Cold Lamb Sandwiches and the Love Of Your Life

Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

I’ve never understood those who believe love is a weakness or somehow mutually exclusive from financial and professional success.  Mind you, I’m not talking about infatuation or being in love with the idea of love, endlessly pursuing the flavor of the week or looking for a never-ending stream of feel-good butterflies and chocolates, but actual honest-to-God love; the mature kind that gives life meaning and is etched in the deepest core of your soul; the type of love that, once you’ve experienced, you can say at the end of the journey, “I lived.” That kind of love is life.

In the film Meet Joe Black, there is a scene in which William Parrish, played by Anthony Hopkins, is talking to his daughter, Susan, about love.  He is concerned she is a marrying a perfectly fine man that isn’t the love of her life.

He tells her, “Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart. And I’m not hearing any heart. Cause the truth is, honey, there’s no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven’t lived a life at all. But you have to try, cause if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.”  Later, he goes on to say that it is, “Trust, responsibility, taking the weight for your choices and feelings, and spending the rest of your life living up to them. And above all, not hurting the object of your love. 

Maybe that’s one of the reasons I adore the movie.  In his office, speaking to Death (played by Brad Pitt), Parrish begins talking about his late wife. When I listen to him speak about “cold lamb sandwiches”, and the first time he met his spouse, it’s as if he embodies how I feel. The idea that there are people who go through life without experiencing this, and living it, breaks my heart. I’m one of, if not the, most rational people I know and there is no amount of money or success that could ever compensate for its lack.

I thank God every day, not only did I find it but I found it young. Growing up, my parents would pray over us kids every night and one of the things they prayed for was that God prepared a spouse for us; that somewhere out there, growing up, was the person with whom we would want to go through life hand-in-hand. I didn’t think much of it as a child but when you experience it, it is as if a door gets unlocked and there are parts of you that you didn’t know existed; feelings and emotions that run so deeply you’d forsake all others. To find the person that, were the world ending, you’d be alright as long as you could reach over and grab their hand.

We talk a lot about business on the site. But this. This is the great work of your life. What is the point in “having it all” if there is no one with whom to share it?

How to Know You Found the Love of Your Life

How do you know you’ve met the love of your life?  If you have, you don’t need this list. If you haven’t, there are four signs:

  • No matter where you are, as long as you are with them, you feel like you are home.
  • If you lost everything – your house, job, savings, investments, reputation, career, credentials, family, friends, and pets – but you still had them on your side, you know deep down that it will be alright.
  • You care as much, if not more, about their happiness and contentment as you do your own.
  • He or she feels the same way about you.

Don’t lose sight of what matters. If you trade your personal life for your pocketbook, it’s a terrible deal. They should compliment and augment each other, like jewels in a crown. The right spouse should even make the journey of achieving what you want much easier. You are not just your mind or your balance sheet. Do not neglect the human you. After all, you can’t buy back your life.