Friday, September 5, 2008

Cave couples had it easier

This is a combination of a few email exchanges I had with a dear friend in which we were discussing the challenges of being a 2 professional couple. Thanks to her for her contributions. Happy reading.

Makes me wonder if life was more simple for cave-people? Did the
hunters and gatherers try to balance their needs to develop as
professionals within their fields? Do you think that cro-mag-nin (sp?)
couples found cave space between prime hunting areas and good
gathering fields from which they could both commute on foot to perform
their respective roles? Did they have arguments about how they would
divide the chores --who would wash the hides and who would take the
mammoth out for a walk? When the hunters wanted to follow the herd of
bison do you think the gatherers would have precautions about how that
would affect their work? Was it hard to acclimatize to the new
gathering environments, was there an application and orientation
process involved?

Did the cave-carers develop a cavechild cooperative? Did they find it
necessary to respect each others' boundaries, and allow time for
creative pursuits, such as bone sculpture and cavepainting? Did they
balance their short term needs (meat!) with long-term choices, such as
a 401(cave) plan with a generous 3% bison matching program?

While it is fun to think about, I doubt that life was always as
complex then as we make it now. In trying to live a more simple life I
often realize that I usually make things more difficult than they
probably need to be as a result of my privilege within our very
society. I try (though often not well) to remember to approach
transitions like I suspect the cave people did: for the moment and
following our proverbial herd of bison without trepidation.

As we straddle a demanding job market and a high bar for personal
fulfillment, maybe a little bit of buffalo-chasing and hide-cleaning
might calm us down a bit. So, I say let's live more like our
ancestors...except with less grunting, more showers, and better

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