, but it wouldn't be money.

11:52 AM  

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