In ways not unlike my compulsion to find integration in the theorizing I engage in, I search for ways to integrate the differing aspects of my life. Still, removing boundaries when seeking to theorize an interconnected theory of evolution is not the same as blending life pathways.
Three usually separate aspects of my life nevertheless take up portions of almost every day. I run a small web development firm with six staff members that designs, maintains and markets websites. We have over 400 clients, mostly small businesses. Portions of every day are devoted to what’s involved in co-directing a 1,500-member organization, concerned with peace, justice and environment national communications and an action-initiation network. Early mornings and weekends, I theorize and seek to explain my theory of evolution.
Though my design and technical staff assist me with building the national network and theory sites, there is relatively little traffic among these three areas as regards the people I’m in contact with, my colleagues and allies. Most folks I am in contact with about my theorizing have no contact with my design or activist connections. The people in each of the three areas tend to stay in that area.
Not so when it comes to my family. My son, Elia, has joined me at demonstrations and conducted research for the national network sites. We often discuss evolutionary theory. He’s also the photographer for my design firm, shooting cuisine for our restaurant clients.
I don’t much discuss theory with other members of the family. Marcia was integrally involved with my theory thought process ten years ago. I overwhelmed her. These days I only tell her about new ideas. Marcia handles credit card processing for the business. We also work together on many of the peace and justice projects we get involved in, though Marcia works these projects in greater depth, and she is involved in more local organizations than I am.
So, my wife and son are mostly pretty often involved in the three areas I spend a lot of time in. I don’t usually eat breakfast or lunch (instead I drink smoothies or eat balance bars) or watch TV. I work out of my home and have no commute. The elimination of meals, entertainment and commutes adds hours to each day, which I spend on these three activities, business, activism and theorizing. My reflexive tendency to blur the boundaries among these three things might be partly a desire to get more out of the time I devote to them, partly a way to find more dance partners that move to all three kinds of music and partly my neurotic difficulty with tolerating separations. As an introvert with a natural tendency to work alone, blending separations in my life is perhaps an indirect, often neurotic way of addressing personality divisions within myself.
I’m not clear on the connection between obsession and integration, but there seems to be a relationship between the two. In my theorizing, my work, my life, and my relationships, obsession and integration emerge in ways that impact how I think and what I do. Play is integral to the mix, as is neurosis. At the same time that I often toy with my life to see what new and interesting things I can engage in, I muddle my life, seeking solace by shutting out the world or withdrawing from intimacy.
My obsession with integration can create difficulties expressing and experiencing affection.